Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Book Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Pages: 462
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
Pub. Date: May 28, 2013
Source: NetGalley
Series: Pushing the Limits (Book #1)
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "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...."
Beth, a secondary character from Pushing the Limits, is the focus of this story.  Readers get to learn more about Beth and why she acts the way she does.  In order to protect her mother from going to jail, Beth covers up for her with the police.  Beth has been covering up for her mother for years and their relationship isn't exactly healthy.  In walks Beth's uncle and former major league baseball player who pretty much rescues Beth from herself.  Even though Beth doesn't want to live with her uncle, he takes her to live in his home and tries to give her a fresh start despite her resistance.  She meets Ryan Stone, a promising pitcher, who is pretty much the opposite of her.  Beth is dark, a skater, rough around the edges and has an extremely tough personality; whereas, Ryan is popular, a jock, and tries to always do the right thing.  Ryan greatly admires Beth's uncle and as a favor, he takes Beth under his wing.  The thing is that Beth and Ryan have met before (it involved a dare on Ryan's part), but it didn't go well, so needless to say, their new found "friendship" should be interesting.   However, neither Beth nor Ryan can deny their attraction to each other though, even though it seems like they are completely different and would never work.  Katie McGarry's Dare You To is a steamy read that truly captures why opposites attract.

Beth isn't a character that I particularly loved in Pushing the Limits, because she drove me nuts with her bad attitude, but she really grew on me in Dare You To.  Since readers got the backstory on her home life, I could better empathize with her and understand where's she coming from.  Her relationship with her mom is a sad one and I was so glad her uncle came back into the picture.  I knew it would be a hard transition for Beth, but it's her best bet for starting over.  

Ryan isn't just a jock that is all about baseball. Initially, readers may think that is the case, but he is multi-faceted.  For starters, his family is harboring a secret about Ryan's brother, his dad is a complete control freak, and Ryan has other dreams, such as writing.  Instead of his dad helping Ryan to be well-rounded and cultivate his interest in writing, he pretty much tells him to focus only on baseball.  So, readers will be interested to learn more about Ryan as he isn't the only one with issues in Dare You To.  And I must say how swoon-worthy he is! Ryan is definitely a dreamy male love interest.

Readers will be happy to see characters return from Pushing the Limits, such as Noah, Echo and Isaiah.  Although they aren't the focus, it's fun to see them pop back up into the storyline.  I know many people will be disappointed that Isaiah isn't Beth's main love interest in Dare You To, but don't fret, because I hear he'll have his own book, Crash Into You, coming out later this year. 

If you love the opposites attract storyline and are a fan of Simone Elkeles, I think you will love Dare You To.  It would be a fantastic book to take along to the beach or pool this summer.


  1. YAY!!! I'm so glad you loved this book too Christina! I originally wasn't the biggest fan of Beth either, but she definitely won me over in this book. I think I just needed to see in her head a bit instead of being on the outside looking in. I cannot wait for Isaiah's book, I so want him to be happy!

  2. Thanks, Jenny! I agree...once I got inside her head, it all made sense. Isaiah's book should be fantastic! Thanks for visiting!

  3. I thought Beth was so frustrating in Pushing the Limits, too, so I was a bit nervous about whether or not I would be able to like her in DYT. But I ended up really caring about her. Katie McGarry is great at making us love her characters, I think.

    Oh yeah, Ryan is totally swoonworthy. And I cannot wait for Crash Into You!

    1. I agree. Katie McGarry is an awesome author and I can't wait to Isaiah's story! Thanks for dropping by, Quinn!

  4. Glad that you found Beth easier to empathize with in DYT - she was definitely a frustrating character in PTL. Love that some of the PTL characters make an appearance, too! I love it when authors bring old characters into their new books :)

    Great review!

  5. Been hearing amazing things about Pushing the Limits and Dare You To! Can't wait to read them! Thanks for sharing your review.

    Maycee Greene (One Way Links)


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