Release Date: May 28th, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Rating: 4 STARS
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....
Dare You To by Katie McGarry is a sexy, emotionally thrilling, and heart wrenching story of Beth Risk and Ryan Stone. Katie McGarry has quickly went to my favorite YA contemporary writers list and she blew me away once again as she did with Pushing the Limits! If you haven't had a chance to read Pushing the Limits, SHOO!! *shoves you out* Read it and love it! Dare You To had a similar general characterization with the bad boy (girl in this case) meets popular, rich girl (boy in this book) who had flaws and shows how looks aren't everything and that everyone can put a facade when needed. McGarry did a fantabulous job displaying these themes clearly yet meshed into the story so it isn't a story just presenting the theme itself.
I will admit that I wasn't a big fan of Beth in Pushing the Limits but in Dare You To, you actually see head on not on the sidelines what exactly she's going through with her horrible mother and even worse her mom's boyfriend, and how her life was before her dad died. She's the heard headed, "never getting anyone close to my heart", "been through way too much" girl who was a blonde, dress, and ribbon when she was younger. The worst yet best part of Beth was that she tolerated her mother and actually took care of her to the best of her abilities. If I was Beth, I wouldn't have even cared if she didn't change after I helped her for the first few times and that may sound horrible but I wouldn't be able to deal with it. Another thing I want to touch on, was Beth's reaction to Isaiah's answer of not taking her mom with them. I don't think she should have overreacted over that and be surprised over his answer because honestly that would've been anyone else's response. Her mother didn't care and I felt that her relationship shouldn't have been that strong especially with one like hers. I get that she's her mom but still. It unnerved me how much she gave her mother credit and excuses.
And then there's the town's golden boy, Ryan Stone. The one with the good grades, friends, family, and the best baseball pitcher. I really liked Ryan's character development throughout the story. It was also a first in reading about a guy who could write and how internally struggled with being a writer or a baseball player. It didn't help that his father is practically against the whole writer business. And while Ryan may seem to have everything, he deals with so many issues that do have a big impact on his life and
Speaking of the romance, they're such an unlikely yet perfect couple!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE how Katie McGarry intertwined their lives together. After reading the first chapter a while back, I was befuddled on how McGarry would show their meetings but I wasn't expecting this to happen but I'm happy it did! They're first encounter is in Taco Bell with Beth being Beth, and Ryan just trying to win the game and it most definitely wasn't love at first sight not lust at first sight. Yes they may have acknowledged that they both were quite good looking but not the I want to jump your bones either. Their relationship was a crazy thing that was a part of a jigsaw puzzle that clicked!
Uncle Scott, Lacey, Chris, and Logan were also great additions to the story and added a bit of everything to the story. Uncle Scott with his parental yet cool uncle instincts who I would've crushed on if he was a bit younger and *coughs* not married. Lacey being the most awesome girl friend to Beth and showing that Beth could be the person she wants to be. Chris just being a perfect boyfriend to Lacey and Logan's crazy, fearless acts that always brought a smile to my face.
Dare You Too is a must read for contemporary readers. It's a story about true friends, family, loyalty, and trust. I was pulled in from the very first page to the very last coming full circle. I can't wait to read Isaiah's story, Crash Into You, and see him get the happily ever after he deserves.