Friday, May 17, 2013

Book Review: Dare You To

Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)
Dare You To by Katie McGarry
May 28, 2013
Harlequin Teen
304 pages
Source: NetGalley for honest review
Genre: Mature Young Adult
Contains: Foul language, drugs, alcohol, sexual situations 

From Goodreads:
"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 Review:

I loved PUSHING THE LIMITS, so I was very much looking forward to DARE YOU TO. I didn't love Beth in PTL, but I hoped to get a new perspective on her in DYT, and wanted to give her a chance. Unfortunately, I didn't love DYT as much as PTL. It was really just an okay read for me. Katie McGarry is still a quality writer, but that doesn't change how I felt about the story, and Beth in particular. My feelings toward the book mostly have to do with Beth. I could empathize with her character and her situation, but also struggled with how she handled things. She also has this ongoing animosity toward Echo that makes no sense. I also felt like there was a bit too much drama, which is odd because I didn't feel like there was too much drama in PTL, even though that book is packed with emotion.

Again, I think it all comes down to my feelings toward Beth. It took me quite a while to warm up to her, and even by the end I only had feelings of empathy for her, but still didn't really like her. This is not to say that I need to like a main character to like a book. I can think of other examples of books, like The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher, where I didn't generally like any of the characters, but found the book to be amazing. This just wasn't one of those instances, and I think it might have to do with the feeling that I was supposed to like Beth by the end of the book, but again couldn't make myself. Part of the reason I couldn't be all Team Beth is because of some instances of hypocrisy on her part that were overlooked in the story, and made to seem like not a big deal. These instances had to do with Isaiah, and with a situation with Ryan toward the end where it appeared to me that Beth was going to do something that completely contradicted how she felt about how someone had previously treated her. This really bothered me, yet it wasn't really addressed. Now Ryan I liked. He was a good character, and obviously liked Beth way more than I did, and I could empathize with his family situation. But I also felt like Beth and Ryan's relationship moved a bit too fast for me, and honestly that fast movement just didn't make sense to me. I know I'm probably in the minority, and that's okay.

Isaiah I loved and can't wait for his story in CRASH INTO YOU! I also really want a book about Logan, who was a fascinating secondary character that appears to have much more than meets the eye, and would love to hear his story.


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