Monday 20 May 2013

ARC Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry (Pushing The Limits #2)

Publication date: 28th May, 2013
Publisher: HarlequinTEEN
Links:Amazon|Goodreads|The Book Depository
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 4/5 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...

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 about Beth whom we've already met in Pushing The Limits. When she takes the rap for her mother, she gets arrested and is bailed out by her uncle Scott. Her uncle demands custody of Beth and she is whisked away to Groveton, the place where she grew up as a kid. Ryan, who approached her at a Taco Bell on a dare, seems like nothing but a privileged jock who wants to use her. When he hangs around even after the Dare is off, stands up to her and shows her how much he cares about her, it seems like there's a lot more in the cards. But Beth, who's cynical, sarcastic, badass on the outside and yet scarred by her past, her mother's abusive boyfriend, all of which turned her into a scared, scared girl is convinced that boys like him never end up with girls like her.

Dare You To, like Pushing The Limits, was an engaging read that made quite an impact! Both Beth and Ryan are trapped, almost, because of where they come from and in Dare You To, these barriers are recognized before they come apart. They were wonderfully fleshed out characters who stayed with me even after their story ended. 

I loved Ryan's growth throughout Dare You To. While on the outside, he seemed like Mr. Perfect, it was because he was following the perfectly mapped out life his father had planned for him. While his father was very invested in Ryan and his brother's future, it seemed to be to the point of being controlling. Ryan's brother, Mark, was shunned from the family the minute he did not meet the Perfect-Family criteria and only in the course of the book does Ryan stand up for his brother and go after what he wants. I kept picturing Dan from One Tree Hill as Ryan's father!

I felt Ryan's growth made him ready to be with Beth. Ready to dispel the beliefs in her head that no one is trustworthy and everyone can hurt her- beliefs triggered by very traumatic experiences  He is everything she needs and together, they are so much more. My heart went out to Beth throughout the novel and I was so glad she found Ryan. We also get glimpses of the central characters from Pushing The Limits: Noah, Echo, Isaiah and Rico. Let me just say Isaiah's presence was heart wrenching and haunted me throughout the novel! I'm glad he gets a story of his own in Katie McGarry's upcoming novel! 

Dare You To is told in two points of view, just like in Pushing The Limits and is a sweet, intense and explosive story!

Rating: 4/5 stars


  1. I loved this one too, Pooja! I agree even with Ryan and Beth coming from different backgrounds they were sort of both trapped by circumstances. I was glad they helped each other get free. Wonderful review. :)

    1. Yeah, that's what I like best about this series :D That it has this whole sociocultural element to it!

  2. Somehow, McGarry's characters never quite work for me, and although I liked this marginally more than I liked Pushing the Limits, I still thought it was far from pefect. I'm glad you enjoyed it a bit more.

    1. Haha yeah I remember you mentioning that McGarry's novels weren't for you in another review! I did love it though :)

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  4. I really enjoyed this, especially seeing how complicated Beth was and yes Ryan who appeared perfect but had his own issues. This author can spin a tale that totally captures me, great review!

  5. I think I picked this up at BEA but I know I haven't read the first one. I need to look at it and see when I can squeeze it in!

  6. This one was a great read. 5 Stars without reservation. Definitely outside my usual genre, this one had me reaching back into my memory as I thought about my own teenage years. Nicely done. Thank you, Vine, for offering this read, and thank you, Katie, for a book well-written.

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HI. Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment. :)