Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, # 2) By: Katie McGarry
Published: May 28th 2013 by Harlequin Teen
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)
Goodreads description--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....
I LOVED Pushing the Limits. That book came at exactly the right time for me. And when the book ended and I found the first chapter to Beth's story, Dare You To, I was so excited. I saw bloggers showcase Dare You To all over the place and I was dying to get my hands on a copy. When NetGalley finally posted that it was available, I stopped everything to sign in and request it.
I read Dare You To in a day. Granted I was stuck in a car for 10 hours straight, so I pretty much had time and opportunity to get it done. But even if I hadn't, this was one book that I didn't want to put down. Beth is such a broken character. She's been through so much. And so many times I questioned how much more she could take, how much more did the poor girl have to go through. But what I loved about Beth was that she didn't give up. Things got messy, she might have gotten hurt, but she kept pressing on.
And Ryan...God love him! He's through and through a really good guy. Constantly wanting to prove himself to Beth. Of course, that's kind of necessary when you start your relationship off based on a bet. But I loved that he fell in love with Beth because of who she was and who she was capable of being and not who she used to be. He really characterizes what it means to help someone grow and move forward in their life.
I don't think it's too spoilery but just in case maybe skip to the next paragraph, but I loved how Katie McGarry said at the end of the book that she originally did see Beth and Isaiah together, but then she realized that neither one of them could grow as long as they were together. I LOVE that! It's so true of real life relationships. Sometimes we have people in our lives that we love with all of our hearts, but whether they intend to or not, they hold us back, or we hold them back. It's not really anyone's fault, but learning to let go is extremely hard and so many people never do, choosing instead to stay where it's safe, comfortable, and KNOWN.
Dare You To did have a slight cliche that I've grown increasingly frustrated with throughout literature today. As frustrating as that was, it couldn't stop me from loving Beth and Ryan and the struggles they had to go through to be together and to grow as individuals and as a couple. I don't know if my expectations were too high or not, but I don't know that I loved Dare You To as much as Pushing the Limits, but it was definitely up there.
Fans of Pushing the Limits, Slammed, Hopeless, The Sea of Tranquility, and fans of emotionally charged contemporary will love Dare You To. I'm giving it 4 Stars. Have you read Dare You To? What did you think? Let me know!