Review: Dare You To (Pushing The Limits #2) by Katie McGarry

Book Title: Dare You To (Pushing The Limits #2)
Author: Katie McGarry
Release Date: May 28th, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: YA/Contemporary
Series: Book 2 in Pushing The Limits series
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.


Disclaimer: This was a personal purchase.

Review:
Yesterday I reviewed Pushing The Limits which is the first book in this series. Today I am reviewing the second one in the series. I had heard through the grapevine that this one wasn’t as good as Pushing The Limits and while I did have some issues with Ryan at the beginning, I have to say that I loved this one too.For different reasons of course. Pushing The Limits was about realizing that while you may be damaged, you are still worthy of love. Dare You To was about needing to live your own life, apart from what is expected of you.

Ryan is expected to play ball and date Gwen. That’s it.His father has put immense pressure on him to focus on baseball and date a “good girl” like Gwen. The pressure has gotten worse since Mark, Ryan’s older brother came out of the closet.Ryan’s family has all but abandoned Mark for something that he cannot control.

Then we have Beth. Hardcore Beth who we saw a bit of in Pushing The Limits. The Beth that a lot of us were convinced would end up with Isaiah. I think that was part of my initial issues with her and Ryan. I couldn’t get the idea of her and Isaiah out of my head.Beth’s had a hard life. She’s had to play the adult to her mother since she was pretty young.She feels like it’s her responsibility to do that because her mom didn’t leave her.

It takes just about the entire book for her to realize that she is not responsible for her mother’s behavior. Her mother chooses that life. Her mother would rather have a violent drug dealer as a boyfriend than get away and be safe with Beth. Watching Beth realize all of this was gut wrenching. Watching her lean on Ryan was amazing to watch. In the past, her self esteem was in the toilet. She never felt like she was good enough for anyone. Which is why, when rumor swirl around the school about her past, she goes back to believing that she’s not good enough. 

“I love how he can smooth away the roughness and make me feel like someone worth loving.” -Beth

At the end of the book there is a particularly heartbreaking scene that had me in tears, actually more like violent sobs. It wrecked me in the best possible way. It’s no secret that I like books that give me the feels and this book did that.

It took me awhile to warm up to Ryan but once I did, I really liked him. I also really liked that he called her by her name and NOT some stupid nickname. Beth remained my favorite character throughout this book.While I couldn’t relate to her, I could empathize with her. 

I wish we had seen more of Ryan’s brother Mark, but what we did see of him, I liked. I really liked how Beth worked to get Ryan and Mark on speaking terms again.

“Grow a pair of balls, that’s what I would have done. God, Ryan, you are an asshole.Your brother is gay and you toss him out of your life because you are too much of a pansy to stand up to your father.” -Beth

Ryan’s friends Chris, Lacy & Logan all seemed like a good crowd. They supported each other and they were always willing to help each other out. The dares that were part of the friendship took a backseat to true friendship which I loved.

This book was near perfect for me. I am giving it 4.5 stars. I am taking off a half a star mostly because it took me nearly half the book to warm up to Ryan. If you haven’t read this series yet, then you need to and soon.

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