About the book
Dare You To is a companion book in the Pushing The Limits series by Kate McGarry. It was published by Mira Ink on 7th June and the book is 3014 pages long. I received this for review through Net Galley.
Synopsis (Taken from Goodreads.com)
“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….
What I thought
Kate McGarry’s debut novel, Pushing the Limits was one of my favourites from 2012. When I saw Mira Ink’s tweet about this one being up on Net Galley, I clicked the link and requested as soon as I could! Even though this was up for review in January and the release date not until June, I didn’t care. I had to start reading straight away.
Dare You To tells the story of Beth Risk, a minor character from Pushing The Limits. From what I remembered from the previous book, Beth was an absolute bitch but then I wasn’t about to judge her before reading her story. As Dare You To starts, it quickly becomes clear that Beth actually is a bitch. She swears a hell of a lot, says exactly what she thinks and doesn’t give a damn who she hurts by telling the truth. Strangely, I loved how Beth acted. She was a breath of fresh air and I completely loved her.
Dare You To really explains why Beth acts the way she does though. Her family life is a complete mess and after some really bad things happen, her estranged Uncle Scott comes in to rescue her. However, Beth doesn’t think she needs rescuing though and hates Scott for taking her away, forcing her into a new school and a town she really doesn’t want to be in. I really enjoyed seeing the dynamics of Beth’s family, both immediate and not. The new characters introduced here were all fascinating in some way and they all also had secrets of their own which was interesting.
So, love interests… Well, as you can see from the synopsis, the love interest here is not Isaiah. After reading Pushing The Limits, I was damn sure Beth and Isaiah would be getting together but it seems this is not the case. If like me, you have read the previous book, be read to do some shouting at the pages and to be utterly shocked. However, I did also really like Ryan who is the love interest. Ryan and his friends love dares, which is how he comes to meet Beth in the first place. Ryan is also a jock and his life revolves around baseball (quite a nice change from American Football, I thought). Ryan came across as full of himself and a stereotypical jock but it was so good to see there was a lot more to him than that.
Mixed in with the plot concerning Beth and Ryan was an extremely exciting story! There is a lot going on regarding Beth’s mother and her family life but there is also a lot going on with her old friends from back home. Beth has to learn to live a completely different life while living with her Uncle and she is not comfortable with that at all. Kate McGarry shows no fear when it comes to tackling some really serious issues, which you will already know if you have read Pushing The Limits. The issues written about in Dare You To were really different but just as important and shocking at the same time. It was quite hard reading at times due to how scary the situations were but that also helped make this such a good book.
Unfortunately though, while I did really enjoy this one, I didn’t like it quite as much as Pushing The Limits. I’m not completely sure why either, considering I liked all of the characters and the plot. I think Pushing The Limits got more emotion out of me so maybe that’s why. Still though, Dare You To is fantastic read, full of excitement and a bad ass protagonist.