Saturday, June 29, 2013

Book Shelf: Dare You To (Pushing the Limits #2) by Katie McGarry

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....

More info on Goodreads....


Dare You To is the sensational follow up to Kate McGarry’s debut novel Pushing The Limits and is as good as, if not better than its predecessor. Filled with nothing but pure emotion, desire and harsh, raw characters, Dare You To will made you feel and feel everything!

Kate McGarry is a literacy genius! Plain and simple. With a talent for creating real, believable characters that are easy to empathize with and with a talent for creating storylines that draw you in and never let you go, my goodness does this woman know how to break my heart!

It’s a beautiful thing to read a book like Dare You To. And a very rare thing too. In a time where one YA book flows into the next and storylines seem so similar, there’s something so spectacular about discovering a book, and series, that can rip you apart in its emotion. From start to finish, Beth’s story made me bleed. That’s the only way to describe it. Thanks in part to Pushing The Limit, I felt I already knew what kind of life Beth had, but as the events of this Dare You To unfolded, it became clear that things were worse than I expected.

Kate McGarry ripped every possible emotion from as I read this book. Told in dual POV, McGarry details the lives of Beth Risk and Ryan Stone, the skater girl and golden boy. Two very unexpected young lovers who connect so deeply, that every moment of their story held me captivated—in fact, I tore through the book in less than a day. One of the shining aspects of this book for me is that Kate McGarry in no way shys away from the harsh critical aspects of Beth’s life. She explores the impacts drugs can have on the relationship between mother and daughter, where the roles are reversed and the one meant to be doing the protecting is in need of protection themselves. When a sad individual needs their child to protect them, and deal with the beatings/and consequenses, simply because they aren’t strong eough to deal with it themselves. This is real. This is something I don’t doubt people deal with every day and McGarry makes you face it in Dare You To. And she makes you see.

As with the previous book, the characters in Dare You To were perfect. They were real and believable and incredible to read about. McGarry has created a great cast of characters in this series, all so different, all so flawed and yet that work together. Each one from Beth and Ryan to their friends Noah, Isaiah, Chris, Logan and Lacy, to the parental figures of Beth’s uncle Scott and Ryans mum and dad….they gave the book an authenticity that it really needed.

As the male lead Ryan is a fantastic character. He’s got a real personality, unlike many golden boys of YA literature and he’s actually quite strong in himself. He obviously has his issues, but together with Beth he begins to deal with them as he falls for the rough-around-the-edges skater girl who’s so much for than she seems. And speaking of…..

Beth. Beth Risk. Stop me if I’m wrong, but to me, Beth is one of the most incredibly portrayed characters I’ve read about. Ever. Beth is broken. That’s the only way I can put it. It’s very rare to come across a character so incredibly broken, and yet is unconditionally real. I know girls like Beth. I’ve never been one, but I’ve seen them. Girls from broken homes, where alcoholism and drugs run rampant. Girls who are labeled because of the bad choices they’ve made regarding boys and relationships….all in an effect to be loved. And feel loved. Yes. I liked Beth. Yes. I felt for her. Yes… heart bled for this girl as I read Dare You To. Kate McGarry has done a beautiful thing in writing Beth. Writing someone so flawed and afraid, and rightly so. The pain of a life lived like Bath could break anyone, so that’s way seeing things begin to slowly get better; seeing Beth start to trust, and love, felt so rewarding.

And as for Beth and Ryan together, well….I’ll be honest, when I heard that Beth wasn’t going to be paired with Isaiah, I was a little bit surprised. And disappointed. But you know what? After reading this book…I get it. I get it. I completely understand why McGarry wrote the series the way she did. Isaiah was…is Beth’s best friend, and they have a very deep connection. He was always there for her; the one she turned to when life was hard. He may have helped make the pain go away from a while, but he never fixed it. Being with him didn’t make the pain go away for Beth. Only Ryan, as surprising as it sounds, could do that. The love he had for her and the way he felt about her was the only thing that could make her feel worthy, that could make her feel good enough.

In all honestly I’m not sure my review does this book justice. Dare You To is perfect. It really is. There’s so much raw emotion and pain that litters the pages, and yet as the story unfolds and Kate McGarry allows her characters to find strength and happiness in one another, this book couldn’t be more of a pleasure to read.

Dare You To is an incredible deep, emotional read, yet fun and romantic too. The chemistry between the main characters burns and the story is electric. This is one contemporary romance you’ll regret missing out on. Trust me…..

Source: Sent for review by HarlequinTEEN Australia (Thank you Polina!)
Format: Paperback ARC
Buy it: Booktopia | The Nile | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Recommendation: Read it! This is a sensational read and if you like contemporary, then this is for you!
Cover: It's pretty awesome.
Will I read sequel/continue with series: YES!!!!


  1. I thought it was really surprising when Beth wasn't paired up with Isiah as well! When the blurb for Dare You To first got revealed, it was like WHO IS THIS RYAN?? But when I read the book, Ryan and Beth worked so well together! I absolutely loved the book too :)
    Great review! (Don't worry, it definitely did the book justice)

  2. This book . . . it TOTALLY beat my love for Pushing the Limits. I just loved it so much! Never wanted it to end really hehe. Anyway, great review!


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