Review–Dare You To (Pushing the Limits #2) by Katie McGarry

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Dare You To (Pushing the Limits #2)
 
by Katie McGarry
 
Summary: 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....


Source: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Review:

  4%2520star  

Katie McGarry has an amazing ability to make me care about characters I never thought I’d like. I was so not a fan of Beth in Pushing the Limits, so the last thing I wanted to do was read about her. And a baseball jock? Yuck. Wasn’t she was Isaiah in the first place? Why did I request this book?! But as soon as I began, I was completely intrigued and quickly immersed in the story. Next thing I knew, I’m reading on the edge of my seat (literally). I couldn’t put Dare You To down.

Beth was such a complex character with many layers. And in a ton of different ways, so was Ryan. Both characters were these people walking around looking a certain way on the outside with different inner personalities churning on the inside. They both challenged each other to be better people, which is essentially what made them work.

Dare You To was a completely different romance than Pushing the Limits, which I loved. Pushing the Limits was more about loving someone in spite of their scars, both physical and emotional, while Dare You To was about loving someone who challenges you to be better. Both characters had an easy life that didn’t really require too much emotional investment, even though their lives were difficult. Together, however, they broke all the rules and challenged themselves and everyone around them. For two people who were so different, they were very much the same.

I absolutely loved Ryan’s point of view. I loved his character, which surprised me because I typically hate narrations by sports enthusiasts. But Katie McGarry actually got me to appreciate baseball through Ryan’s character. His love of the game was a part of his soul without being cheesy or that over the top sport inspirational kind of way. I don’t know how she can write the male POV so well without being cliché, but she manages flawlessly.

I loved Beth, even though she got on my nerves frequently. Her actions made sense according to her history and the things she was dealing with, but I was aggravated because I just wanted her to let go. It took her ages to recognize the poison in her own life, but I actually appreciated the length of time it took her in the end because real people don’t typically have quick revelations about their own lives, either.

I highly recommend Dare You To. It’s a wonderful contemporary YA. It’s a little more risqué than Pushing the Limits, but I thought it worked because Beth was that kind of person. There were tons of F***s thrown around, a lot parental issues, a little bit of mature themes, but Beth was dealing with all of those things, so it made sense. I suppose Dare You To is less appropriate for younger audiences than Pushing the Limits, though. I will definitely continue the series and have Crash Into You on my wish list!


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