Author: Katie McGarry
Published: May 28th, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Source: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
"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..."~Goodreads
Katie McGarry has once again proven that I don't, in fact, dislike contemporaries. Actually, when Katie is the author I tend to love them. After waiting almost a year to get my hands on the companion to Pushing The Limits (one of my best books of 2012) I was finally able to sink my teeth into Dare You To, the story of Noah's best friend Beth and her journey as she discovers what it means to be loved. Once again, the author broke my heart only to piece it back together again.
I suppose now it's time to dry my eyes and get to the review, but I have to warn you this is pretty much going to be a gush-fest. That being said I'm not even going to do my usual bulleted format because, guess what, I CAN'T THINK OF ANY DISLIKES. I just loved pretty much everything. I realize this doesn't make for the most interesting review in the world but with writing like this, I don't have much to work with. For some reason Katie McGarry is able to get into the psyche of every type of character and express what they're going through perfectly. Maybe she's a witch, maybe she has an army of brain slugs and she spend her weekends roaming skate parks and malls so she can suck the thoughts out of angsty teens. I don't really care how she does it. Just as long as she keeps it up. Also, if it's the brain slug thing, maybe don't tell anyone.
I didn't think it was possible that I would like this book better than PTL, actually I liked it even more. Beth was so raw and damaged, it took her a long time to really let her vulnerability show and that made her so much more loveable when she did. It was easy to see why she and Ryan fell for each other regardless of their totally different situations. Just like Echo and Noah, Beth and Ryan complete each other perfectly. I can't imagine them not being together forever. For me the perfection of their relationship can be summed up in three words THE POND SCENE. Read the book, and get back to me. This scene is one of the few times in my life where I have literally gasped with joy LOUDLY at a book. It makes me so happy I can hardly contain myself. It is one of those scenes that just sticks with you forever and makes you feel so many varying emotions that you just have to put the book down and take a second.
Before you take a look at the cover and decide this is just some gooey romance, think again. Don't worry, there's plenty of romance for those of you who love it, but this book is much, much more than that. At it's heart, this is a story of overcoming obstacles, whether those obstacles are a tragic family history, pressure to be someone you're not or learning to do what's best for you in your life. It is a story about a girl finding the family she desperately needs and a boy who doesn't have it as good as it seems. It is a hopeful, tragic, and downright powerful story. Everyone should read this book. And you don't have to read Pushing The Limits first (although you should definitely read it). McGarry wrote these as stand-alones so you can read them separately. Characters from PTL are prevalent in this book as well, especially Isaiah, Beth's closest friend. In fact the only thing that concerned me about this book was that poor Isaiah is constantly left out in the cold. But wait, remember how I said I had no problems with this book, that's because the third one, Crash Into You , is coming out at the end of this year and it will be Isaiah's book! That's right, everyone's favorite tattooed ruffian is getting his own book. And now I can die happy.
Oh um, 5 stars...