Thursday, 6 June 2013

Review ~ Dare You To (Pushing the Limits #2) - Katie McGarry

Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)
eARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: 7th June 2013

Publisher: Harlequin (Mira Ink)


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....

My Opinion

So I'm not usually a fan of books like this. I mean ones that are full of real life problems and situations such as drugs, domestic violence, alcohol dependency etc. Normally I find them irritating and too depressing however Dare You To was written beautifully, tackling these issues in a sensitive manner and kept me hooked all the way through. The only reason I was forced to put it down was I needed to sleep and even then I found myself reading an extra few chapters in bed. 

Written from alternate POV the book allows you to see into both Beth and Ryan's lives which I loved as it gave an overall perspective rather than just one. As well as this in my opinion it lightened the situation as rather than dealing with all of Beth's problems continuously, Ryan's POV - although he had his own issues - split the writing up as they were mild compared to Beth's. The switch in POV was crafted brilliantly and the book flowed seamlessly. When the characters were together I loved hearing both sides of their thoughts on issues and their romance. 

With a strong message of love and hope the romance created built nicely and as it developed we saw Beth's stubborn, strong and fiery personality slowly crumble around Ryan as she begins to trust him. Although this fluctuates and she is back to the 'old' Beth in a flash the brief glimpse of the 'real' Beth were interesting to read about and really helped me connect with the her. Although her fiery temper at some points was quite funny e.g when Ryan tries to get her number or she is deliberately trying to aggrivate someone there is a darker side that cause her to build walls and live by her belief "If I don't feel, I don't get hurt." and it's not until Ryan helps her does she start to believe in herself.

Ryan was the sweet, perfect jock and although his life seemed perfect on the outside it was far from it when you delve deeper into his family life. With his gay brother Mark being ousted from his family by his dad, Ryan's family is falling apart and although all this is happening to him I love how he was always there for Beth, even when she wasn't for him. Unlike books I have read previously, Ryan wasn't an ass. Yes he is popular and well liked but I liked the way he wasn't surrounded by girls and people wanting to be like him. He had his few close friends, which had believable relationships, and besides that not many others existed in his school. I liked that he was loyal to his group and one they could depend on but also that he didn't take advantage of girls. It was a nice change.

I think the aspect of this book I liked most were the dares. It was an original idea and I loved how the guys would try to out-do each other and later stretching out to the girls. It made everything a challenge and with Ryan's 'I never lose' attitude it gave the book a bit of lightheartedness among the angst in their world. Although the ending was pretty predictable - the title kind of gives it away as well - I still found myself smiling when Beth says the words.

Over all this is a gripping book that deals with sensitive issues well. The characters are believable, relatable and rather than whine about their situations they are strong and determined which was great as you respect them. I love the romance and how it develops and I would strongly recommend this book to any romance/contemporary lovers. I guarantee you will not be able to put it down! 


  1. I loved this novel too. This writer is very quickly climbing the ladder of my "Love & Stalk" List. LOL I really loved 'Pushing the Limits' too, and am anxious for November, where the 3rd book comes out!

    Lily @ Bookluvrs Haven.

    1. LOL, this is the first book I've read by the author so Pushing the Limits and the 3rd book are on my ever growing tbr list!


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