Monday, April 22, 2013

Book Review: Dare You To

Dare You To (Pushing the Limits #2)
Published By: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: May 28, 2013
Page Count: 462
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via NetGalley
Audience: Young Adult - Contemporary

Dare You To is a different animal than Pushing The Limits. It pulled me in different directions... Pushing The Limits made me sob when Noah saw his little brothers, but there were no gut-wrenching super cute little boys in Dare You To. Instead, there was a spiky, smart-ass, emotionally shut down goth girl; Beth Risk, Noah’s sort of friend. She is feisty and proud, and I loved her attitude. She was well fleshed out as a character in Pushing The Limits, but I really felt like I got to know her properly in Dare You To, and I’m so glad I did.


Beth’s had a hard life and all she has to hang onto is her alcoholic mess of a mother and her best friend Isaiah. She starts out the book by taking the fall for a crime her mother committed, which leads her down a path that ends up with her leaving her old life to move in with the recently reappeared Uncle Scott. He wants her to cut all ties with her old life and try and reconnect with the little girl that she used to be, but Beth’s been through a lot and has to face her demons before she can do that. I felt sorry for her at first, as Scott pushes her hard to become a perfect clone, and to her credit, she does a lot better than I think I would have. It is really very sad to see how much she puts up with from her mother, and how desperate she is to get back to her so she can make sure she is ok. What I found heart-breaking was how callous her mother was towards her. The reasons for Beth’s guilt and her mother’s inability to move on are carefully guarded plot secrets, and the reveal comes at an appropriately pivotal moment. There was a really excellent crescendo to this story; it stayed the right side of dramatic to be very realistic.

Many fans thought that after Pushing The Limits this would be the story of Beth and Isaiah revealing their feelings for each other, and in many ways it was. It was just too bad that the feelings weren't on the same wavelength. I felt initially sad that the story was about Beth and a baseball jock called Ryan, but Ryan won me over quickly. I also saw the flaws in Isaiah. He just wasn't the person to help Beth because he was already messed up; it would have been like throwing a drowning person a brick. Although I say I fell for Ryan, I will add that I feel like Noah still beats him in my book, although he makes an admirable stand-in! He is kind, patient, and probably more aware of Beth’s emotions than a boy of his age really would be in real life.

Beth needed someone completely different to her, to coax her into being able to feel again and Ryan was perfect for that. Although however outwardly perfect he seemed to Beth, Ryan had his own issues to deal with. His family is crumbling from the inside out, and his father is smothering him with expectations to live up to. I loved watching Ryan grow as a character, and I also learned a little about baseball too!

I really liked the mixture of perceived imperfection and perfection crashing into each other, in Beth and Ryan. Neither was what they appeared to be, and both made the other strong enough to deal with their own problems. In that sense, Dare You To is an utterly fitting follow up to Pushing The Limits. I have unashamedly recommended Pushing The Limits to everyone I know, giving it the title of “Best Book I Read In 2012”. I don’t know if Dare You To will be the “Best Book I Read In 2013”, but I know it is on the shortlist already – I have never highlighted so many favourite passages on my Kindle before! It was a fabulous read, teeming with gripping emotions and vivid characters who I’d love to spend time with. This is one book you should definitely pre-order in hard back for your special shelves... I will be! The wait for Isaiah’s book, Crash Into You, is going to be torturous! 



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....

24 comments:

  1. Hee! I'm so glad that you loved this book as much as I did!

    - Ellie at The Selkie Reads Stories

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  2. Oooh yay!I'm glad you liked this one. I liked Pushing the Limits way more than I was expecting, so I'm super excited to read this one. I'm a little sad it's not about Isaiah, but it sounds like Ryan's going to be awesome!
    Book Light Graveyard

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  3. I haven't read Pushing the limits yet but heard great things about it! Dare you to sounds more intense compared the first book. Great review :)

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  4. Awesome review! Pushing the Limits was one of the best books I read last year as well and the wait for Dare You To has been killing me.

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  5. I just finished this book last week and gaaaah it was amazing. I didn't thought I'd enjoy it as much as I did but I finished reading it with a happy heart. I love the relationship of Beth and Ryan and indeed Ryan won me over and melted my heart. :) can't wait to read Isaiah's story, hopefully it is has the same effects to me as Pushing The Limits and Dare You To. Awesome review btw.

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  6. Thanks for all the kind comments! I'm so glad you all stopped by the Nest and joined in!!

    It seems we all agree... this is a good 'un'! ;)

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  7. I did get the feeling in Pushing The Limits that Beth had more of a story to her, so I am curious about this book...even though I am not crazy about the cover.

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  8. I'm still upset that this she is not with Isaiah! I really liked them from the first book and I guess I'm going to have to give Ryan a chance before I fall for him.

    Thanks for the great review!

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  9. Ah but Isiah will get his own Happily Ever After in Crash Into You, and it will be a good one, I just know it. <3

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    1. Dare You To was amazing! I'm quite happy with how it all turned out! AWESOME review Jen!! (And thanks for including a link to mine!) xo

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  10. I haven't read this one yet but I did just buy it today. I can't wait to read Beth's story.

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  11. I have heard nothing but wonderful things about this author!

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  12. I LOVE Beth!! She was perfect and so was Ryan:)

    Lovely review:)

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  13. Katie McGarry really knows how to make you care about her characters, so she can make you cry about them!!

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  14. Ryan was perfect for Beth, really helped her heal:)

    She's an incredible girl:))

    Katie McGarry is a wonderful author:)

    Lovely review:)

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  15. I LOVE Katie's books...I've got Crash Into You in my hands...but have to wait a bit to read it...booooo...

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  16. Though my heart was shattered for Isaiah, I'm glad Isaiah has his own story. I think Katie made the right choice by putting Ryan and Beth together; they really compliment each other.

    Awesome review! I can't wait to read Crash Into You by Katie McGarry.

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  17. I really like this book, the history is beautiful, I agree with the imperfection of the characters, makes them more friendly and a beautiful couple

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  18. I haven't read Pushing the Limits yet because I'm not sure if the series is for me. My friends loved it and they keep trying to get me read it too. Still not convinced. Great review though.

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  19. Sounds like both books are great but the second sounds more in depth and detail of the characters. That sometimes happens though, a first book is more of an intro of sorts then the next book really takes you somewhere different all together.
    Great review!

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  20. I haven't read book 1 so don't know much about this book other than always seeing the cover around blogs. Sounds like a great book that has well-rounded, relatable characters. Thanks for the review!

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  21. I haven't read book 1 so don't know much about this book other than always seeing the cover around blogs. Sounds like a great book that has well-rounded, relatable characters. Thanks for the review!

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  22. Great review! I just loved Pushing the Limits and I can't wait to read this one. Glad you enjoyed it.

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