Harlequin has graciously supplied me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
17 year old Beth Risk has had a hard life. Despised and rejected by her father for causing him to go jail, abandoned by her rescuer, her favourite uncle, Scott, Beth lives in less than ideal conditions with her alcoholic, drug addict mother. Her only comfort in life is her best friend, Isaiah.
Ryan Stone appears to have the perfect life; a perfect family, great friends and a great talent and promising future career in baseball. But Ryan’s life comes crashing down when his family is suddenly split apart. Abandoned by his brother, Ryan carries more hurt than outsiders can see. His only comfort is winning – especially dares.
When Beth walks into the Taco Bell where Ryan and his friends also happen to be, neither can guess how deeply they will impact each other’s lives. Ryan is dared to score Beth’s number, but she shoots him down cold and walks out of his life without a backward glance.
When a scuffle with the law could mean that Beth’s mother go to jail for violating probation, Beth takes the fall. What she doesn’t expect is for her long lost uncle Scott to then waltz back into her life, determined to rescue her – from her circumstances, her mother and even from herself. Suddenly finding herself in Scott’s custody Beth is whisked away from her mother and Isaiah, the only two constants in her life. Moving into Scott’s stately home, much to the chagrin of his new wife, Beth is thrust into a world she doesn’t feel connected to. The girl from the wrong side of the tracks now lives in an upstanding neighbourhood, attends a decent school, and suddenly has rules to follow: No swearing, no smoking, no revealing clothes, no disrespecting other people… how on earth is a girl supposed to adapt?
Frustrated by losing the dare, Ryan can’t believe his luck when Beth Risk enrols in his High-School; having set no time limit, the dare is back on – only now the stakes are higher: Ryan must get Beth to go on a date with him. Intent only on winning a dare, Ryan has now idea just how badly this girl is about to rock the boat and cause him to question everything he thought he knew about his life. What he perceives to be a tough-as-nails skater girl surprisingly has moments of intense vulnerability. With an intriguing contrast of extremes trying her hardest to keep anyone from getting too close, how can Ryan not be pulled in by the depth he sees in the girl who refuses to see it in herself?
Throw in a jealous ex-girlfriend, a jealous best friend, appearance conscious parents and a concerned uncle and you can be sure drama ensues. Can two people meant to be together find their way to each other against the odds stacked so heavily against them?
Dare You To by Katie McGarry is the second book in the Pushing The Limits series, but can be read as a stand-alone novel. It is very dark for a young adult book, and very relevant to the times we live in. It deals with themes of insecurities, abuse, drug use and the like. There is some explicit language in the book, but it’s not just there to be there, it plays a big part in character development; mostly the kind...
There is also sexual content, but the author leaves it all at the closed bedroom door. Even so this book is best suited for more mature young adults.
Dare You To has a lot more depth than the average young adult read, and handles tough situations realistically. It broke my heart how Beth had to take care of her mother instead of her mother taking care of her, but sadly that is a reality for children of addicts. This book explored that kind of life very realistically. As I was reading it I could not guess the ending; it was impossible for me to predict a happy ending for Beth and the author pleasantly surprised me with the route she chose.
Beth and Ryan, though so very different on the surface, are perfect for each other. I love how the author approached the progression of their relationship. This is truly the most realistic young adult novel I've read in quite a while. It was certainly refreshing to have no paranormal angle on this one. A very satisfying read.
Title: Dare You To
Author: Katie McGarry
Number of pages: 462
Publisher: Harlequin Teen