Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Dare You To by Katie McGarry

dareIf 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:

I should start by saying I read Pushing the Limits out of sheer curiosity. The cover art was everywhere I went online for weeks. The blurb didn’t catch me, but after seeing the cover 9 trillion times I gave in and downloaded it. I loved it. Like really loved it. I bought copies for my kids’ babysitters and started following Katie on twitter. The book seemed to stand alone, so when I heard there was a sequel, I started looking for news on it periodicly.  The cover is so hot. I shared it on twitter. Then, I found the ARC available through NetGalley and nearly wet my pants when I was approved to read it. I literally squueeeed.

I devoured this book. I loved it even more than the first one. Right? Who does that? Katie did it. She drew me in to a character I didn’t think twice about in Pushing the Limits. Beth is my new favorite character ever. Like ever. She’s a hot mess. Awful. And Katie slowly peels away the layers until the reader sees how raw she is, what life’s done to her, what her heart goes through – continually. I was broken on her behalf. I groaned when she made poor choices after having good ones available because I “got” that bad choices were what she understood. The “safe” was the frightening unknown to her. OMG. Just. Wow.

Beth’s relationship with Isaiah was turbulent, but strong. It was hard to see his heart broken because he is essentially as lost as she was when the story began. We knew he loved her in Pushing the Limits. I hope Katie is telling his story next because I want so much to see him find something real.

For someone as adrift as Beth, Katie delivered the perfect hero. (I don’t mean her uncle here, though again, OMG she nailed it with him. He was amazing. Perfect. Loved). Katie introduces Ryan, the most steadfast teen I’ve ever read. He’s confident, even when he’s not. He takes chances, stands his ground and leads. He is precisely perfect for Beth. He anchors her and we can see her closed off heart unfurling as she dares to dream of something more than she has before.

The banter is fresh and fun. The romance is hawt. The story is real. I love this. I plan to buy copies for my home and the YA readers in my life. This is a must read book for anyone who loves an amazing story. Thank you Katie. Again.

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