Monday, July 29, 2013

Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Hi all!

The second book in a great contemporary YA series!




Author: Katie McGarry
Title: Dare You To
Series: Pushing the Limits #2
Release date: 7th of June 2013
Published by: Harlequin (UK) Ltd
Imprint: Mira Ink
Reading level: FICTION – JUVENILE: Contemporary, YA
Pages: 456 in Paperback format
Source: Bought for the Bookdepository

Summary:

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....

Review:

I’ve been looking forward to this book as soon as I finished the first one from the series and, luckily, I wasn’t disappointed in the follow-up with a new troubled couple to root for.

As with the first one, this book was about conflict and solving or at least easing the issues that made going on difficult. Most characters in this story had various issues on different levels of seriousness. It seemed that everyone had something to hide, something that brought pain, a dark past, etc, and while that can be depressing and frustrating to read about, there were enough “positive” characters to keep the balance. Plus, it was nice meeting up with the already familiar ones for the previous book.

I have to admit that after reading the preview I had a completely different idea on where the story would be heading compared to what I ended up reading about. I expected to see more of Beth’s life in the context of her initial troublesome foster home with Isaiah and Noah, but the actual plot went to a completely other setting – the seemingly perfect small town. And putting Beth in such an environment certainly had me intrigued – how would she cope/behave in such a drastically different place? The contrast between her and the other inhabitants wasn’t as huge after the first glance as expected. Everyone had issues, Beth just wasn’t hiding them or pretending things were perfect. That is also why I wouldn’t tag her and Ryan complete opposites in every way – both were troubled and bent to the extreme according to their tolerance and trying not to snap.

I didn’t feel depressed or angsty while reading this book, even though, it touches upon and deals with many serious issues. This can be viewed as both positive and negative. It’s something I appreciate because I don’t want to be left feeling helpless and depressed when reading about teenagers and YA in general, but at the same time, while the plot and situations were quite hard to stomach at times I knew everything will be more or less solved in the end with a positive outcome – thus, the story was somewhat formulaic and predictable at times. Nevertheless, the book managed to be gripping, exciting and sweet.

Characters:

Beth: I wasn’t really fond if her in the first book. It was clear her background was harsh and she was in trouble and she was trouble for others as well. It took me a while to warm up to her in this book, but she managed to slip into my good graces. As soon as she started to lose the hostile and negative shell she had built around her I started to like her more and more. I’m glad she didn’t give in to Ryan too quickly, he really had to work to win her trust and after she let down her walls, she didn’t turn to mush, but stayed the tough girl she was, but with much softer edges. I also have to mention that everything would have been easier if she had talked to people about what was on her mind without always running first and then facing the consequences, but then again, trust issues are hard to overcome.

Ryan: I found him sweet and charming in a faulty and jock-y sort of way. He was a nice guy in conflict regarding where his loyalties lie and what he actually wants from his future. Even though it might have started out as a bet for him with Beth I never felt any malicious intent from him even a little.

Overall:

A worthy sequel to the first book. A quick read with heavy topics, which fortunately aren’t weighing the plot down too much. And two characters who were easy to root for. Recommend!



4 stars!

LIIS

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