Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Series: Pushing the Limits, #2
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: May 28th 2013
Goodreads Summary: 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….
This book was a heart-wrenching rollercoaster of emotions. Katie McGarry once again managed to make 2 new individual and resonant voices in a story.
Ryan is the popular jock in town. He maintains the perfect façade all the time, and sometimes can even lie to himself. Beth is rough; she doesn’t give a crap about what people think of her. Her life’s a mess, and everybody knows it. When a dare pushes Ryan to approach Beth, both of their lives will be much more complicated than they were before. Can they fall in love, regardless of the risks?
Admittedly, I was very hesitant to read this story, because since reading Pushing the Limits, I had assumed that Isaiah & Beth would be together. But now… there isn’t anyone I would rather see with Beth than Ryan. From the very beginning we see how Ryan doesn’t put up with Beth’s every antic, and he pushes her over and over again. Beth doesn’t stay behind, of course, so she also does her number on Ryan. Although it may seem like a “toxic” way to start a relationship, it really isn’t. Beth needed someone to say “wake up, this isn’t good for you”, and that’s what Ryan did to her. Ryan also needed someone to say, “it’s okay not to be perfect”, which is what Beth helped him realize.
We get to see how both of them battle with their inner demons, while at the same time manage to find some sort of refuge in each other. They fall in love without even realizing it, and while some people may throw around the word “predictable”, this was nothing but. Their love progressed in a natural, yet chaotic (if that even makes sense to you) sort of way. They didn’t want to fall in love with each other, but they did because they were perfect for each other.
What really made this book for me was Ryan. He was the kind of perfectly-flawed character that I always love to see. He has problems, just like Beth, and he fought to keep his world from falling apart. Ryan was completely relatable. I also loved how Ryan was so determined towards everything. Especially towards Beth. Every time Beth pushed him away, he just came back over and over again; he never let Beth get the best of him. I love that he just pushed through her walls because he knew that that was what she needed.
“I don’t lose. Do you hear me? I don’t lose and that includes losing you. I’m done being kept in the dark. Im done feeling like you’re slipping right past me. You are not saying goodbye to me. I’m in love with you and you love me back. You are staying.”
–Dare You To by Katie McGarry
Beth was different. She was broken and closed off to the world. She thought she deserved this lot that life had given her, and that she wasn’t worthy of anything good. Sometimes she didn’t even know how or what she felt, which makes her that much of a real character to me.
I loved how there was great character growth in this story and how Katie managed to beautifully create another wonderful romance between two unlikely people.
Overall, although I loved this installment in the series, Noah and Echo’s story is still my favorite. Nevertheless, this is a great romantic story that you should totally get your hands on! I can’t wait to see what Katie does with Isaiah’s story, Crash Into You.
Rating: 4.5 stars