Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Genre: YA

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Says: 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....

Katie McGarry writes great books. Point blank. I don’t even know how to express my love for this author.

Beth Risk
Beth is rough. Just plain rough. She likes to swear, doesn't care to be friendly, doesn't trust at all, drinks, and smokes cigarettes and pot... You get my drift. It’s not easy to like Beth. In fact, I often found myself wondering why Noah and Isaiah liked her so much and why Ryan kept putting up with her crap. Little by little you start to understand why Beth is the way she is. Little by little she begins to see herself in a new light. Little by little the reader begins to be on team Beth until you can’t help but to wish her all the best at the end.

Ryan Stone
Ryan is perfect. There is no other word to describe this kid. He is perfect. He is a rare breed and I kind of liked how vanilla he was. Why? Simply put, Beth needed vanilla.  Ryan has a lot going for him. He’s pretty popular, nice, has decent grades, and he’s on the baseball team and contemplating whether he should go pro or continue on to college. So yeah, Ryan, as a person, is pretty perfect. He is a true gentleman and sees things with different eyes than many of the people around him. His home life, though, not so perfect.

I personally am glad these two were paired together. I was a bit surprised that Beth wasn't with Isaiah because it felt like this is where the story was heading. I might be the only one on this but I wasn't at all sad about the fact Beth didn't end up with Isaiah. I truly felt she only saw him as a bestie.

Ryan and Beth balance each other out. Well, maybe not… Beth is just a handful.  Yet it just works out. Ryan offers normal and makes her see her worth on a different level than anyone else could.

I think someone else that needs to be given a shout out is Beth’s uncle, Scott Risk. Although it took him 10 years to come back into Beth’s life, he made it very clear he wasn't leaving her again anytime soon. He was trying to provide Beth with an opportunity to be a regular teenager with regular problems and more importantly an opportunity to dream and hope.

This is definitely fast paced, it will keep you turning the pages and it will have you intrigued until the end. World and character building seems to always be on point. I personally don’t like contemporaries with heavy material in it and not because I can’t handle it. If you've read enough of my reviews you’ll know it’s because the authors fail to deliver a realistic read that deals with heavy material. McGarry is not this kind of writer. There are actions and there are consequences in each of her reads with lessons learned and more importantly leaving the reader with hope.

Yet, I gave Dare You To 4 stars. Yep, I did.

*I would have liked to see more interaction between Beth and Uncle Scott. As I mentioned before, Scott refuses to give up on Beth once back in her life. At one point Scott tells Beth that she is to report to the kitchen every morning at a certain hour in which he will make her breakfast, they will study for school together, and talk about school life. I would have liked to read more about those interactions because as much as Beth needed a guy like Ryan in her life, she needed a parent like Scott even more.

*From the beginning I felt this excitement while reading. Perhaps it’s because I knew Beth had a chance to have a wonderful life or maybe it was because there were a lot of dares in this book or maybe because Beth was such a little wench most of the time… I don’t know what it was but I didn't feel as big of an emotional connection as I did with Pushing the Limits and Crossing the Line.

Regardless of this, I can’t wait for Crash into You, which by the way, has a much cuter Isaiah on the cover than in my head. :-D

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

Click on the title if you'd like to read my reviews of Pushing the Limits and Crossing the Line

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