Monday, February 11, 2013

Dare You To : Review

Title: Dare You To
Author: Katie McGarry
ISBN: 0373210639
Publishing house: Harlequin Teen
Publishing Date: May 28th 2013
Book Source: NetGalley
Buy Links: Amazon - Barnes & Noble

Goodreads Synopsis:

"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...


It took me a while to get into writing this review, just so I wouldn't rush it because I read the book in between my exams and didn't think I could do a good enough job back then.

Beth's life has been completely awful for as far as she can remember, her parents weren't exactly great people, and her mother's recent streak of boyfriends made her life a lot worse. One night her mother goes overboard and Beth takes the fall. As a consequence to that she's forced to leave her old life behind and go live with her uncle, who she hasn't seen in years and hasn't forgiven for abandoning her when she was a kid. Not only that, but she has to change her life around to what her uncle finds acceptable, making her feel both trapped and out of her element. Beth complies, but that doesn't stop her from planning her escape.
Ryan was the golden boy in town who no one could see doing anything wrong. He led the perfect life with his perfect friends, and was pressured into going out again with the perfect girl who had dumped him before for another guy. Perfect is all anyone sees when talking about his family, but Ryan knows that there isn't one thing perfect about his life. Not his parents, or his brother, or his school life, or even his love life. All of it is messed up and the constant dares are what helps letting things up. When he hears Scott Risk is in town he's hoping to make an impression on the Yankee's player, not realizing who Scott's niece is, and how she was going to turn his life upside down and force him to face all the imperfections of his life. All of which strangely enough leads him to the one thing he never thought he'd ever fear: losing Beth.

My automatic response when I knew there was a second book in this series and that it was about Beth was: If she ends up with Isaiah, I won't be reading it. As amazing as Isaiah seemed in book one, and how much it was obvious he cared for Beth, I could not see them together. Or even want them together. As a couple, they were so gloomy and depressing and I would have absolutely hated the book. In my opinion who you end up with should like you the way you are, but also make you want to be better, or hope to be something, aspire to go somewhere with your life. With Isaiah, it felt like he was content with what she was, and she never thought there'd be anyway to break away from that, from her horrible life, from the smoking, the drugs, the cursing and the drinking. He helped her get into that, which was all bleak for me, why would I want to read about that?

However, when I read the synopsis and caught a glimpse of Ryan's character, I was intrigued and loved the idea of this carefree daring guy with bleak and miserable Beth, the combination was sure going to be interesting. They were completely different and for them to even contemplate getting together it meant there'd be a lot of fireworks on the way, which did happen. The way Beth interacted with everyone in her new school, Ryan's friends, and even her old friends from before she moved away, was entertaining.

In book one I had seriously hated Beth. I thought she was a complete bitch, which she kind of still was at times in this book, but you finally get an in-depth look into her life and what made her what she is right now. What had caused her suffering, her history and her fears. I never expected to love her as much as I did, she was such a sweet but guarded girl and her journey was as heartbreaking as Echo's, except that most of Beth's scars were internal.

Ryan's character was so not simple as well, for the golden boy to find himself trapped by the most unlikely girl, for him to start questioning all the plans he'd been making with his dad for years, for him to suddenly develop new dreams and prioritize his life in something completely unexpected for him, yes he was definitely complicated. He added a new and bright element to the story.

Katie has a way with words that hooks you from the start, then drags you with it all the way to the end. I finished this book in one sitting, and was so upset to have it be over. I want to read more about these characters, more about their heartbreaking, yet liberating lives. Sure, it wasn't as emotional as book one, I didn't cry as much, but I still cried, and loved it. The thing I like most about Katie's writing is, you don't really have certain opinions on many of the characters. For me, it appeared more in book one with Echo's parents. It was still evident in this book though, with Scott, Isaiah, Mark and even Ryan's mother. You never really know how you feel about them, do you hate them? Do you like them? The fact that they're not completely good or bad makes you think a lot before you come to a decision and I enjoyed that.

I can't wait for book three to know more about Isaiah's story!

Rating: 5/5!

Author Bio:

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.

Katie would love to hear from her readers. Contact her via her website,, follow her on Twitter, or become a fan on Facebook and Goodreads.


  1. oh this review is awesome, you really took the time to writing it. I am glad you loved it so much. Ryan sounds awesome, and I hope I will ship him over Isiah! I hope I like Beth!

    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

    1. Thank you! I hope you like it as well, some people weren't happy she wasn't with Isaiah but I definitely think it was for the best :)