Thursday, February 7, 2013

Dare You To by Katie McGarry: A Review

Beth’s the bad girl that no-one wanted, not even parents.
Ryan’s the high school hero that everyone wants a piece of – even if no-one knows the real him.
Their paths should never have crossed – now they’re each other’s only life line.

If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk’s mum they’d send her mother to jail. So seventeen year old Beth protects her mum at all costs. Until the day she can’t. Suddenly sent to live with her uncle in a small town Beth’s now stuck with an aunt who doesn’t want her, and at a school that doesn’t get her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn’t go anywhere near a girl like Beth. . . .

Ryan Stone is gorgeous, a popular jock and the town golden boy—with secrets he can’t tell anyone. Even his friends. As Ryan and Beth dare to let each other in, they’re treading on dangerous ground – and the consequences could change their worlds forever.
(From NetGalley)

I first became aware of this author with her debut book, Pushing the Limits, a book which I really enjoyed for its gritty portrayal of the romance between a good girl with issues and a bad boy with even more hard-hitting issues. I wasn't sure what to expect with Dare You To because I was wondering how the author could top the first book, but I didn't need to worry. The author very capably depicts the romance between the main characters, just as she did in Pushing the Limits, only in this case, the roles are reversed - the girl is bad and the boy is golden. But, somehow, it works. And even though their relationship begins on a dare, it really blossoms into something else and it does so in a believable way.

I really liked the characters. Sometimes I wanted to shake Beth and scream at her not to throw away her second chance - just as I would if she were a real person. Sometimes, it really grated on my nerves that she kept pushing Ryan away and was so stubborn in her anger toward her uncle - who was really just trying to help her - but I'm glad I stayed with the story long enough to see it through to the end. It was well worth it. Ryan, on the other hand, was just the type of guy you want to take home to Mom - loyal, kind, and a little bit tortured. His biggest flaw is probably his loyalty to people who don't always deserve it, namely - his parents. They drove me crazy. They were so into image, they didn't really care what was important to their sons.
So if you liked Pushing the Limits or - if you haven't read that one yet (you should) - you just like gritty, realistic contempiorary YA stories, you should really give this book a try. Dare You To.

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