Wednesday, May 15, 2013

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

Title: Dare You To
(Pushing the Limits #2)
Author: Katie McGarry
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Expected Pub: May 28, 2013

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes&Noble

My Rating:  ★ ★ ★ ★ 1/2

Goodreads 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....



“Part of me begs to stay – to talk.  Instead, I flee into the dark night. 
 Staying will hurt and running is my only option.”

I fell hard for Noah and Echo in Pushing the Limits, so I was super excited to read Dare You To – not only because I love the author’s writing, but also because I wasn't ready to say goodbye to these characters.  I admit, I wasn’t sure Katie McGarry was going to be able to make me fall in love with Beth like I did with Echo.  Beth is such a tough girl – she’s got a mouth on her, and she’s hard as nails.  And that will be the last time I ever doubt Ms. McGarry.  Learning more about Beth and understanding those less-than-endearing qualities, as well as uncovering what a tremendous person and friend she is, had me just as intrigued with her story as I was with Echo’s.

“By listening, I found a person loyal to those she loves.  
It was the first unedited glimpse into a girl that holds everything inside.”

I really grew to care for Beth and all of the characters in this book.  I adore Isaiah; and, while I had my fears of Beth and Isaiah becoming a couple because I felt they wouldn’t be able to pull themselves out of the life they had if they continued to rely so heavily on each other…. I wasn’t sure how I felt about this Ryan guy insinuating himself into Beth’s life.  Oh, Ryan.  My apologies.  I really like Ryan.  I love that, for appearance’s sake, he’s this perfect guy with a perfect family and even more perfect future; but we all know there’s no such thing as perfect.  The struggles that he has to overcome may seem to pale in comparison to Beth’s issues, but my heart ached for what he was going through.  The bottom line is: while no one is perfect, these two are perfect for each other.  I love them and I will never look at rain again without thinking of an incredible moment they shared. 

I may be athletically challenged, but even I loved the baseball in the story and the way Ryan talked about it.  I learned a lot and it was easy to appreciate how much it meant to him.  There are so many secondary characters to love in this story, with Scott and Ms. Rowe being my absolute favorites.  Every young person needs an adult and a teacher in their lives like these two.  

The author did give me those glimpses of Noah and Echo that I craved, but I was already so engrossed with Ryan and Beth’s story that I was content with their small cameos.  Beth grew on me just as she said Echo grew on her – like moss.  Her humor was my favorite.  And when she escaped P.E. to the locker room, I couldn’t help but relate and remember my own worst nightmare when our male P.E. coach was replaced with a female coach and I couldn’t claim these excuses every other week:  

“I turn on my heel and head to the locker room.  I’ll claim cramps and blood and periods and tampons and keep saying words like menstruation until the teacher lets me out of class.”

There were a lot of funny moments, but there was plenty of heartbreak as well; and I hurt for the characters.  I especially hurt for Isaiah, but I'm practically giddy over the news that Isaiah will get his own story in Crash Into You, coming soon.  I know Katie McGarry is going to make it worth the wait!  

“‘I need you.’
‘I'm here.’
And we sit in silence.” 

I received a copy of this book (thank you, Harlequin Teen) in exchange for my honest review. 
Note:  The quotes included in this review are taken from the ARC and are subject to change.