Date of Publication: May 28, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: Personal copy
Source: Personal copy
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 like reading books about social classes and how people adjust to changing levels in society's hierarchy. So when I heard that Katie McGarry was coming out with another book featuring exactly this theme, I was sold. Also, the fact that she is the author of Pushing the Limits and this book is a continuation of that series might have been a contributing factor.
In Pushing the Limits we met Beth Risk, the bad girl. In Dare You To, we get to see more of Beth; who she is and why she is the way she is.
After an incident involving her mother's brute of a boyfriend, Beth is plucked out of her old life and stuck into one of infinite possibilities all courtesy of her long absent uncle, Scott Risk, a now retired MLB player. Starting over in a new school, Beth is forced to face her past and present demons without the help of her friends Noah and Isaiah while at the same time being pestered by the hot and upcoming MLB prospect, Ryan Stone.
Going into this one, I had some really high expectation as Pushing the Limits was amazing! After reading it, I would say that my high expectations were probably among the reasons that kept me from loving this book.
Beth wasn't the tough girl she was made out to be, which many can relate to as we all have put up different personas for the world to see. But, I just couldn't get myself to like her for any long period of time. I found her to be clingy and needy. She basically had two thoughts running through her mind: "I need to leave this amazing life offered to me by Scott" and "Ryan can't love me!" It got to a point where she realized that things could be different and then she shut down the next moment and decided no it really can't. This is probably my biggest problem with the book, she guessed and second guessed herself to a point where it was getting repetitive.
I also had problems with how Isaiah was treated in this book. From what I read of Isaiah and Beth in Pushing the Limits, I was pretty sure they were a done deal. Saying this, I am fine with him not being the male love interest. Yet, I feel that Isaiah was pushed aside by the author to make room for Ryan. Same can be said for Scott. We got little glimpses of Scott and Beth's relationship in the past and I really wanted to see that develop more.
Despite all the negatives, I did enjoy the book for the most part. I enjoyed reading about Beth's past. The suspense literally had me at the edge of my seat. I liked seeing Beth's dedication to her mom, given the situation. Also, I have to give credit where it's due; I love Isaiah and always shall, but Ryan was a great character too. He and Beth fit, and I understand why she chose him. Ryan shed some light into Beth's dark and gloomy world and took her away from her old life.
Overall, it was a good read with some flaws but still enjoyable. It is a companion to Pushing the Limits so we get to see how Noah and Echo are doing too. Can't wait to read the third book about Isaiah.