June 03, 2013

Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)

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....

Hardcover, 462 pages
Published May 28th 2013 by Harlequin Teen

A Long Story Short:

Dare You To is a great contemporary read with realistic, unique characters and a writing style that can give you goosebumps. The alternating narrators were absolutely perfect and gave the reader not only a great perspective on the plot, but also more insight in each of the main characters' feelings. The novel could have been shorter, though, in my opinion and I don't think it can keep up with the companion novel, Pushing the Limits.

3/3 Smarties

Review for You: 

There are several things to consider before uttering my final opinion on this book. I could simply say that I liked it, it was great, actually, but that - compared to Pushing the Limits - Dare You To just couldn't deliver. It'd even be the truth...just not...the whole truth.

1) Pushing the Limits Came as A Surprise

And a big one. I had never even heard of Katie McGarry before! And I didn't believe NetGalley would even let me read the book (I was a blogging baby, a really small one at that). Then I got it and kind of didn't want to read it, but also couldn't just dismiss it, so I started reading. And I hated it at the beginning. And then BOOM - I loved it. Noah and Echo and MrsCollins and everything was just SO perfect! With Dare You To it was the other way round. I liked it - but I expected to be blown away by it. Did I set my expectations (unrealistically) high? Probably. Did it ruin the book for me? By all means -no!

2) Dare You To is a Companion Novel

Why is that a problem, you ask? Well, it has something to do with no.1. As I said, I loved Pushing the Limits and after finishing it, I could not let go of Noah and Echo. And then in Dare You To, they are mentioned several times. And they are in the book. Just never...for long. I felt like I was in a love triangle with two books (oh man, I should stop writing right now and try to get help. Seriously.) I wanted to love Dare You To, but I couldn't get Pushing the Limits out of my head (there. I wrote it. This is bad.)

3) I Read What the Next Companion is Supposed to Be About

Okay, this is completely superficial and shallow, too, but after I finished Dare You To, there was a sentence at the end of the book that introduced the reader to Katie McGarry's next book. Which will be about Isajah. Honestly? That shattered me. Because the one and only person that I could not stand in Dare You To, the one character I absolutely disliked about it was - of course - Isaiah.

Now, all of these things are not something the author did wrong or could have changed. They are all aspects that made it harder for me to give this book the appreciation it deserves, because, trust me, it does. Katie McGarry is a really, really talented author - not only but especially when it comes to the characters. 
Beth and Ryan were fleshed out, thoughtfully created characters. To me, they were like actors completely living in their roles. Also, they were sympathetic. I liked Beth for her strength, of course, but also for her sense of humor and for her attitude. 
Ryan was...protective of girls. Every girl. And as cute as it is to look at a guys who will open doors and apologize and be polite - sometimes he exaggerated. Much. That's why the things he said appeared a bit flat and superficial to me. If a boy in real life talked to me like that I would maybe even be offended. It's one thing to be nice and polite. It's a completely different thing to not let a girl fight for herself just because she's a girl.
But maybe that's just me.
The different points of view were, of course, amazingly done again.I wouldn't even have had to read the characters' names at the beginning of every chapter. The voices were so different that it was perfectly clear at all times who was the one talking.
When it comes to plot I had my doubts from the beginning. Dares, in my opinion, are always a difficult thing in novels because we all know how they end but we have to wait until the very end to read about it - which can be dragging and I'm sorry to say that I did find Dare You To a bit dragging. 
There was a lot of back and forth, it took the love interests forever to get together and even then every little problem resulted into big drama.
Anyway, I make this book sound bad, which I really don't want to do.
Overall, I enjoyed it a LOT. Especially during the first half I couldn't stop reading, that's how amazing it was. I did not find it as mindblowing as Pushing the Limits but STILL. It was an amazing read and I'd recommend it to everyone - contemporary fan or not.

1 comment:

  1. I read both of those books, and while I agree that I didn't exactly like Isaiah in DARE YOU TO, I loved him in PUSHING THE LIMITS, and for that reason alone, I read the 3rd book: CRASH INTO YOU. I LOVED IT!!!! I think I loved it more than PTL. Isaiah made a lot more sense in this book and I absolutely loved Rachel ( the main girl character). You should really check it out. Again, the next book is about the person I liked the least, (A new character). It seems to be that way for every companion novel to PTL.


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