Dare You To: Katie McGarry

Dare to You (Pushing the Limits#2)
by Katie McGarry
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"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.

See our reviews of Pushing the Limits
Pushing the Limits (book 1): Goodreads/Nook/Kindle
Crossing the Line (book # 1.5): Goodreads/Nook/Kindle
Crash Into You (book 3): Goodreads (Expected November 2013)

When I first heard this song I was reading Dare You Too. The entire time I thought this is Beth's song. Perfect for her life, her relationships and the feelings of loss and hope that this story portrays.

I told you I was hurt 
Bleeding on the inside 
I told you I was lost 
In the middle of my life 
There's times I stayed alive for you 
There's times I would have died for you
There's times it didn`t matter at all

(The High Road: Three Days Grace)

In Pushing the Limits we met Beth and Isaiah. Noah's two best friends, although, I would call them family. Dare To You is Beth's story. We see an inside look at the broken girl we met in book 1. Her story takes you on a journey of abuse and drug use. A damaged girl finding her way through the right and wrong decisions she is forced to make, choosing between love and obligation, two different worlds, and two very different type of guys.

Beth's home life is one nightmares are made of. However, she has Isaiah to get her through. He is her foundation, her best friend. She struggles with the abuse she suffers at the hands of her mother's drug abusing boyfriend. On top of that, her loyalty keeps her obligated to her mother. In this relationship, Beth is the mother and her mom is the child. Their story is woven with abuse, enabling, drug use, abandonment, and trust issues.

Beth is offered a choice when her uncle swoops in years too late to save her. She can come live in his world that is vastly different from the one she is used to, follow his rules, and become the person he knows she can be or she can go on living in past life. If she chooses the second option, he will have her mother put in jail. Forcing her to leave everything that was familiar to her behind, including Noah and Isaiah. Enter Ryan and his dare. Ryan never loses AT ANY THING and will do what he needs to at all cost to win. Even sacrificing a girl he things is bad news. Beth has choices to make. She can continue to try to save her mother and risk her own life at the hands of Trent, or take the new beginning she is offered and turn it into something important.

I must be honest and say that the beginning of this book moved kind of slow for me. I kept wondering when it was going to pick up and was a bit disappointed it wasn't anything like Pushing The Limits. Then out of the blue it hit me. I don't know when it happened, it kinda snuck up on me, and I was invested. I NEEDED to know what was going to happen between Beth, Isaiah, and Ryan. Who was she going to choose? I couldn't decide who I wanted her with, I was invested in Isaiah. To me it has always been Isaiah and Beth; it was hard seeing them struggle. Then Ryan started to change; he was falling hard for our Beth. Ryan was sweet, he was protective, and all he wanted to do was make Beth see that he was the right guy for her. She was no longer a dare to him, she was real. Isaiah was total bad boy with a heart of gold when it came to Beth. It wouldn't be easy for her to let one boy go so she could move forward with the other.

"I told you I loved you in this rain and when you doubt my words, I want you to look at this bottle."

Katie weaves a story that offers heartbreak and hope. New opportunities and love. A second chance for those who are at one point broken and lost. She does this with perfection, engaging the readers, making them connect on a personal level with her characters. Although, Pushing Limits is still my favorite I must admit that this book was beautiful. I felt the emotions flow off the page, the character chemistry was amazing, and I connected on a very personal level. Thank you Katie for showing us that even those of us who are broken can still find a second chance at life and also at finding love.

I was provided with this book from the publisher for free via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review, thank you!

Beth. She stands her ground. Owns the space around her and smirks if someone comes too close, as if she's daring them to take her on. 

I have been looking forward to this book since reading the amazing Pushing the Limits. I have to admit that I always pictured Beth and Isaiah together. They were so close and so emotionally intertwined and stuck in a bad situation together. But this is a much more complicated story. It is truly a journey of self discovery for Beth. It is messy, heartbreaking, and hard. It means big changes for Beth and Isaiah. It means sometimes to move forward, you have to take a step away from your past. And it shows there are different levels of love but they are all important. It was a slow build for me, but I became more and more emotionally invested each page. And now that it is over, I am left feeling that I was on this long emotional journey right along with these characters.

Friday night I went out with Noah and Isaiah and put Taco Bell Boy in his place. Early Saturday, Mom tried to become a felon. Saturday morning, Scott ruined my life. 

Beth's whole life is changed by two events. One she meets cocky baseball player Ryan one night at Taco Bell and on a dare he asks her out. She shoots him down and he loses his bet. The next event is tangled up in her co-dependent relationship with her mother and Beth ends up in a situation where she really need help. She is reluctantly rescued by her Uncle Scott and it sets off a whole new path to her life. Suddenly she is thrust into a new home, school, and community and pulled away from her trusted friends and pseudo-family of Isaiah and Noah. Beth is angry, rebellious, and scared. She has concrete walls around her and does not want to let anyone in. She has plans to fix everything in her old life and is just biding time til she can run away and move forward with those plans. But fate, brings Ryan crashing into her life again unexpectedly when her Uncle introduces them and asks Ryan to help her get adjusted at school.

Ryan and Beth are so different on the surface. She is a pierced, tattooed girl with her hair dyed black and a big chip on her shoulder. Ryan is the apparent baseball Golden Boy with a wealthy family and a big future ahead of him in pro baseball. But the facade of a  perfect life is just an illusion. His family is just as fractured as Beth's.

It all started as a dare. And for awhile the dare is resurrected and continues. They both challenge each other,   hide things,  and even use each other. They have a snarky rapport and undeniable chemistry. But along the way the lines get blurred and before they know it , they are under each other's skin and seeing the real person they hides behind their masks.

"I like you. I. Like. You. I'll admit, you're annoying. Sometimes you agitate me to the brink of insanity, but you can throw it back at me like no one else. When you laugh, I want to laugh. When you smile, I want to smile. Hell, I want to the the one to make your smile. And you're pretty. No, you're sexy..."

"Guys like you don't fall for girls like me."

They have so much to fight against: perceptions of others, their own inner demons, their families, life circumstances and their own wants and needs. They are both barely holding on in various ways with home lives built on quicksand. Beth's history has ruined her ability to trust in herself and others and it is constant struggle for her to admit her true feelings and decide where she belongs. But Ryan pushes her and challenges her and wants to convince her to be his.

She's been running from me from the moment I met her. No matter how hard I try to hold on to her, she finds a way to slip out of my grasp.

They both think they have their life plans set, but it becomes obvious that maybe they need to look in other directions . The layers of protection are peeled off for both Beth and Ryan as they learn about each other, themselves, and their loved ones and how they fit into their lives and future. I really loved Ryan. He has problems with his own personal life and future, but he is sure about what he wants from Beth. Even when it seems like everything is against them. He is strong, sweet, kind, patient, and loving. 

And then there is the other big issue: Isaiah. I loved Isaiah since we first met him. And he and Beth truly have a special bond. Their relationship iss deep and meaningful. They are best friends, confidantes, and truly like family. But will Isaiah be able to let Beth go and settle into her new life? Or will he convince her that are meant to be more than just friends?

Beth has a lot to deal with in regards to her new life, Ryan and Isaiah, her mother, and her future. And she is poorly equipped emotionally to do so. She is not used to trusting, feeling safe, or having choices. No matter what decision she makes, someone gets hurt. So who will she choose? What future path will she choose? Either choice is risky but it comes to a point where you have to dare to make your own choices and let the consequences happen. 

This ended up being a raw, emotional, deep, beautiful story with rich complicated characters. I loved the alternating points of view and truly seeing the fears and insecurities and hopes of Ryan and Beth. I really felt invested in their relationships with each other and loved ones, and the outcomes of their personal struggles. I look forward to the next book in this series Crash Into You

Thanks to Netgalley and Harlequin Teen for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review

KATIE MCGARRY was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, and reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie would love to hear from her readers. Contact her via her website, katielmcgarry.com, follow her on Twitter @KatieMcGarry, or become a fan on Facebook and Goodreads.


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