Expected Publication: May 28th, 2013
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....
Beth Risk has been taking care of her drug addict Mom for years and when she picks a deadly new boyfriend who likes to take things too far, Beth is still doing the rescuing. But then when things get out of hand and Beth is arrested for destruction of property while covering for her Mom (yet again), her Uncle Scott finally steps in and takes custody of her. Forced to live with someone she hasn't seen in years, who Beth hates for abandoning her to join a Major League baseball team, she's taken away from her friends and her life for a new reality she doesn't fit into. Ryan Stone has been the baseball star, perfect son, popular guy with the most beautiful girlfriend in school with nothing to mess it up. But then his perfect family shatters when his brother Mark tells a secret their parents won't hear and is kicked out for it. And Ryan is picked for a writing competition that might interfere with his baseball games/obsession. Not to mention the new girl in town who is totally different from all the other girls Ryan knows, who refuses to be charmed by him. Can something that starts as a dare be the relationship that saves both Ryan and Beth from a life unlived or lived for others? And can it survive when everyone is against them?
I really enjoyed this book, but have since come down from any illusion of LOVING it. I fell in love with Noah and Echo in Pushing the Limits but went into this one expecting to hate Beth's guts, because in the previous book she was a spiteful, selfish and cruel bitch who had no real reason to hate Echo but tore her down every opportunity she got. With what a screwed up character she is, I wasn't surprised with Beth's home life being the way it was. But to be honest I felt like the big revelation as to why her Mom 'hates' her was extremely clichéd and had me rolling my eyes more than anything else. This whole book revolves around drugs and abusive behavior and sometimes the preachiness of 'doing the right thing' got on my nerves. While Beth was broken, hostile and self-sabotaging in a such a realistic way I hated AND felt sorry for her, Ryan was the opposite. He knew what he wanted in life: baseball. This book was about him branching out and learning to live his own life, along with the fact that it's okay to have more than one interest or passion. We see that while he has both parents and lives in a fancy house, Ryan still has a miserable home life. Also, he tends to act like a complete asshole sometimes. For example, when he nominates Beth for Homecoming Court against her wishes, asks her out based on a dare (but he does tell her about it before they get serious, so props for that), etc. The whole 'rain in a bottle' thing was cute but kind of not really a ohh and ahh moment for me personally. Honestly loved the romance, but felt like Beth moved past her problems unrealistically and that her Mom trying to get better wasn't very true to what would really happen. Her Mom would die of an overdose in real life - just sayin'. The slut and druggie plot tropes really grated me as well, but as most of the book is spent in Small Town, USA away from direct interaction with those plot lines I could ignore my annoyance. Also, I would have kicked Beth's ass to the curb for using me to 'run away' with her Mom and getting me almost beat to death. Yeah Ryan, we get it you're a saint/martyr and you should get laid! :p A really good book for what it was, which was an issue romance with characters that were overtly unlikable for most of the book. The fact that I was smiling and happy at the end says that Ms. McGarry has some major talent despite the clichés, tropes and overall bad patches. I recommend this to fans of contemporary YA issue books and angsty romances with fairy tale endings. I am a sucker for those FT endings and that accounts for my high rating in some capacity! :)
VERDICT: 3.75/5 Stars
*I received an Advanced Reading E-book Copy from the publisher, via NetGalley and a print copy as part of Around the World ARC Tours, run by the lovely Princess Bookie. No favors or money were exchanged for this review. This book's expected publication date is May 28th, 2013.*