Thursday, June 20, 2013

Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Dare You To by Katie McGarry
Release Date:
May 28, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: Publisher


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

Here's How to Buy the Book! 


  1. I've been so on the fence with this series despite all the positive reviews because I've never been truly convinced that it's for me as I'm not big on romance and I'm not big on issue stories. But I can't deny that this romance sounds pretty fantastic. And I know I would be so impressed with the characterization. So I really would like to give this a go sometime. Great job with this review!

  2. I really enjoyed PTL so I'm looking forward to reading this one. So far most of the reviews I've read have preferred PTL over this one, so I loved reading your take on it. :)

  3. Your review is spot on! I felt the same way about Beth in Pushing the Limits so I approached this book with a little trepidation and was surprised to find I loved it. I agree that this is a better book than Pushing the Limits (though I did like that one) and I am looking forward to Isaiah's story though I have a feeling this will be my favorite.

  4. Romance is most definitely Katie McGarry's forte. She can write steam with two characters who really connect on multiple levels. LOVE!

  5. "dislike with a side of physical attraction." Well said! Great review. I agree, this one is gonna fly off my shelves.

  6. Yay, yay, yay, yay Alison! I'm so glad you loved this one and gave Beth another chance even though you didn't care for Pushing the Limits as much as some. I just loved her with Ryan, and I agree completely that Katie has a gift at writing characters who feel real. They're grittier than most and that's something I really like about them. Beautiful review!

  7. I'm glad you liked Dare You To. I loved it, but I do prefer Pushing the Limits. I just loved Noah and Echo so much. I cannot wait for Isaiah's story this fall. Seriously cannot wait.

  8. I think McGarry is amazing at writing this genre. It could come off as cliche and I've honestly read this kind of story 100 times but she always puts an edgy/honest spin on it.

    I did like PtL a bit more but I loved this one too.

  9. Ohh! I'm so happy that you enjoyed this one more than the first book! It was a little hard to relate to Beth in the beginning, but I really liked her growth throughout the book!

    Great review!
    Tabitha @ Tabitha's Book Blog

  10. Edgy romance is my thing. I like boys that are dark, broody and challenging. I plan on reading this soon! Thanks for sharing your great review.

  11. I didn't like Beth in Pushing the Limits either but after I read the excerpt for Dare to You at the back of the book I quickly grew interested. I am happy that her "love interest" isn't Isaiah. He wasn't a bad guy but I couldn't buy him and Beth as anymore than friends.

  12. I ended up reading this before Pushing the Limits or Crossing the Line. Now that I've read the other two, I kinda want to reread this one and see the inside references....
    Mei @ Diary of a Fair Weather Diver

  13. I agree with the steamy hot. I loved beth in this one and can't wait for Isaiah to get his happy

  14. I'm glad you enjoyed this one much more because I thought it was a great read. I'm sorry to hear you didn't enjoy Pushing the Limits as much because it was a fabulous series and I'm looking forward to more.

    Great review! :)

  15. Ohh, bad girl and good guy? Already my interest is piqued just from this quick inversion. I haven't read any of McGarry's books yet but I hear about them pretty often. If only there were more time in life....! >_<

  16. I agree with you that Dare You To was better than Pushing the Limits. I just enjoyed the story more because I didn't get along with Echo in the first book but I loved both Beth and Ryan in this story.

    I can't wait for the third book. Thanks for the great review! I'm so glad you enjoyed the story. :)

  17. Can't wait to read this one! I got it all geared up to read on my Nook. I thought for sure that I would hate Pushing the Limits because it just sounded so cliche, but I got sucked into the story and loved the characters. I think I'll love this one too.

  18. This second book worked a lot better for me than PTL-I loved Ryan and Beth's story more and clicked with their clashing personalities and conflicts. I love the "sweet" boy chases tough girl trope.


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