Book Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

November 23, 2013 Review 0 ★★★★½

Book Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarryDare You To by Katie McGarry
Series: Pushing The Limits #2
Published by Harlequin Teen on 2013 May 28
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 456
Format: E-book
Source: Purchased
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four-half-stars

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....

Luxa: Well…well…well… I really think that you’re slowly warming up to me and to our nice little chit chats.

Me: Huh?

Luxa:  Don’t deny it. You’re looking forward to this. If truth be told, this is the best thing that ever happened to your bookish life.

Me: Err~ The last time I checked your invitation letter, there was no mention that this is going to be a flatter party. Can we just move on?

Luxa sighed.

Luxa: You’re such a party pooper.  Right.  So what happened?  You were practically gushing about Pushing the Limits and giving it the high five. How come this book fell short of half a star?

Me: Hmmn… For some reason, Beth annoyed me. Don’t get me wrong though.  I love Beth. I love how kick ass she is. I love her smart mouth.  But I was really frustrated at how she handled the issues concerning her mom, Isaiah and Ryan.

Luxa: I remembered you telling me about a biker chick named Beth. So I am assuming that this is the same one?

Me: Yes.

Luxa:  So explain… Based on this summary, Beth seems like someone very capable. I think I’m gonna be bestfriends with her.

Me:  Nyay! Beth will give you the run for your money so don’t think about it.  Anyway, you’re right. Beth, with her attitude, would really give someone the impression that she can do anything that she wanted without anyone’s help.   She exactly showed that in this book.  However, her self-pity and determination to be stupid sometimes stupefied me.

Luxa: Determination to be stupid? As in like you?

Me: Shut up.  Don’t steer the conversation to me.  Okay. Here’s the short version of Dare You To’s story. For some crucial reason which I cannot divulge for fear of spoiling your dear audience, Beth transferred to another town leaving Noah and Isaiah behind.  So in this new town, Beth met a whole new cast of characters including Ryan, her new love interest.  Everything was actually going well with her life but apparently, that everything would oftentimes go downhill because she just refused to help herself and her mother.  I understand that she loves her mother and wants to protect her but well, she could have done better. Deep inside, she knew that her mother was in deep shit but she failed to find a way to really help and at the same time, teach the latter a lesson.  Beth’s kind of selfless letting her mother use her for all the wrong reasons.  But really, I would’ve admired her more if she’s both cunning and selfless.

Luxa:  Maybe I will have to bring a recorder next time.  That was very long and kind of boring.

Me: Once again, shut up!

Luxa waved her hand.

Luxa:  So whose team are you on? I actually expected for Isaiah to end up with Beth.  Boy Tattoo and Biker Chick would certainly make a handsome couple.

Me: Err~ I think I’m one of those few who are happy that Golden Boy Ryan caught Beth’s heart.  They’re the exact opposites and Beth seriously needed someone like Ryan. Isaiah’s good but he always let Beth has her way.  Meanwhile, Ryan is the type of guy who has more finesse but doesn’t hesitate to challenge Beth. To put it simply, they’re your perfect example of opposite poles attracting each other.

Luxa: Sounds like another swoon worthy romance.  How is the romance of Dare You To different from Pushing the Limits?

Me: Uhm…to be honest, Dare You To’s romance has similarities with its prequel.  Two different teenagers struggling to rise from their own battles and then falling inlove at some point. But what sets it aside from Pushing the Limits is that we’ve got Beth and Ryan instead of Noah and Echo.

Luxa: My… my… I think you’re losing your touch. Seriously, you deprived yourself of sleep just to read the same story all over again? I still have a lot of books in the library in case you’re running out of–

Me: Hep, hep, hep, that was a joke alright?  Dare You To’s romance unfolded because Ryan took a very brave step in pursuing Beth despite the odds.  Unlike Noah, Ryan took an immediate step to win Beth. He immediately decided that he liked her never caring if she would fit in or not.  He doesn’t have Noah’s doubts or angst. He’s just decided on winning Beth.

Luxa: Okay. Fine. Whatever.  So what else is worth reading about this book besides the “worth the whole world romance?”

Me: Everything. I mean, just like Pushing the Limits, Dare You To offers us another painful truth about the other face of humanity.  In this book, I was shown the finer details of child abuse, drugs, a family that is falling apart because of a son who wanted to be his real self.  Ryan is a brave guy but when it comes to his family, he just let things happen even if it’s hurting him…even if his whole being is screaming from the need to break free. The issues presented on Dare You To is as messy and as real as Pushing the Limits.

Luxa:  I think I’m going to pass on this series.

Me: Aw.  Your soul will be damned for eternity.  You will have restless nights if you do that.

Luxa: Doesn’t make a lot of difference. Reading this book and the rest of the series will also result to that.

Me: Damn!

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