Title: Dare You To (Pushing The Limits #2)
Author: Katie McGarry
Published: May 28th 2013 by Harlequin Teen
Source: ARC courtesy of the publisher and finished copy (purchased)
"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...."
First line: "I'm not interested in second place."g
Thoughts: One of the true tests of a fabulous writer is how their sophomore novel compares to their debut. Will it be just as good or will it disappoint? I can say, without a single doubt in my mind, DARE YOU TO is twice as good as PUSHING THE LIMITS (if that's even possible). How many late nights did I spend rereading my favorite scenes or hugging the book and wanting to reach out to both Beth and Ryan and sometimes even Scott? Plenty, my friends. PLENTY!
Like McGarry's debut novel, DARE YOU TO is told through two points of views. Remember Beth? If you thought her life was complicated in PUSHING THE LIMITS, wait until you read DARE YOU TO. She finally gets a chance to tell her story, and it's definitely a complicated one. After a bar fight gone wrong, Beth finds herself trapped in her (now rich) uncle's home. How is she suppose to trust this man who abandoned her so many years ago?
After many screaming matches and a bit of blackmail, Beth agrees to give her life in Groveton a try. It's not until she runs into Ryan that she starts opening up. I loved reading about Beth's struggles and hardships. Most girls have to worry about what to wear to school or just fitting in. Not Beth. She could care less about those things. What she does care about most are her family and friends and protecting them from people who mean them harm. If Beth had a middle name, it would be loyalty. Of all things, she's most definitely a fighter, and I truly admired her for that.
The same applies to Ryan. While he didn't grow up with a rough childhood like Beth, he did grow up with a lot of weight on his shoulders. High expectations can often suffocate someone, especially if they're only a teenager. He has goals and wants to reach for the stars, but he also wants to live. Truly live. That's where Beth helps him. They're both so fantastic together. Their banter and wit definitely made this book unputdownable.
Oh, and by the way, you'll get an update on two of our favorite lovers from PUSHING THE LIMITS. Giggidy!
This book is more than just a romance novel. It's about family and overcoming your past. It's about moving on, growing stronger as a person, and learning to lean onto others when you need it most. Honestly, I could go on and on about this book, but you should just check it out for yourself. It's five stars and so much more!
“You're a lot like that bird in the barn. You're so scared that you're going to be caged in forever you can't see the way out. You smack yourself against the wall again and again and again. The door is open, Beth. Stop running in circles and walk out.”
“I hold the bottle out into the rain and watch as the steady flow slowly fills it. When there is enough, enough that Beth can clearly see, I close the bottle and hand it to her.
She raises a skeptical eyebrow, but accepts the bottle.
'It's our rain Beth.'
Her head barely shakes to show her confusion while I rub the back of my neck and search for my courage. 'I told you I loved you in this rain and when you doubt my words, I want you to look at this bottle.'”
“That must be love: when everything else in the world could implode and you wouldn't care as long as you had that one person standing beside you.”