Release Date: 06/01/13
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...
My thoughts on the book:
McGarry does it again in her latest contemporary novel, Dare You To. I read this entire novel in one sitting, even though it's 462 pages. While there are a few very small things that I didn't like, overall this novel is phenomenal. McGarry once again created believable characters, realistic and tragic situations, and a beautiful romance. This is one summer read that cannot be missed.
Beth is an extremely complex character. While she got on my nerves at times, I understood her actions. She just wants to protect herself because she's been hurt so much. However, sometimes she came across as an ungrateful brat, and I wanted to smack her. I know that she's just a kid and had to grow up fast to take care of her mom, and I know that her situation and reactions are extremely realistic, but that doesn't mean that I didn't want to knock some sense into her. More often than not, I liked and sympathized with her character, though. Ryan is amazing, and while he comes off as a jerk at first, around the middle of the book, I fell in love with him. He's actually a really good guy, but like most teenage boys (or just guys in general), he doesn't think about how his actions affect those around him. He and Beth make a good team and challenge each other, which makes them both grow constantly throughout the course of the novel.
The plot starts off a bit slow, in my opinion, and for the first 70-80 pages, I was actually a little bored. I know that McGarry is showing Beth's and Ryan's lives so that we can get to know them better, but I felt like it dragged on a bit too long. However, once things picked up, I was so engrossed in the story that I couldn't put the book down (which led to me reading until 4:30am and not getting much sleep). You can't help but care about these characters, and I had to know how the story ended before I could go to sleep. McGarry, again, is a master of showing instead of telling, and through her prose, she enables the reader to feel exactly what her characters are feeling.
Overall, I'd recommend this novel to anyone. I'm not a huge fan of contemporary (I like a couple of contemporary novels/series, but that's it), and I really adored both this book and Pushing the Limits. The cool thing about this series is that you can read Dare You To without reading the first novel in the series, though I don't see why you'd want to. Both books are amazing, and this is, by far, my favorite contemporary series. I'd venture to say that this will be one of the best reads of the summer. You can't miss this one.
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