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

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....

Release Date:  June 7, 2013
Age Group:  Mature YA
Source: NetGalley

Having read and loved Katie McGarry's Pushing the Limits (read my review here) I was thrilled at the chance to read Dare You To.  First of all, I was shocked to see that McGarry was turning Pushing the Limits into a series---shocked and thrilled!  I admit that I was expecting a book just as good as Pushing the Limits, so my expectations were set unnaturally high.

While I did love Dare You To, it just did not have the same intensity for me that Pushing the Limits did.  I know it's unfair to compare books in a series, but I couldn't help but compare the two, especially with book one being so outstanding.  What bothered me about Dare You To was that the characters felt predictable.  The characters themselves (dependable, good-guy jock and mysterious bad-girl loner) were slightly trite and their actions at times predictable.  That's not necessarily a bad thing, it's just that PTL broke through all the tried and true character molds, so I was expecting Dare You To to do the same.

What I loved about Dare You To was the slow build to the love story and the ending.  I could not predict how McGarry would resolve the conflict in a realistic way, and I loved the way she wrapped things up.  There were no "love conquers all" endings here and I appreciate the realism.  Beth and Ryan slowly start to fall for each other, and I really liked that.  I'm not a fan of reading about love at first sight, instead I prefer to fall in love with the characters as the story progresses, and Dare You To delivered in that aspect.  

I would recommend this book, especially to fans of contemporary YA.  I'm loving the mature YA genre, and really looking forward to Isiah's story.   

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