Book Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Dare cover US

Dare to You

**Although this is a sequel, this second in the Pushing the Limits series doesn’t continue with the same characters, but gives minor characters their own show. Find my review for the first book, Pushing the Limits.

Beth Risk is just as her surname describes. The only one capable of looking after her junkie mother with the abusive boyfriend, Beth risks it all to keep her out of jail. Now she is swept from her home, from Isaiah and Noah to a town filled with Stepford wives. A ward of her uncle, a now famed retired baseball star, Beth is forced to forget herself for her uncle in order to keep her mother’s secrets.

Ryan Stone is the heart throb of the baseball team. A start pitcher, he’s as cocky on the field as he is off, and winning dares is his speciality. Everything is lined up in Ryan’s life – pro ball – a life of athletic fandom, and his parents have worked endlessly to present him with blue collar opportunities. But there’s more to Ryan than just ball. He writes, and writes well, so well that college could be a choice in his future if he dares to take it.

A golden boy and a girl from the wrong side of the street. The two have nothing in common except wanting to be themselves. As they are forced to get to know each other will either dare to deny the chemistry that blooms between them?

I am a huge fan of the first book, and perhaps because I loved the first so much I was left feeling a bit disappointed with the second. Why? Well, in Pushing the Limits I feel that McGarry kind of went and took every extreme for her characters. It’s fantastic but where does that leave this book? Clichéd rich parent expectations and actions.

Beth and Ryan are standout characters. I have no fault with them, McGarry is very talented with writing both male and female teenage voices. My issue is with everyone else around Beth and Ryan that I found lacking.

However, perhaps this needed to be the case to allow for Beth and Ryan to truly shine. Both characters did things I didn’t expect (more or less). I kept reading because Beth has a lot of secrets and I love major jock Ryan being a closeted writing nerd. The chemistry between the two is also really hot, so another major win for this romance publisher. They are talented in finding writers that can tone down adult romance on a teenage level.

I can’t wait to read the third book and Harlequin Teen is proving to me one of the best YA romance publishers out there! 


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