Saturday, 27 April 2013

Review: Dare to You by Katie McGarry

Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)
Dare to You by Katie McGarry
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication date: May 28th 2013
My rating: 5 stars

 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...

Well, Katie McGarry just wowed me again!  Dare to You was just as AMAZING if not more that Pushing the Limits!!  I was full of intense emotions, and on the edge of my seat the entire read, completely immersed in Beth and Ryan’s story!!

I knew Beth’s story would be something else, because she was such a hard and troubled character in Pushing the Limits, and now we finally see why.  Beth is living with her aunt after having the crap beat out of her by her mother’s boyfriend, Trent (what a gem!).  Her mother is a loser and that’s putting it mildly, but Beth still feels obligated to make sure she’s okay.  When an altercation ends in Beth taking the fall for her mother with the law, Beth ends up in her Uncle Scott’s custody. Beth hasn’t seen Scott in years since he left Beth and she does not welcome his return.  She has nothing but resentment and anger at him for abandoning her to the hell her life has become.

Ryan’s life is perfect.  At least, that’s what it looks like from the outside.  He’s the all-American boy with everything going for him: good looks, promising future in baseball, and a well respected family.  What they don’t know is Ryan’s family is falling apart behind the scenes.  His parents look like the model couple outside but can barely stand each other behind closed doors.  His older brother Mark has been ousted from the family, and Ryan resents and mourns his absence.  Ryan had his own struggles, trying to figure out his future.  For so long he goes along with his parent’s expectations and desires, but is this what will make him happy?

When a dare brings Beth and Ryan together their worlds collide.  They are from very different backgrounds but there’s a spark of attraction between them.  At first you can’t tell if they want to kiss or kill each other!  But shared troubles bring them together and they start to form a bond.  Romance lovers will not be disappointed, because there is plenty of swoon is this novel!!  

“We should talk,” I say in a rush before the thought drifts away, but my hand draws another lazy circle on her stomach.  Her muscles come alive under my touch, a shudder of pleasure, and I crave to please her.
“No, we shouldn’t,” she answers. “Talking is overated.”*

I had a stupid happy grin at just about everything Ryan did!!  In a sea of “bad-boy” characters, Ryan stands out as a good-guy who melts your insides!!

I want her to be wowed so she’ll stay on homecoming court, but more…I want this gift to prove that I know her and that I see beyond black hair and nose rings and cut-up jeans. I see her as she really is—I see Beth.*


Beth was so guarded and hesitant to trust, but you really couldn’t blame her for feeling that way.  How can you trust outsiders when your family has let you down so many times and in infinite ways?  My heart soared when she finally started letting people in.

Ryan has led such a sheltered life, but his family raised him right, for the most part.  How else could you have such a complete gentleman?  I can’t express how much I loved and respected his behavior!!  The way he treated Beth is what finally made her walls come down and begin to trust.   Scott was also a huge part of Beth’s road to healing, and it was nice to finally see a responsible, present, and loving adult in YA fiction!! 
Ms. McGarry is fast becoming a favorite author of mine, she has a talent for writing amazing and well-fleshed out characters that make you care.  Such a moving, emotional, and riveting story! Dare to You is one of my favorite reads of 2013!!

*Quotes taken from an uncorrected proof and may change in the final copy.


  1. OMG Love the quotes!! Cannot wait to get my hands on this one. It's time to read about a GOOD guy now :)

    Love the review Rachel

  2. OMG, Rachel! I completely agree! Some would argue the PTL was better but I say Dare You To. It completely blew me away! Ryan for me was such an inspirational character especially with his writing don't you think? And Beth's Uncle, despite his parenting in the first place, it seems that he's not all perfect. Seriously I can talk about this book forever... Its one close to my heart, cliché I know! But I can't resist. Best Book-boyfriend and Best Book of 2013 so far for me! :) Lovely review Rachel! ;)

  3. Yay! I'm so glad that you enjoyed this as much as I did, Rachel :)

    - Ellie at The Selkie Reads Stories

  4. Lovely review Rachel. I love Katie's work too, she hasn't disappointed me one bit!

  5. I knew you'd like this one, Rachel, but I'm so glad you LOVEd it. I still think I enjoyed Pushing the Limits a little more because of emotional attachment, but this book was excellent and really made me fall for Ryan when I thought I wanted Isaiah for Beth. I can't wait for his story now!(:

  6. SO excited to see your enthusiasm for this one! I have it but won't get to it until the first of June. Very much looking forward to meeting Ryan!

  7. Och. I wasn't a fan of Pushing the Limits, sadly. But I'm willing to give McGarry another try, Rachel.

    Lovely review :)

  8. I'm so glad to see your 5 stars on this Rachel, and to hear that we get to see some more of Noah and Echo. I can't wait. It'll definitely be on my list for the Netgalley/Edelweiss month with Donna at Book Passion for Life :)

  9. Oh, I loved Ryan. He's not your stereotypical jock and I loved him for that. As for Beth, I never really cared about her in PTL, but the girl has got a lot of trouble in her life and I'm so glad that Scott showed up int he right time. I ended up loving Beth and Ryan was perfect for her, though I did feel bad for Isaiah. I'm soo looking forward to his book and I already love his girl, she'd feisty.
    Fabulous review, Rachel!

  10. I love you enthusiasm Rachel!!!!!! Sounds like a fantastic story! Ryan sounds awesome, good boys are needed. Definitely want to check this book soon! I love the rhetorical question you used for Ryan's paragraph!

  11. I think I'll love the cast of characters. Thanks for sharing :)

  12. Wowsa... 5 stars!? I still have Pushing the Limits sitting on my shelf waiting for me to get around to it... should do that soon. This sure sounds good, great review!!

  13. I'm seriously excited for this book! I cannot wait to read more and find out more about Beth's story! and I'm glad it did not disappoint you! Great review, Rachel!! Hope I enjoy it as much!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf

  14. I didn't even touch upon Scott in my review but you are right, it was so nice to see someone stepping up for Beth and really taking on that parenting role she needed so much. Great review! I also thought it was even better than Pushing the Limits!

  15. So excited for this one! It's coming my way soon. YES! I actually am one of the few that actually love the good guys in books, so I'm excited for Ryan. And I want Beth to find some happiness. Poor girl! I hurt for her. It means a lot that you loved this one so much.

  16. This sounds amazing. Poor Beth. Can't be easy to have your fam let you down so much and to have to be so guarded.

    Great review, Rachel. And thanks for sharing!

    Jennifer @ Dream Reads


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