“I’m not interested in second place. Never have been. Never will be. It’s not the style of anyone who wants to play in the Majors. And because of my personal philosophy, this moment sucks. My best friend is seconds from scoring a phone number from the chick working the Taco Bell counter, placing him in the lead.”
When Ryan asks Beth for her number in the line at Taco Bell, she blows him off…making him look like a fool in front of his friends and making him lose the dare he and his mate had. The two leave Taco Bell believing they will not see one another again. However when Beth’s life crumbles to pieces and her Uncle swoops in to save the day, the two come face to face again. Ryan isn’t happy that he lost his bet but is willing to give it another shot, Beth still wants nothing to do with him but they find themselves becoming closer and closer. With both of them going through things no one else would understand the pairing that started out as a dare becomes so much more intense and suddenly he jock with the flawless image and perfect life, at least from an outsiders point of view, is throwing it all away to be with the messed up new skater girl in town.
So I absolutely LOVED Pushing the Limits, Katie McGarry’s first book, and I had very high hopes for this one… thankfully it didn’t disappoint at all and I was sucked into a whirlwind contemporary romance which had all the hard hitting aspects that I love.
Dare To You is set within the same literary world as Pushing The Limits. We know Beth from her and Isaiah’s friendship when we were reading all about Echo and Noah. I would say that the book can be read as a standalone but the reader is likely to understand more about, and empathise more with, Beth if they have read the first book. Beth is taken from the her safe world with Isaiah and Noah and thrown into a safer, yet terrifying for her, world with her uncle. She knows no one and thinks Ryan is just another Jock out to make a fool of her. Ryan is a jock, plain and simple… on the outside, on the inside he is hurting with the pain of being forced into hating his brother and having to live with parents who despise one another, he is not happy and hides behind dares and baseball to make people think he is. The story escalates and somehow the two hit it off, they understand each other and its brilliant to read. I really loved how the story wasn’t all about their relationship, there was much, much more to it and although I should have expected that as that’s what happened with Pushing The Limits; it surprised me.
The characters weren’t likeable at all in this book. I hated Ryan’s Dad and pitied his Mum, Scott was nice but a bit of an arse, even Noah and Isaiah – two characters I loved in Pushing the Limits – had moments when I hated them. Ryan himself was a bit of a pretentious git and Beth was just too angry. I think I understood Beth the most though, especially after reading a little about her in Pushing the Limits. She needed help and Ryan and Scott were there to offer it.
There was a major thing that really bugged me in Dare To You and I think its probably just because of my personality but I have to mention it. Ryan was a proper jock, really into his baseball and not believing he had other possibilities. He was respectful to women but that respect went a little too far for me. There was a lot of macho bullcrap with Ryan which I really didn’t like, he referred to other female characters as their boyfriends ‘girls’ a lot and was VERY possessive over Beth… I understand that she needed someone there for her but it went too far sometimes and I did not like it at all… I think it bugged me because there is no way I would let a girl talk or even think about me like that though so maybe other people would find it endearing or something.
Overall I really loved Dare To You, it was hard hitting and focused on a lot of topics including sexuality, sex, virginity, trust, friendship, drugs, alcohol abuse and domestic violence. It was definitely not a ‘nice’ book but it was a special one that just kept me reading and I would recommend it, I just wish Ryan wasn’t so big on the macho crap.
Dare To You will be published on June 7th by MiraInk. My copy was sent from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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