by Katie McGarry
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Published: May 28, 2013
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: Wow, what can I say that hasn't already been said about this book? I was so moved by Pushing the Limits and was totally captivated by it, causing Katie McGarry to quickly make it into my list of favorite authors. Needless to say I was so excited to read Dare You To. Once again, just as I was in Pushing the Limits, I found myself completely immersed in Beth and Ryan's world. We met Beth in Pushing the Limits, but in Dare You To, McGarry connects you with Beth on a heart level causing you to feel like you're a part of her. Beth, Isaiah, and Noah are friends, or I guess I should say the three of them are a dysfunctional family of sorts that have helped each other to survive. Isaiah and Beth are best friends, but there has always seemed to be a hint of something more there. He has been her rock, the one constant in her life that she can count on to hold her together. I was actually rooting for the two of them to get together, until I met Ryan. OMG Ryan, I loved him. He and his friends Chris and Logan are the type of guys I grew up with and dated in high school (though the guys I dated weren't quite a sincere as Ryan :). I was completely drawn to him and was rooting for him from the beginning of the book to the end. He is cocky, hot as hell, a jock, and underneath it all has a heart of gold.
Beth has had a helluva life. I cannot imagine living through what she has. She carries herself like a total badass, can cause people to cower just with a look, and underneath that hard exterior and dyed jet black hair is a wounded little girl that has had to become an adult way before she should have. I guess you could describe her story as a Cinderella type of story only Cinderella/Beth doesn't want to be a part of it, cusses like a sailor, and would rather kick Prince Charming in the butt and send him packing along with the Fairy God Mother/Uncle Scott. Beth wants to just go back to her old life, the one she was comfortable with, because it is all she knows......and the details of that life are heart breaking. Prince Charming/Ryan seems to have it all, but behind closed doors and the mask of what his family wants to portray are issues that are just as challenging. There are some very intense and dangerous moments in Dare You To, some extremely emotional ones, and then there are the very hot romantic ones, which are my favorite. I just loved the secondary characters in this book. Isaiah has his own book coming out soon, and I am dying to read that because he has found a special place in my heart and I could just hug him, and squeeze him, and love him, and more than anything, just want him to find his happily ever after. We also get to see Noah and Echo, which was wonderful, and we get to meet some new friends, Chris, Lacey, and Logan were also great. I would love to see them get their own story, especially Logan, who I think is a bit of enigma and I would love to get inside his head and explore the inner workings of his brain.
Dare You To is not your typical contemporary romance. It is emotionally raw, causing you to feel the whole gamut of emotions from one extreme to the other. How can I describe this.....for book lovers, getting into novel is like sports lovers who get into a football, hockey, or baseball game, which can in turn vary on how it affects the person watching it depending on the team and how the game is played, etc. Dare You To is like one of those games where you are on the edge of your seat, jumping up and down, covering your eyes, clutching your heart, screaming at the umpire or the other team, and then yelling at the top of your voice for joy. It leaves you emotionally spent and emotionally satisfied. I can't recommend it enough and I hope that when you read it you love it just as much as I did.
“You're a lot like that bird in the barn. You're so scared that you're going to be caged in forever and you can't see the way out. You smack yourself against the wall again and again and again. The door is open, Beth. Stop running in circles and walk out.”
“I like you. I. Like. You. I'll admit you're annoying. Sometimes you agitate me to the brink of insanity, but you can throw it back at me like no one else. When you laugh, I want to laugh. When you smile, I want to smile. Hell, I want to be the one to make you smile.”
“My fingers lightly trace her arm and I swear she presses closer to me. I'd love to kiss her right now. Not the type of kiss that makes her body come alive. The type of kiss that shows her how much I care - the type that involves my soul.”
“A sliver of hope sneaks past my walls and I slam every opening shut. Emotion is evil. People who make me feel are worse. I take comfort in the stone inside me. If I don't feel, I don't hurt.”
“Ryan has this blank, way too innocent expression.”Don't worry, Mr. Risk. I'd love to help Elisabeth."
He turns to me and smiles. This smile isn't genuine or heartwarming, but cocky as hell. Bring it, jock boy. Your best won't be good enough.”
“Fine," I say. "Dare accepted." Game on, Skater Girl. Game on.”
“I won't let you go." I blink. As if he could stop me. "You won't let me go." "No, I won't let you go. You're mine and I don't lose.”
“Some guys touch the girls they love. Others touch the girls they use. The worst touch girls they hurt.”
“Guys like you don't fall for girls like me.”
KATIE MCGARRY was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, and reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.