Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Book Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Summary (from Goodreads): 

"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....

This book was kinda like meeting your best friend for the first time.  
Slow at the start, but then *BAM* a beautiful friendship forms. The book started a bit slow, but then becomes *BAM* a beautiful, heart-tugging read.

McGarry does it again. It is nice to see a story with the roles reversed though. We see so many stories about the good girl and the bad-boy (not complaining because I love those too). But this was a nice change up. 

Ryan is the town's golden boy, while Beth is seen as the misfit and rebel. 
Beth gives off this real tough attitude (plus she cusses like a sailor). 
Beth having to move in with her uncle and his wife, along with the dare Ryan made to get a date with Beth -- keeps them crossing paths and slowly forming feelings.

But things are not always what they seem and in true McGarry fashion these characters are dealing with A LOT. 

"I love Isaiah's safety and I love his calm..."

My first problem?
I love, love Isaiah.
And his tattoos.
He does make an appearance in this book. How could he not make an appearance in Beth's story after PTL? And I love their friendship and how he takes care of Beth. So I wasn't so sure about this Ryan guy and his relationship slowly forming with Beth.

"He does the one thing I hoped for and dreaded: his hand tangles with mine..."

But trust me, Ryan will grow on you. And he ends up being a real classy guy. Even with the dare going, he can be quite charming. Beth and Ryan are so different, but well-matched.

McGarry has an awesome talent of making the characters pain feel real. That was certainly true in PTL, and the same is true here. And that is what makes Beth so relatable. She may come of mean and cold. But you can relate to her pain. And understand her loyalty to her mom. Beth is such a complex and layered character. The romance was great, but seeing Beth grow, struggle, learn, break, lose, gain and just deal was the best part of this novel. She faces so much, but her strength shines through -- rough around the edges or not, she is strong.   

"She has been running from me from the moment I met her."

Other things I love:
--Beth's relationship with her Uncle -- I would get angry some, but ultimately loved his role.
--Baseball -- any story with baseball is good in my book.
--Ryan's jeep -- I want a jeep so bad. And muddin' sounds amazing.
--Lacy -- she goes into the awesome friend category.

Wanted More:
--Echo and Noah -- they appear some, but not lots.
--Beth's relationship with Alison to be expanded on 

This is a beautiful story that forces two characters to face their past and embrace their futures. It is about realizing that we cannot harp on the choices of others, but ultimately we are responsible for our own lives.

Copy provided by Harleqiun Teen via NetGalley for an honest review. 

1 comment:

  1. Amazing review. Entertaining and honest. And I loved your end thoughts - Definitely makes me want to read it even more.

    I still need to read Pushing the Limits - have it on le kindle. Hope to get to it soon.

    Can't wait till this comes out. Sounds so good and I love the cover, too.

    Thanks for sharing! :)

    Jennifer @ Dream Reads