Publisher: Mira Ink
Release: June 7th 2013
Genre: New Adult, Mature YA, Contemporary, Romance
Source: Received from the publishers in exchange for an honest review
"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...."
I am a huge fan of Katie McGarry’s debut novel Pushing the Limits so I was hugely excited to read this companion novel following Beth’s story - who was a secondary character in Pushing the Limits. I have to say that as excited as I was for this book I was also a little apprehensive as I wasn’t Beth’s biggest fan in Pushing the Limits and always pictured her ending up with her best friend Isaiah so I wasn’t sure how I would feel about a book from her point of view and a romance with anyone but Isaiah. However I’m pleased to say that Katie McGarry pulled off another gritty and romantic novel!
Dare You To follows a very similar formula to Pushing the Limits. Beth and Ryan both have terrible home lives and diabolical parents. Beth’s mother is a drunk who puts her relationship with an abusive man above her own daughter and Beth is always looking after her when it should be the other way around. Ryan comes from a family that looks perfect on the outside but on the inside they’re falling apart after his homophobic dad kicked out his brother for being gay. His mum and dad sleep in separate rooms and his dad puts a huge amount of pressure on Ryan to live out the dreams he had as a boy. Although both families are very different they were both just as bad as each other and I felt terrible for Ryan and Beth.
I loved Ryan as a character straight away and only grew to love him more as the book went on he’s a genuinely nice guy but he also has a little bit of an edge, which I enjoyed. Although my heart broke at times for Isaiah in this book there is no denying that Ryan is Beth’s perfect match as he challenges her and pulls the goodness out of her. Ryan is exactly what Beth needs as he provides stability and security in her chaotic life. The way Ryan makes Beth feel so special and loved melted my heart; he tames the wild hurricane of Beth’s emotions into a soft and gentle rain.
I found that it took me a little longer to warm towards Beth. She has a tough, hardened exterior and she can be a real pain in the ass. But as the book goes on you see glimpses of the fragile, frightened girl underneath and you soon come to realise it’s all a front she uses to protect herself. Underneath it all Beth has a heart of gold and is incredibly loyal to those she loves. I loved following her journey as she grows as a character and learns to trust and put faith in other people.
Although I didn’t love Dare You To as much as Pushing the Limits and didn’t find Beth and Ryan’s story to be as emotionally compelling as Echo and Noah’s it was still an excellent read in its own right. My only complaint is that although Echo and Noah do feature in this book there wasn’t as much of a catch-up with them as I expected there to be, I really would have liked to have seen a little bit more from them. Overall Dare You To was another gripping novel from Katie McGarry about daring yourself to be a better, braver you and to go for what you want and not take no for an answer, even if saying yes scares you more than anything. I can’t wait for Isaiah’s story in Crash Into You, Katie McGarry is fast becoming one of my must read authors.