Katie McGarry’s Pushing the Limits had a ton of hype. Since I’m picky when it comes to contemporary romance, it took a while for me to approach it. When I did, I found that while I did enjoy it, I didn’t get what the hype was all about. The buzz surrounding Pushing the Limits’ companion, Dare You To, looked promising though, which is why I gave it a chance. McGarry literally steps up her game with Dare You To, delivering a better story with the right amounts of drama and romance.
Dare You To follows Beth, a snarky, badass teenager that has a ton of family troubles. When trying to save her mom from her abusive boyfriend, her mom gets in trouble with the police. Knowing her mom violated her probation, Beth lies, takes the fall for her mother and gets arrested. What Beth doesn’t count on is that her long lost uncle is back in town and decides to take custody of Beth to give her a chance at a better life.
The other half of Dare You To is Ryan Stone, a baseball star in his small rural town. Ryan is prepping to start professional baseball and working hard to impress not only scouts but his overbearing father. On the surface, it looks like Ryan has the perfect family and life, but in reality, his family and their relationships are quickly falling apart.
A dare brings Beth and Ryan together, but do they dare to listen to their hearts and realize their connection?
If you’ve read PTL, you’ll remember Beth as one of Noah’s best friends. Beth was one of my least favorite characters. She was annoyingly taciturn and seemed so one-note. I wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy reading a story about her character. However from the first chapters, I found her snarky meanness sort of endearing. Getting to know her was interesting, and eventually I was happy that McGarry decided to tell her story.
As for Ryan, he might not have been as fascinating as Beth’s character, but I found him likable and not-so-perfect. I mainly liked the dynamic between Ryan and Beth. Like PTL, McGarry capitalizes on the whole “opposites attract” principle. It works so much better in Dare You To, even when I though it wouldn’t. Beth and Ryan are opposites in a completely cliché way, yet I found their romance a lot more believable and less melodramatic than Noah and Echo’s.
Dare You To is a much better follow-up than its predecessor. Alone, it’s just a good contemporary romance following two characters with captivating and sexy chemistry and some dark life drama. I recommend it to those looking for something romantic and entertainingly formulaic with a bit of heaviness.
Dare You To by Katie McGarry will be available wherever books are sold on May 28, 2013. Support The Young Folks and purchase a copy at our TYF Store, powered by Amazon.
Publisher: Harlequin Teen (May 28, 2013)
Length: 480 pages (Hardcover)
Series: Pushing the Limits – Book 2 of 3
Source: ARC (Provided by publisher)
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Romance, Drama
Completed: May 2013