Saturday, February 23, 2013

Book Review: Dare You To (Pushing the Limits #2)

Dare You To (Pushing the Limits #2)
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....

(Description & Cover from Goodreads. Source.)
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: May 28, 2013

Kat's Review

It's no secret that I loved Pushing the Limits, the first book with Echo and Noah as the main characters, so I was really excited to have the chance to review this book as well.  I liked Beth's character in Pushing the Limits, and was looking forward to seeing her story evolve.  I have to admit, I was a bit confused when I read the synopsis and found that the book wasn't about Beth and Isaiah. They were so close in the first one, and Isaiah made no secret of his feelings for her.  After reading Dare You To though, I'm happy that the author took the book in a different direction, including moving Beth to a different setting.  I don't think her character would have been able to grow in the same ways if she had remained living in the same place, surrounded by the same people. 

The other main character, Ryan, took a while to grow on me.  I found his "I don't lose" attitude a bit much at first, but as the book progressed and his own insecurities and fears started surfacing, I began to like him more and more.  He was loyal to his friends and confused about how to deal with an issue that was tearing his family apart.  What I particularly found great about his character (SPOILER ALERT) was that McGarry wrote him as a guy's guy, a great athlete, attractive and popular with girls, but also a virgin.  LOVE THAT.  Losing his virginity was a big deal.  This did not make him less masculine, or less attractive, and that was really nice to see.  I also liked the way she included the conversation about sex between Ryan and his friend.  Honest, but not cheesy or overly sentimental. 

I could identify with both Beth and Ryan.  I spent my childhood in a very small town, bordered by farmland, and then moved to a big city in my teens.  I've lived both lifestyles, and could identify with both perspectives, the big city one where almost nothing is shocking, and the small town one where everyone knows everything.  It was fascinating to watch those two worlds collide in this book. 

About Isaiah.  Sigh.  His relationship with Beth was as complicated and fascinating as ever.  The way he protects and looks out for her, while setting himself up to be hurt was heartbreaking, but it was a relationship that needed to be explored, not just disappear once Beth moved away.  I am so looking forward to reading his story! 

Rating: A Good Read

This was a great book.  Grittier than the first, perhaps, but realistic in so many ways.  The way that Beth stays devoted to her mom and dedicated to saving her from herself was painful to read.  McGarry attacks the cycle of abuse head-on, and that's something to be respected.  If you liked Pushing the Limits, I think you'll really enjoy Dare You To.

I was provided a complimentary ebook copy of this title in return for an honest, unbiased review.

Buy:       Amazon US  ] Amazon Canada           


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