Mundie Moms

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Dare You To by Katie McGarry, Book Review

By: Katie McGarry
Published by: Harlequin Teen
Released on: May 28, 2013
Series: Pushing the Limits #2
Source: Purchased
Rating: 5 Stars - I Loved It!
Purchase from: Amazon B&N
Add it to Goodreads

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....

A captivating YA romance that is everything I hoped Katie McGarry's sophomore book would be and more. 

Just as gripping and as intense as her debut, Dare You To was flawless. Katie's writing is something I can't seem to get enough. It's intense, gritty, and realistic. McGarry writes raw teenage romances that emotionally packed, intriguing, and leave me satisfied as much as they leave me wanting more. Ryan and Beth's relationship was one I couldn't seem to get enough of. Opposites in every sense, these two are characters I loved getting to know.

Fans of the series first met Beth in Pushing the Limits. Similar to that book, she's a character who's extremely rough around the edges. But, the more her layers get peeled back, the more I couldn't help but like her. This girl has had nothing but a horrible up bringing. Seriously. I totally understood her, and why she acted the way she did after I got to really know her story. The way McGarry allowed her story to slowly unravel was perfect and so fitting for this book. Slowly but surely Beth got to tell her story, but it was on her own terms. Which when you read the book, and get to know Beth, you'll know what's so fitting. Beth's story is both heartbreaking, and gut wrenching. Luckily her story has hope in it. Beth makes the most of any situation. She's a fighter and tough, though she's not as tough as she thinks she is.... enter Ryan.

I absolutely loved Ryan. Like Beth, his voice in this story was real, raw, and made it incredibly easy to want to keep reading to get to know him better. Like Beth, he does not give up. Ryan doesn't lose. Ever. Which is good, because his biggest challenge he's ever faced is winning Beth over. Athletic, popular, and star of the high school baseball team, Ryan has lived a life completely different of Beth's, but like hers. But, he too comes from a family that has a few skeleton's in his closet. What McCarry does with Ryan in this book was flat out awesome. I loved the way his character was developed. I loved his honesty and the vulnerability he has. Most of all, I loved the way he saw Beth, and how he treated her. In a sea of fabulously written male characters in the YA world, Ryan is a character who stands out to me, because he goes against the grain in what the norm seems to be. I can't elaborate more on it, because it will give away part of what happens in this book. Ryan is someone who's tender, tough, and extremely confident in who he is, which never came across as cocky to me. It came across as a strength and something I admired in him. He works hard, and doesn't make excuses for who he is. 

I loved the way Beth and Ryan learned to slowly trust in each other, confide in one another, and work through the secrets that have held them back for so long. Sure Beth by far had the much darker secrets, but Ryan had ones that were troubling as well. Beth and Ryan couldn't be more opposite. At first you'd think these two would never work, but that is what makes them work. The fight to make it work. They see in each other what no one else does. Along with the two of them, are some great characters, both ones from Pushing The Limits and new characters, that I loved. Ryan's friends are great, as is Beth's Uncle. I love that McGarry's books include parents/parental roles in her books. The parental roles play a huge part both Ryan and Beth's lives, and the decision they make. Now I will say, I've never as livid at a mother before as I was at Beth's mom... even that has a back story that is heartbreaking.

Dare You To is fabulous! I loved it. This was a book that I couldn't put down once I started it. Katie's writing is awesome! Her story line intriguing. What I love most about this book, and Katie's series is the way she writes her characters. I'm fingerling over her characters....She creates characters who feel real. Her characters are realistically portrayed. They're flawed, and in some way relatable. It's so easy for me to care about them, and get emotionally pulled into their story because of that. It's impossible for me not to fall for her characters and cheer them on as they deal with the struggles of finding themselves, and over coming all the things that their story throws their way. 

If you were a fan of Pushing The Limits, I'd recommend picking this story up. Even if you weren't, I'd recommend giving it a try. Though there are some of the same characters in it, it's a very different story line. I enjoyed this book more than the first one. Read my review for Pushing The Limits, book #1 in the series and book #3 in the series, Crash Into You.

*There is strong language, mentions of drugs, drinking and well written sensual scenes, making it a book that may not be suitable for younger YA readers. 

New Castle Shadowhunters, Cassie's Coming To You!

New Castle Shadowhunters, Cassie's Coming To You!
Don't miss seeing Cassie on June 4th! Here's all the info per Seven Stories (book store):

Shadow Hunting with Cassandra Clare

04th June 2014, 17:45 - 19:00


Tyneside Cinema
10 Pilgrim Street, Newcastle
Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, NE1 6QG

Calling all Newcastle Shadowhunters! Meet Cassandra Clare, best-selling author of The Mortal Instruments in this exciting event for fans of YA fiction. See Cassandra interviewed by her friend, and fellow YA author Sarah Rees Brennan, talking about her incredibly popular books, find out how she gets her inspiration and an opportunity for you to ask all your burning questions. This is one of Cassandra’s few UK events and the only chance for North East Shadowhunters to meet the lady herself. 

Book your ticket today and get Cassandra’s brand new book, Mortal Instruments: City of Heavenly Fire, delivered in time for the event. 

£15 per person. Includes a copy of Mortal Instruments: City of Heavenly Fire. 

#newcastleshadowhunters to join in the conversation online

Unidentified Snippet

Good Morning Shadowhunters! Did you read the unidentified snippet Cassie posted earlier this week? Check it out here:

His face crumpled. “He hates me,” he said. “All I do is love him, but he hates me, he just hates me, I don’t know why.”

Who do you think is saying this, and what book is it from? I think it's from City of Heavenly Fire....