Thursday, January 9, 2014

Review: Dare You To

Dare You To
Katie McGarry
Contemporary Young Adult
Pushing the Limits/2
Harlequin Teen/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....

After reading and loving Pushing the Limits, I was looking forward to the next in Ms. McGarry's emotionally charged Young Adult series.  While Dare You To didn't have as strong of an impact that Pushing the Limits had, it is still a worthwhile addition to the series.

It all started with a dare.  And while some things that start with a dare don't always end well, for Ryan and Beth, the dare was only the beginning of what would prove to be a very exciting, emotional roller coaster ride.

Beth Risk had to grow up too young and too fast.  In her relationship with her mother, Beth is the parental figure while her mother is irresponsible and immature.  Beth continues to keep her mother out of trouble but this places Beth in right trouble's path.  I couldn't help but feel sorry for Beth. Her attitude could use some adjusting but she uses her rebellious teen attitude as a shield to protect her from the world of disappointment she has experienced.

Ryan Stone is the all American teenager.  Good grades, lots of friends, baseball star - yes, he has it all.  But he wants something more, something different.  He is intelligent but hides it behind his jock persona.  Ryan is mature, willing to see beyond Beth's bad girl image to the real girl behind the attitude.  I liked how the conflict between Ryan's dreams and his father's dreams for him are shown and resolved.

For Beth and Ryan, the chance meeting that turns to friendship then romance, acts as a catalyst for major changes in each others' lives.  They are both able to see the potential in one another and provide encouragement towards reaching for something they each thought was unattainable.

Rating: B+

Pushing the Limits Series ~

Pushing the Limits
Crossing the Line (novella)
Dare You To
Crash Into You
Take Me On (May 20, 2014)


  1. Thank you for this review! I read this then picked up the books and I've loved them so far. :)

  2. Sounds like a good book! I should give this author a try since she was so popular last year!

  3. Tracy ~ So glad you're liking them. The third book (Crash Into You, review coming soon) is very good too!

    Nath ~ Yes, definitely giver her a try. I think you'll like her. :)