Monday, September 16, 2013

Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Title: Dare You To
Author: Katie McGarry
Series: Pushing the limits #2
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Number of Pages: 456
Source: Netgalley

Ryan lowers his lips to my ear. "Dance with me, Beth." "No." I whisper the reply. I hate him and I hate myself for wanting him to touch me again.... "I dare you..." If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does.... Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him. But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all..
Dare you to was a wonderful sequel to Pushing The Limits. It was powerful and emotional, and I ended up loving Beth and Ryan just as much as I did Echo and Noah.  While this is a second book in the series, it can be read as a stand alone, but I don't think Beth's story would be as powerful without reading book one first.

 I have to begin this review by saying how much I adored Ryan. I loved how he met Beth on a dare when he was out with his friends-they were trying to see who could get the most phone numbers, and Ryan lost when Beth shot him down fast. Neither of them except to see each again after that incident-but then Beth gets into trouble and has to go live with her Uncle Scott Risk, a famous baseball player who has moved back to Ky, but lives  out in the middle of nowhere.

Beth is furious-she doesn't want to leave Louisville to go live with an Uncle who she believes has pretty much abandoned her for his career.  She's especially not happy when her Uncle arranges for his neighbor's son (who happens to be Ryan) to show her around school. Ryan can't believe Beth is the same girl he tried to ask out because she looks completely different & he's still all about winning the stupid dare from his friends...only the dare has turned into Ryan having to go on a date with her.

I know this all sounds like a typical young adult book, and a bit stupid, but it's not I promise you. Beth's home life in Louisville was pretty shitty and she took a lot of crap from her mom's boyfriend and she overcomes a lot of trust issues in this book. I loved watching her grow and that her Uncle was there every step of the way trying to make up for not being with her. He doesn't cave into her demands, and pretty much is a pain in her ass-which I liked a lot. (I kinda loved her Uncle Scott because he was such a normal guardian)

Beth wasn't the only one with issues. On the outside Ryan seemed like he was Mr. Perfect and your typical popular Jock. However, his family life was a mess-his dad had secretly disowned his brother, and Ryan was fighting to do what he wanted vs what his dad (who was an overbearing jerk) wanted him to do with his life.  Watching Beth and Ryan come together was wonderful  and painful at the same time. I just wanted to shake some sense into both of them, because they both did some stupid stuff.

While some of the trouble Beth had with her mom's boyfriend seemed pretty over the top to me, it was just nice to see a main character from a YA book not have a perfect life. She struggled a lot with leaving her old life behind, and I felt really bad for her friends Noah and Isaiah who all along just wanted to protect Beth from her situation. I can't wait to read Isiah's story in Crash Into You.

Katie McGarry is now one of my favorite YA authors to read, and I look forward to reading more by her.