Sunday, 14 July 2013

Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)Title: Dare You To
Author: Katie McGarry
Publisher: MIRA Ink
Released: May 22nd 2013
Pages: 470 (Kindle)
Buy: Amazon UK / Amazon US
Add on Goodreads

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.

I really enjoyed Pushing the Limits, but not as much as everyone else. Whilst the hype was thick in the contemporary-romance-lovers community, I found that there was just something missing between me and the characters, despite being able to relate to them. At the end of my review, I'd said that I hadn't put Dare You To on my TBR list just yet, as I was undecided about how it would turn out. As it is, I managed to get my hands on an ARC copy and oh my days - I think I'm in love!

The three books in the Pushing the Limits trilogy follow the lives of three misfits: Noah, Beth, and Isaiah. In Dare You To, it was time for Beth's story. Living in her aunt's basement but looking after her mother, Beth is sent to prison as she takes the fall for something she didn't do. She's bailed out on one condition; she goes and lives with her uncle Scott, a man she hasn't seen since he left her with her alcoholic mother and abusive father. Beth's life seems to be going from bad to a whole lot worse, until she meets Ryan. Ryan is the preppy jock and heart of the school; everyone loves him, and Beth cannot for a moment fathom why he would be interested her unless he has an alterior motive. And an alterior motive he does have: to win a dare, he needs to take her out on a date - and Ryan never loses. However, as their game of cat and mouse starts to get interesting, Ryan begins to realise that maybe Beth isn't the person she first seems.

Beth got under my skin in the prequel, and I have to admit that I didn't like her - the reader was made to root for Echo, so Beth's overly-protective nature made it difficult to like her. In this novel, you see life from Beth's point of view, and you begin to love her and feel sorry for all she's endured. She's quite a strong protagonist, and her wit and sarcasm create very funny and readable chapters. The same can be said for Ryan - at first I wasn't so sure, but I grew to adore him just as much, if not more. With these characters, McGarry winds up a story that tells the reader to never judge a book by it's cover, as everything is much more in-depth upon closer inspection.

The odd thing was that I could relate a lot more heavily to Noah and Echo's story, yet I liked Beth and Ryan's more. I've skimmed through a few reviews (avoiding any potential spoilers) and a lot of readers have said that Pushing the Limits is a hard book to live up to, and Dare You To slightly missed the mark. I completely disagree. This series is about a lot of different and difficult stories, and they are each written impeccably - however, as a person with your own individual opinion, you will love and hate different aspects of each story. Personally, I think Dare You To is just as good as Pushing, and I think McGarry did an excellent job in delivering such a high standard of writing yet again. You can gurantee with her books that they will hold depth, a sturdy plot, brilliant characterisation, and a silver lining to every cloud.

I didn't understand the hype with the prequel, but now, I am well and truly involved with this trilogy. McGarry is a brilliant writer, and I think she's going to be a name to look out for over the next coming years in YA fiction. If you're intrigued by the synopsis or loved Pushing the Limits, then get your hands on Dare You To as soon as possible, as it is just as good, if not more.
Rating: 5/5

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