Monday, January 14, 2013Dare You To by Katie McGarry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
So... to be completely honest, after Pushing the Limits, I wasn't a huge fan of Beth, so when I heard that this book was going to revolve around her story, I was kinda meh about it. But then.. the blurb came out and I'm a sucker for a wrong side of the tracks meets the right side of the tracks kind of story.
After reading this book, I might just have to admit that I love Beth and Ryan more than I loved Noah and Echo. (ALSO just wanted to note that this really was more a companion book than a series book ... just an FYI)
I know, it's unimaginable but yet... it's true.
Ryan is the golden boy of Groveton, star baseball player, popular and smart. But he and his family have secrets that could ruin eveything if the small town gossip ever got a hold of it. The only thing that keeps him going are his friends and the crazy dares they do, and when we first meet him, he's determined to win, which means he has to get Beth's name and number.
You remember Beth right? She's black hair, piercings, tattoos and ripped clothes. Not exactly approachable... and most likely not Ryan's type.
She's small. Smaller than I expected. That attitude is so big I hadn't noticed her height or size.
Beth's life hasn't ever been easy. Over the years, she's realized the only people she can count on are Isiah and Noah, and since Noah met Echo, him even less. But Isiah has been her rock, everything she needs and counts on.
When she's forced to leave Louisville and Noah and Isiah behind to live with her uncle, she's determined to find a way back. Not only to them, but to her mom.
Ending up in Groveton, she's living with an uncle who never came back for her, an aunt who hates her, and attending a school that would never understand her past is the last thing she wanted to do. But Beth quickly finds herself reuniting with a best friend she didn't realize she missed and making new friends. Yet she still can't let go of the desire to protect and save her mom. Even when her mom doesn't really want to be saved.
Like I said above, Ryan's family isn't as perfect as it appears either. He struggles to understand his father, and keep his parents happy. They've sacrificed so much for him to be where he is and pushed him to be the best he can be in Baseball and as a pitcher, but is it really his dream to play professionally? Or is it his dad's.
What starts initially as a dare for Ryan eventually becomes more for both of them.
It's an innocent kiss at first. Soft lips meeting; a gentle pressure that creates a slow burn. The type of kiss you give to someone that means something. This isn't the type of kiss to be wasted on me. But still, I prolong it by taking his lower lip into mine and I touch his smooth face.
Beth obviously has trust issues and self-esteem issues. She's spent most of her life being left by the people who were supposed to love her and abused by people she should have been able to trust. The big question is will she be able to move forward and grasp the opportunities she has now in her life and learn to trust and love?
I have to say that I really love the characters that McGarry creates. They practically jump off the page for me, and the characters in Dare You To are just wonderful. From Scott, to Matt, to Isiah to Lacy... I adored them all. And just like in Pushing the Limits, from the very beginning I found my self so angry at some of the adults in these kids lives.
ANGRY - I mean, these parents! UGH!!
I'm crossing my fingers that there is a third book in the works for this that will give us Isiah's story. I couldn't help but feel all the sadness for him, and I need another book just so that Beth and he can work out all the issues and be BFF's again.
Even though this story has a few tiny faults I couldn't mark it anything less than five stars ...
Is is predictable? Yes.
Did I care? NO... not one single bit.
And that's what McGarry's writing will do to you... she'll get you so wrapped up on the lives and stories of her characters that even if I read this plot a billion times I'd be riveted and begging for more. If you're looking for something that will take you on an emotional rollercoaster with great characters who aren't over the top or unbelievable than you definitely need to give a read to Dare You To.
Thank you to Netgalley and Harlequin Teen for the advance copy for an unbiased review.
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