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[Book Review] - Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Title: Dare You To
   Author: Katie McGarry
   Series: #2 - Pushing the Limits
   Format: Hardcover
   Release Date: May 28th, 2013
   My Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0

     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....

My Review:

    Dare You To was one of the hardest books to finish. Not that it was bad, but the feels in this book are just that intense. Ryan and Beth were so troubled and had their own set of issues that could be catalogued and carded away into a file. I love how McGarry created the world and the character growth with these two. It was just something so awe inspiring and found by the end of the book I was rooting for the characters and I was so invested without realizing it.

     I will start with the obvious character, Beth. She's been through a lot more than what any person will ever be through. She is a pothead and while that changes in the novel, it doesn't make her less believable; it's just more of an outlet for her pain and agony. Further, she doesn't trust anyone or anything to the point she runs constantly. The fact she runs and returns to her cracked out and delusional mother is a bit aggravating, but I think anyone would at that age. They want to return and feel something they are familiar with or an environment they're comfortable in. However, the difference is Beth feels she needs to save her mother, at what age do you get the feeling you're your parents responsibility?

     Ryan is the mere opposite, I find that I enjoy him and most of any reactions with his friends. While the world isn't perfect, Ryan's parents show that wholeheartedly. They are the townies who focus completely on appearances, so much that when Ryan's brothers comes out (as being gay) they shun him and frankly run him out, disowning him nearly completely. Being a baseball player, Ryan isn't nearly the complete jock you'd think him to be. Frankly some of his attributes (being a virgin and enjoying writing) play into the roll, he is cocky, he does have an ego of sorts, but when Beth steps in those get checked and he puts her first.

     The part that made this book the best wasn't the whole twisted weird Triangle that started to go on. You had a second character to Beth, Isaiah. First he grew up with her, he knows everything about her and while he's got tattoos and doesn't appear gentlemanly, you can tell he adores Beth. Its almost like they are in a relationship but Beth doesn't want to admit it. When Ryan enters the picture that puts Isaiah in a place he never thought he'd be. I enjoyed Isaiah, but what made the story great, was when the time came to make a choice when Isaiah forced her to, she didn't stutter she thought about it, because here's your best friend and a guy you love who do you choose? But she made a choice, she didn't go with both or take neither, which is refreshing in YA books nowadays. I want more girls who are independent like Beth!

     I love the romance between the two. The whole story is a complete growth with how the two deal with their issues. The two compliment each other perfectly, and while I would love to say one negative thing about this book, I just can't. Beth and Ryan fought for each other, while some of it may not have been the prettiest, but when you are down and willing to fully fight for each other that's when the story gets great. I love how authentic they are, Pushing the Limits weren't completely authentic, but this novel just took that notion and took it to the next level.
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