20 June 2013

Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Dare You To by Katie McGarry
Pushing the Limits #2
Release Date: May 28, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: Publisher (Netgalley)
Goodreads Stars: 3
Rating: Enjoyable

Buy it: Amazon UK

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.... - Goodreads

Oh yay, another book this year that has disappointed me, despite the fact that my expectations weren't even that high. I had a few issues with this one, and I don't know if I'm being overly sensitive, but as someone who has experienced abuse and has grown up surrounded by it, I think it's okay for me to judge? Maybe. I tried not to whine and complain all over the place, but I felt like the points I make are important.

I love Beth so freakin' much. She has some major issues, and I think in the wrong hands her character could have been awfully annoying and possibly also rather offensive. But McGarry did a fantastic job with her. I was able to connect with her easily, and I could relate with what she was going through in some instances. I especially loved her relationship with Scott, her uncle, and how that developed throughout the story. I think it might be close to becoming one of my favourite relationships in YA.

And then, just to put a downer on the whole thing, there is Ryan. He was hot, yes, but sooooo annoying. I've noticed that the guys in this series like to refer to their girlfriends as "my girl", and say things like "she's mine." NOPE. I hate that. It seems overly possessive, and just UGH. It makes me cringe. Other than that, there were no annoying nicknames, thank the gods.

Anyway, Ryan got on my nerves a lot. I didn't feel any chemistry between him and Beth, and this was possibly caused by how I felt about Ryan, because a lot of people seem to love them together. I saw Ryan as controlling. When Beth didn't want to do something (i.e. talk about personal things, like her mother), Ryan would force her into it. He bloody well knew that she was going through something major, and yet he still pressured her into telling him, and even went as far as physically restraining her until she admitted to the things he wanted to know about. I'm sorry, but that is not how you treat someone who has been abused.  There were also a couple of instances where he forcibly kissed Beth, and she initially struggled to get away and he wouldn't let go until she succumbed to his kiss. I feel sick just thinking about it. I know that McGarry (probably) didn't mean for it to be that way, she may have felt it was hot or romantic, but it just screamed control issues and abuse to me.

I'm not one of those people who is bothered by the slight Isaiah/Beth/Ryan love triangle, either. In fact, I don't like her with either of them, so...

Overall I most certainly liked and enjoyed this book, but that was mostly because of Beth and Scott. (Has anyone caught onto the fact that he's married to someone called Allison? Scott and Allison. Allison and Scott. Teen Wolf, WOOP WOOP!) I think that the dark subject matter was dealt with fairly well, if you ignore Ryan. But if you think too much about it, you might realise that their relationship isn't healthy, especially since Beth is already openly "broken".


  1. Allison and Scott, if I'd started TW before I read this book I might have screamed a bit. Anyway, what you said about Ryan was really not how I interpreted it, and honestly, it made me rethink his actions a bit. While I still adore him and Beth together (Beth is AMAZING) and I thought that, in a way, they helped each other, I don't like that I know think of him forcing Beth to do things she didn't want to. Hmmmmm. HMMM. This makes him sound like a dick. Anyway, I could deal with the "my girl" because I was expecting another Noah. Rambling on your blog heeeeeee.

  2. There were a few instances of "my girl" where I cringed at Ryan's possessiveness, but overall I understood it as Ryan pushing Beth in ways that he thought she would respond to. Ryan also reminded me of a lot of my guy friends from my small hometown, where referring to someone as "my girl" was less a possession thing as a term of endearment thing, so I might have had a soft spot for him! Haha


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