Title: Dare You To (Pushing the Limits #2)
Author: Kate McGarry
Genre: Contemporary romance, YA
My Rating: 4 thumbs up!
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.
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…
The second installment of the Pushing the Limits series even further proves what I said in the previous review of Pushing the Limits. Katie McGarry has definitely improved her writing over the course of this series. It’s so visible. I think this just makes me love these books more, knowing the author isn’t just slamming them out, but actually taking the time to write us a terrific story by improving her skills and correcting her previous error’s.
Dare You To is Beth’s story. Her turn to face her demons and change her life. After a turn of events involving her mother, Beth is dragged out into a country hick town where she plots to find a way back to her mother. Meanwhile, she accidently forms relationship and connections that make what she has to harder (namely Ryan). I was not disappointed with this book at all. It much better than the first book in the series!
This will be one of those reviews where I have lots of good stuff to say and hardly any bad. Again, I loved the distinctive voices. McGarry is an absolute pro at multiple perspectives. I just have to sit back and admire that I did not have to question once who’s perspective I was reading. Yes, they tell you at the beginning of the chapter whose perspective it is in, but I never had to take any notice.
Improvements I found in Dare You To include the development of both characters. In Pushing the Limits, I felt that Noah wasn’t as developed as he could have been, where-as in Dare You To, I thought that both Beth and Ryan had depth. Beth’s trust issues and Ryan’s parental problems were both demolished and conquered through some tough moments and real character building decisions. Another improvement included that Ryan and Beth’s relationship didn’t split the book in half; it was a gradual thing that eventually sorted itself out towards the end, creating a more enticing read.
I also liked the ending – as with the first book, it has that “non-perfect” ending that is bitter sweet. It’s not happily ever after, but it will do. Katie seems to find a good balance in her endings that leave us satisfied though still has a realistic appeal. Also, I love how Beth’s situation is released slowly and how her turn from scary biker chic to bearable, normal teen is drawn out through the course of the book.
The only thing I wasn’t entirely happy with was the climax and resolution. It wasn’t really surprising nor exciting. It fell a little flat for me. I also didn’t cry in this book, as I did in number 1 and 3.
Other than that, I feel as though Ryan’s and his brother’s relationship could have been built better, and I wish the Beth kept her craziness a little more, but I’m just being picky now. It was a great book and I have hardly any negatives to throw out. Overall Katie McGarry does not disappoint and I can’t wait for the next book to be released!