Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Dare You To by Katie McGarry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Published May 28, 2013

 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...

     "Living is like being chained at the bottom of a shallow pond with my eyes open and no air. I can see distorted images of happiness and light, even hear muffled laughter, but everything is out of my reach as I lay in suffocating agony. If death is the opposite of living then I hope death is like floating." 

I usually don't like books that are more "mature" than the Young Adult genre. I know, coming from someone with teens of her own, it seems pretty crazy. I really prefer clean books without f-words, a lot of sexual situations, drugs, alcohol... etc. But this series has captured my heart. Honestly, Dare You to is better than Pushing the Limits, in my opinion.

Beth seemed to be dealing with a lot of demons in Pushing the Limits and I was right. I have always thought the people who come across as hard core, intimidating, and rough are the ones with the least amount of self-esteem and confidence. They try to appear unmoved by everyone around them, when in reality they are affected by their environment and what people think. Beth was all those things.

Ryan was putting up defenses the opposite way. He was appearing to be the perfect son, pitcher, student and social status when in reality it was all falling apart around him, especially his home and family. In real life there are so many parents so concerned at what everyone will think of their family and name, they will do anything to cover up all the secrets and real problems at home. Ryan was a good example of this. He struggled to stand up to his peers, and parents just to be himself.

I have to give it to Katie McGarry, she can take the most messed up people and make them work. Crazy kids, drug addicts, gang members, high society, family break-ups etc. and not only get them together, but make it beautiful. So much so, I almost read it all in one sitting!

I can't wait to read the next installment and learn more about Issac. He broke my heart in Dare You to, but I honestly didn't think he and Beth were good for each other. Their common thread was doing drugs to forget about life and their problems, they needed someone who would bring them out of that.

Like I said before, this book is a more Mature YA, or even a New Adult. Language, sexual situations, abuse, drug and alcohol use were throughout the book.

Thanks to Harlequin for allowing me to read an advance e-ARC via Netgalley.

View all my reviews


  1. Loved this book. I agree with you on the content. I normally dont like to read YA with language but it seems to becoming more more common now. Thanks for posting your review. I enjoyed reading what you think of Dare You To.

    Brenna @ Two-Tall-Tales

  2. I have seen SO many glowing reviews for this. I haven't read Pushing the Limits yet so I'm thinking I need to get a move on with this series! =)


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