Release Date: May 28, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
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.... (courtesy of Goodreads.)
Do you like hot, edgy romance? Do you like reading about characters who seem unlikable yet lovable at the same time? Do you like books featuring good friends and good family as well as bad friends and bad family? If so, you'll love Dare You To.
I read Katie's first book Pushing The Limits last summer when I was on vacation. As much as I wanted to read Pushing The Limits, there were a lot of other things I wanted to do and my enjoyment of Pushing The Limits suffered for it. It wasn't that I didn't like Pushing The Limits; I just didn't love it as much as everyone else.
Dare You To caught me immediately. It's an oft told story. Bad girl attracted to good boy. Well, good girl attracted to bad boy is more common, but the opposite isn't unheard of.
Ryan is a star baseball player with a hidden intellectual side. He's the type of guy that everyone likes. Funny, genuine, easy-going. He has a great group of loyal friends. Even though he's in the "popular" group, he doesn't take part in the stereotypical meanness of that clique. And when it occurs, he's blissfully unaware. This oversight is perhaps a fault of his, but Ryan spent his life with perfect friends, perfect family, perfect athletic ability, etc that he looks for the good not the bad. All that has changed now that his family is falling apart. Suddenly his dad's obsessiveness over his baseball seems more selfish than helpful. And his mom's fixation on social committees and local politics looks shallow and fake.
Enter Beth, who is many things but fake is not one of them. She's in your face, aggressive, angry. She will tell you what she's thinking, not what you want to hear. Beth has been hurt so many times that she's built a defensive wall. No one other than her best friends Isaiah and Noah can get in and even for them, there's a limit. Beth seemed like an awful person in Pushing The Limits - but Noah and Isaiah were so devoted to her that I had to believe there was more to her. And there is. She is devoted to her drug-addled mother even when her mom disappoints her again and again. Beth blames herself for her mother's problems, for not being able to protect her.
Romance is Katie McGarry's forte and Dare You To is steamy hot. I was pleased that it was not an insta-love situation. It's not even insta-chemistry. Both Ryan and Beth are scornful after their first meeting. Eventually they settle into dislike with a side of physical attraction. Their relationship grows stronger as they each sort of trick the other into trusting them. It feels a little odd, but works amazingly well. Things heat up pretty soon after that. They have a desperate passion. They need each other. The romance gets your heart going and also fills you with joy because you know that as Ryan and Beth grow closer, they make each other better.
I highly recommend Dare You To. I flew through it in a day. Katie did a wonderful job in creating fully fledged characters who felt real. She took difficult personalities and made them likable. Dare You To is superior to Pushing The Limits. I can't wait to see what she does with Isaiah's story.
Rating: 4.5 / 5
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