Title/Author: Dare You To by Katie McGarry
Publisher/Year: Harlequin Teen on May 28, 2013
Genre: YA Contemporary/Romance
Other Books by Author: Pushing the Limits
How I got this Book: eARC via NetGalley
Summary From Goodreads: 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…
When I was first approved by NetGalley for Dare You To by Katie McGarry, I had no idea it was the sequel to a book. Needless to say, when I found out, I went out and found myself a copy of Pushing the Limits to read. I never did get around to writing a review of that book, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved Noah and Echo together, and I LOVED the ending. Very creative on McGarry’s part, and it was a great debut novel! Now, when I went on to read Dare You To, her sophomore novel, I desperately hoped that her first book wasn’t just a fluke, and that I would love this one just as much. Well, I ended up liking this one even more!!!
After reading Pushing the Limits, I found myself wanting to know more about Beth, one of the secondary characters in the book. Which is great, because that’s who Dare You To is about! The book switches back and forth between narration from Beth and Ryan. Beth is one of Noah’s (from Pushing the Limits) best friends, and she is broken. She trusts no one but Noah and Isaiah, comes from a terribly broken family with an absent father and a drug addict/alcoholic mother. She comes – unwillingly – to live with her uncle Scott and his new wife, Alison. Scott wants Beth to be like she was as a child: happy, blonde, and addicted to ribbons. Beth is NOT down for this.
Then we meet Ryan, who in the beginning, is a jerk. He’s a baseball jock who makes dares with his friends about girls, one specifically about who can get the most phone numbers from them. He meets Beth in a Taco Bell during this dare, and all he cares about is getting her number. A little later on in the story, we realize that Ryan isn’t so much a jerk as he is torn between the two things he loves – baseball and writing. His father is totally against Ryan going to college and wants him to go straight into Pro-Ball, but Ryan is undecided.
Coincidentally, Beth ends up at the same school as Ryan, and Beth’s uncle just happens to be a huge baseball star. Some things happen, Ryan and Beth have to spend a little bit of time together, and… you can see where this is headed. Basically, I loved the way that Beth and Ryan’s story evolved. It was not in any way instalove, which made me so happy!! The two really to know each other, eventually revealing their deepest hopes, desires, and secrets. They really do have a beautiful relationship together.
And then there’s the whole deal with Beth’s mom, who is on probation, and who Beth has to take care of because she can’t take care of herself. Beth wants to run away and save her mom from her abusive boyfriend, alcohol, and drug addictions. But things are worse than Beth could ever imagine. Will Beth be able to make the right decisions, and allow herself to trust the people she should in order to do what’s best for herself? You’ll have to read the book and find out ;)
I was extremely pleased with this book as Katie’s second novel, and I can’t wait for the third book in the series to come out so I can learn Isaiah’s story! This is a must read, especially if you read and liked Pushing the Limits.
That must be love: when everything else in the world could implode and you wouldn’t care as long as you had that one person standing beside you.
Have you read Pushing the Limits? Did you like it? What were your thoughts on Dare You To? If you haven’t read either, do you think you will?