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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Release Date: May 28, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Age Group: Young Adult
Format: E-galley
Source: NetGalley
Series: Pushing the Limits #2
Pages: 462
Buy: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / IndieBound
Description: 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....

Dare You To is one of those books I’ve been all grabby-hands about since the moment I finished its companion novel Pushing the Limits last year.  Katie McGarry’s debut gave me a couple to root for in Noah and Echo, but I knew I’d love to hear Beth’s story.  Turns out, not only do I love Beth even more than I did before, but I think Ms. McGarry has added herself to my “Insta-buy List” from this day forward.

Beth Risk is the definition of someone who makes you work for it.  The girl has had a hard, gypsy-style life of moving and hiding and taking care of her mother. Her dad left them both long ago, for something that Beth claims was her fault, and she’s been the one to take care of them ever since her dad’s brother Scott abandoned them to become a Yankee (like the baseball team, not the Doodle Dandy).  Ryan Stone is a golden boy of Groveton—he’s a baseball star, his dad’s well-known and well-respected, and his older brother helped his high school football team win many a game.  However, he’s got his own family troubles hidden beneath the layers.  He and his buddies are in a constant Dare War, which is how Our Boy meets Our Girl in a Louisville Taco Bell.  The rest, as they say, is a compelling, heart-meltingly romantic tale of redemption, wall-busting, and love with a capital L (for “Lawd, this book is h-o-t”).

I really, truly adored Beth in Pushing the Limits.  It was so clear that she had a big heart and that she needed someone to love her the way she deserved to be loved, but she wouldn’t and couldn’t tear down those walls of hers.  I spent so much of Dare You To with a deep crease between my eyebrows and a lump in my throat.  Dear, sweet Beth.  I wish I could hug her and tell her it’s not her fault.  I wish she had had a true childhood without any of the harshness that she saw.  I felt for her in a deeper way than I previously did for Noah and Echo.  This isn’t to say that I didn’t care about them, but there’s just something about Beth that gets under your skin and demands your attention.  I blew through this in one sitting, and I could’ve read 450 more pages easily.

And Ryan.  A jock with depth.  One of my favorite aspects of this novel was its turn on the tradition of bad boy/good girl into bad girl/good boy.  That’s something I don’t see often enough, and it’s done so well here.  Ryan and his buddies are boys in all the boyiest ways, which you know I love to bits.  Have I said that I love well-written male POVs before?  Oh, only about a gazillion times? Well, all right then.

Honestly, I have been in such a reading rut lately.  Nothing has been able to bust me out of it.  I’m so happy to say that Beth and Ryan may have been just what I needed, so thank you Dare You To for being the book I needed.  The only problem?  Now I have to wait for Isaiah’s story!  Dang it, McGarry!

1 comment:

  1. So glad to hear you liked this one! I've had it on my watch list for a while too.

    One small thing. Did you mean Echo when you wrote "I really, truly adored Beth in Pushing the Limits."? Thanks for such an honest review!