Thursday, June 6, 2013

Review: Dare You To

Dare You To
By Katie McGarry
Published: May 28, 2013

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....

My review:

In Pushing the Limits, Beth was not exactly my favorite character so I was worried that I would not like a book with her as the heroine. I shouldn't have been worried in the end because Katie McGarry turned Beth into a protagonist with unexpected depth that I could care about. 

Beth can come across as a prickly person but she is very loyal and protective of those she loves. She has had a very hard life but her friends Isaiah and Noah give her much needed stability. Unfortunately Beth takes it on herself to protect her druggie mother from her abusive boyfriend. When things come to a head, her uncle Scott steps in and assumes custody of Beth in exchange for keeping her mom out of prison. Beth is understandably angry but she is also hurt because Scott abandoned her when she was a little kid and really needed him to be there for her.

Beth can't stand Ryan from the moment she sets eyes on him. He is her opposite and unlike her he's lived a life of privilege. It doesn't help that she was the object of a dare. Still he persists in trying to get to know her but there are many obstacles in their path including Beth's inability to trust. Ryan and Beth have amazing chemistry but I liked the progression of their relationship and the time it takes to develop and build that trust. I also really appreciated the fact that Ryan is a nice guy. He isn't perfect but he also isn't a bad boy. He is exactly the kind of guy that Beth needs even though on the surface it seems that they are complete opposites. 

While I liked Pushing the Limits, I loved Dare You To. This was partly due to the romance and also to the characters of Beth, Ryan, and even Scott who turned out to be a positive adult character. I really liked seeing Beth's hidden soft side behind the sharp standoffish wall she presented to the rest of the world. I never thought I'd like Beth as a character after the way she is depicted in the previous book but she won me over with her determination and loyalty. It was fun to watch her fall in love with Ryan and to see her finally have a chance for a happy ever after with both the romance and her family relationship with her uncle. 

Fans of Simone Elkeles and Jennifer Echols need to check out this series. I actually prefer this series to the Perfect Chemistry series. The books are a little edgy for teen fiction but they have positive messages and characters you can root for. I am looking forward to Isaiah's story in Crash Into You.

Note: I received an e-ARC for review purposes courtesy of NetGalley

This book completes the New Adult category of the Eclectic Reader Challenge


  1. Great review, Christina! I was also worried about Beth--I wasn't sure I would like her b/c she wasn't my favorite character either, but McGarry did a great job making her grow on me. I ended up really enjoying her story and I really liked the character of Ryan too. I can't wait for Crash Into You!

  2. I liked this book more too as Beth and Ryan were just *so* good together-I especially loved Ryan just because he seemed like such a good guy. Beth's relationship with her mother drove me crazy as I just wanted to step in and protect her and make everything better.

  3. I have heard so many good things about this book lately. A lot of the other reviewers did not like Beth at first either.
    Great review!


  4. The cover reminds me of Simone Elkeles books... looks fantastic!

    If you have time today pop in by, it is my 4 year blogiversary and I am hosting a big giveaway and a fun post :) Would love to see you there.

  5. Glad to hear that Beth was easier to enjoy in this book - she was a bit frustrating at times in PTL!

    Great review :)


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