Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry


Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)Dare You To by Katie McGarry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars



Dare you To will be published in May/June 2013 in hardcover and e-book formats.

Dare You To is the sequel to Pushing The Limits, which was one of my favourite books of 2012. It does, however, work as a stand alone novel. Although there are references to characters and events in PTL, this is a distinct story that stands on its own.

We first met Beth in Pushing the Limits. She was the niece of Noah and Isaiah's indifferent foster mother, coming to live with them when her mother's abusive boyfriend hit her one time too many. We don't learn a lot about Beth in PTL, she's sullen and hostile and mostly stoned. We know she's had an unpleasant home life and that her mother has chosen the boyfriend over her, but as PTL is focused on Noah and Echo we don't know much more than that, other than that Isaiah loves her.

Dare You To is billed as Beth's story, but as with PTL it is a shared perspective story with each chapter alternating between the viewpoints of the main characters. I really wanted this to be Beth and Isaiah's story, but it's not.

We start with Ryan Stone, promising baseball player about to enter his senior year. He and his friends play a game of dares, seeing who can get the most girls' phone numbers. They have no intention of calling these girls, it's simply about winning. Ryan is dared to approach a pierced, black haired girl with attitude: Beth. Her refusal to give him her number sparks Ryan's competitive streak. He doesn't do losing.

When Beth gets herself arrested to stop her mother going to jail, her uncle gets involved and takes her to live with him. He asks one of the local boys to show her around the school and help her settle in. It turns out to be Ryan, the obnoxious jock who tried to get her number.

Inevitably, sparks fly and a mutual attraction develops. Can Beth find a way to trust Ryan? And is he worth trusting, or is it all a game to him after all?

I really liked Ryan as a character. Despite his swagger he really is decent and honourable and vulnerable.

Beth's story is heartbreaking. By the end you really want her to find her HEA.

There are a few gratuitous mentions of Noah and Echo, and the book would have worked as well without them. They didn't really add anything to the story, apart from giving Beth a reference for what love looks like.

I didn't love it quite as much as Pushing the Limits, but I loved it enough to read it all in one session, staying up until 2am to do so.

Isaiah's story will be continued in Crash Into You.

My copy of Dare You To was provided by Harlequin UK through netgalley.

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