Sunday, May 26, 2013

REVIEW: DARE YOU TO (PUSHING THE LIMITS #2) by KATIE McGARRY

Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)Series: Pushing the Limits #2
Category/Genre: Mature Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date:5/28/13
Format: ARC
Pages: 462
Source: Received from publicist for review

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....
 

A connection that begins with a careless dare but becomes so much more, Dare You To is a story of taking risks, learning to trust, the transformative power of love, and letting go of the chains that hold you down.

I want so badly to compare Dare You To to Pushing the Limits. To compare Beth to Echo, and Noah to Ryan.  It's inevitable, but truly not necessary, and doesn't give both books their justice. The characters in each story will forever be connected, but just like Beth, I need to let go of that story (for now) and focus on this one.

Beth Risk is a challenging character, one that will probably drive some readers crazy with her harsh words, attitude, extreme stubbornness and inability to see that she must leave her old life if she ever wants to survive. She's frustrating, yes. But I think that if Beth had simply gone along with the people who wanted her to change her life and didn't fight until it nearly broke her, that would not have given her character true authenticity. It wouldn't have given justice to how truly messed up Beth's life was.

I'll admit, I really wanted Beth with Isaiah, I thought they were perfect for each other because they were so alike. But, it's that very reason that Beth and Isaiah need to let go of one another. To break away, and make better lives. To each find someone to see them for the person they can and should be, instead of the person the are right now. This realization was heartbreaking for Beth, and impossible to grasp for Isaiah. I would say for me, that seeing Beth slowly let go of Noah and Isaiah was the hardest part of Dare You To. I trust that McGarry will take good care of Isaiah in Crash Into You.

Ryan Stone is the boy who met Beth on a dare. A boy who leads a charmed life, but on the inside, he has some serious struggles of his own. His seemingly perfect family has imploded. His father's control, his mother's need for a perfect fa├žade, and a brother's secret has driven the Stones apart. Ryan is destined to be a professional baseball player, but also has the heart of a writer. He lives his life to please others until he meets Beth Risk. And as much as Ryan challenges her, she gives it right back, pushing him to live the life he wants, with the people he wants in it. I wondered if I could love Ryan as much as Noah Hutchins because Noah goes through so many horrible things in his life, and is such a remarkable character (so much for not comparing). But the thing is, just because one person's issues in life aren't as "terrible" as another's, doesn't make them any less valid to that person.

What truly made me love Ryan was his love for Beth. He could have only taken Beth at her harsh exterior, but pushed her to open up, to trust, love, and see that she could have a better life. She does the same for him in many respects. A lot of times, books and characters are unfairly (in my opinion) criticized for the "love saves" story. That everyone, girls in particular, should be able to save themselves and "why does a guy always have to swoop in and save the day?". And that could be true for a character who is raised with a strong sense of self and a healthy upbringing. But not all characters -or people- have that advantage. The love and faith of another person may not necessarily save you, but can cause you to begin to see yourself as they do, as someone worthy of love and happiness. And that's why I love stories like Dare You To: they show the beautifully transformative power of love. *cue Celine Dion*

Dare You To is an amazing story. I was completely taken over by the story and characters, barely eating and forgoing sleep until the very last page. I was blown away by the characters, their stories and emotions. Katie McGarry is an incredibly talented and thoughtful author, and I will eagerly read anything she writes. I cannot recommend the Pushing the Limits Series highly enough.


Favorite Quotes:


   "Trust me."
  "I can't," I whisper. I trusted Scott, my mother, and my father. I trusted Luke, my aunt, and Isaiah. All people who left me. All people who faded into darkness. My heart has been ripped multiple times and each time I repaired it on my own. I know my limits and if someone rips me apart again, I'll never find the strength to pick up the pieces.
  An intensity warms his brown eyes and he gently hugs my body to his. "You can."
  I suck in a breath. Ryan's doing it. He's giving me the same look Chris gives Lacy. The same look Noah gives Echo. Maybe I can. My heart thunders as I reach up and grab the hair curling near the base of Ryan's neck. "Don't drop me."  ~ARC, pg. 339


  "It's our rain, Beth."
  Her head barely shakes to show her confusion while I rub the back of my neck and search for my courage. "I told you I loved you in this rain and when you doubt my words, I want you to look at this bottle."  ~ARC, pg. 348


    There are times when you stand on the cusp of moments so huge, you know you'll remember them forever. This is that moment for me and for Ryan. I'm not seducing him. He's not seducing me. Instead, we're choosing to be together.  ~ARC, pg. 376


 
Pushing the Limits Series
 
Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1)Crossing the Line (Pushing the Limits, #1.5)Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)
(click on cover for GoodReads page)


 
Purchase Dare You To at:
 
 
 
 
About the author:
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.

22 comments:

  1. Excellent review Andrea! It's very thoughtful, and you bring up so many excellent points. I loved both Pushing the Limits and Dare You To so much! I'm so excited about Isaiah's story!!!

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

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  2. A connection that begins with a careless dare but becomes so much more - love this! I can honestly say that when you talked about Isaiah and Beth, I almost got tears in my eyes. I wanted them together so badly, it's insane! I love Isaiah so, so much, but I'm sure Ryan will grow on me with time. I. Wan't. This. Book. Bad!!!

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  3. Well said, Andrea! I haven't read this one but hopefully I will be able to squeeze it in soon!

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  4. I'm glad that you loved this one too. I am having a hard time with it. I got 22% into it and put it aside. I am sure that once I get into it I will love it, but I need to be in the right mood for it I guess. Fabulous review hon!!

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  5. hahaha *cue Celine Dion* so funny because I really did hear her singing it in my head before I read that.

    I am so curious about this one, I am one of the VERY few people that PTL didn't work for so I am definitely a little nervous about this one too. I like how Ryan opens Beth up, it doesn't sound like she makes it very easy on him. Love what you said about the upbringing and how some people may need a helping hand, very true. Fabulous review!

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  6. I agree, at first I wanted her with Isaiah, and then realized that is why they needed to move on. I can't wait until Isaiah gets his perfect girl

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  7. I heard so many beautiful thing about Pushing The Limits I am sad I have not read it yet :( that being said Dare You Too looks like a beautiful emotional read. I think I would love Ryan :) I have no problem with the guys swooping in to save the girl!

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  8. Love this series! Glad you do too.

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  9. Everyone is reviewing this, and loving it. I'm anxious to get to know Beth better and watch their romance bloom. Wonderful review!

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  10. I loved Dare To You. I completely agree with you about the reasons I didn't think Beth and Isaiah should necessarily be together. I'm so excited to read Isaiah's story now! Amazing review :)

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  11. Man, I am so behind the times. I still need to read Pushing the Limits! Fail!

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  12. Great review!

    I agree. People often criticize love stories where the guy helps the girl out and 'saves her' but sometimes you do need that person to save you. Like you said, not literally, but in helping you see yourself in a new light or to see life in a new light. And I love stories like that. It's more realistic to me. Not everyone can do things on their own, especially if they are broken, as you mentioned.

    I need to read Pushing the Limits. I want to read this now!


    Jennifer @ Dream Reads

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  13. YAY! So glad you loved this one too! CANNOT wait for Crash Into You! Great review, pal.

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  14. I'm reading this right now... loving it!! :)

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  15. Nice review & quotes. Can't believe I haven't jumped on this series yet :)

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  16. Fabulous review, Andrea! I've been anxiously awaiting this one as I loved Pushing the Limits. I'm glad that Beth's story is so powerful and can stand on its own. And I'm glad you loved it! :)

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  17. Oh yes we are review twins! This book was so incredible and Katie is so talented. I agree that the hardest part of the story was watching Beth let Noah and Isaiah go. Love the rain quote you included, such a touching moment. Fantastic review.

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  18. A wonderful review Andrea! You enjoyed this one a bit more than me, unfortunately Beth grated on my nerves.

    I loved the quotes you shared :)

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  19. Awesome review Andrea. I just loved this book so much.

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  20. LOVED this book so freaking hard! I need to man up and write my review for it this week. Time for my big girl-blogger panties :)
    So happy you liked both of these books. Can’t wait for Isaiah’s book!

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  21. That rain bottle is so cheesy but I don't care, Ryan is a rare breed. Looking forward to Crash, Isaiah's story should be epic!

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  22. Such a great review, Andrea! I wondered if I could love Ryan like Noah, but then he produced the bottle of rain water for Beth and I swooned so hard. :) I agree, Beth was frustrating, but it was a good kind of frustrating, ya know? Can't wait to see Isaiah's happy ending in the next book!!!

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