Thursday, May 23, 2013

[ARC Review]: "Dare You To"

Dare You To by Katie McGarry
Publisher: Harlequin Teen (May 28, 2013)
Series: Pushing the Limits, 2
Genre: YA Romance
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....

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My Review:

“I like you. I. Like. You. I'll admit you're annoying. Sometimes you agitate me to the brink of insanity, but you can throw it back at me like no one else. When you laugh, I want to laugh. When you smile, I want to smile. Hell, I want to be the one to make you smile.”

How often do you read a book that grabs your insides and twists them—hard? How often do you find a book that changes your mind about a character? How often do you find yourself worried sick about the outcome of a book? It's rare for me to find such a book, but when I do it's an instant keeper, one that I can't stop thinking about, long after that last page is turned. Dare You To is such a book!

“I hold the bottle out into the rain and watch as the steady flow slowly fills it. When there is enough, enough that Beth can clearly see, I close the bottle and hand it to her.

She raises a skeptical eyebrow, but accepts the bottle.

"It's our rain Beth."

Her head barely shakes to show her confusion while I rub the back of my neck and search for my courage. "I told you I loved you in this rain and when you doubt my words, I want you to look at this bottle.”

I can't say that I am surprised that I loved this book. After all, McGarry already proved her talent with Pushingthe Limits, which I adored. In PTL, I was unsure that I would ever like Beth. Okay, let's be honest—I was certain I would always hate her; she was, simply put, such a hard bitch. But as DYT began, and more of Beth was revealed, bit by bit, I came to realize why she acts the way she does. Before too long, I was anxious for her to realize what her life could be if only she'd put the past behind her and start living her life the way she wants. 

“You're a lot like that bird in the barn. You're so scared that you're going to be caged in forever you can't see the way out. You smack yourself against the wall again and again and again. The door is open, Beth. Stop running in circles and walk out.”

And as Ryan started to steal my heart (which he did!), I was cheering for him and Beth. They deserved their chance at a HEA, screw what the world thinks of them together.

“Screw what Mom and Dad think. Screw the rest of the town. Screw perfection. This girl is mine.”

I really connected with Beth and her relationship with her uncle, Scott. Why? Because, like Beth, I was close to my youngest uncle as well. Much like Scott, my own uncle was a pre-teen when I was born. And there the similarities end; my life wasn't a copy of Beth's, nor was my uncle's a copy for Scott's (other than the fact that both were good men who loved their family). But that strong bond between them touched me, reminded me of my own childhood. I lost my uncle, four years ago this month, and to this day it still kills me inside to know that he's no longer here. What does this have to do with the story, or the author's writing talent? Nothing, really. But I think it's important that a good book has this affect, allowing you to find such connections while reading. Regardless of anything else Beth did or went through, this is what I will always connect with her over, and yes, even envy her for, as she still has years ahead of enjoying her uncle's company.

4.5 STARS! Truly, I can't even begin to explain how much I loved this book, nor can I tell you why. But I can tell you this: McGarry has a fan for life! Two books so far and both have broken my heart, twisted me into knots with worry...yet in the end, put a happy smile on my face. Emotional, and all to realistic at times, Dare You To is going at the top of my list of favorites. I will be buying myself a copy to keep alongside PTL, and I cannot wait until Isaiah's story is finally here. Until then, I think I need to read a few lighter novels. Every time I pick up a novel from this author, I cry even as I find myself thoroughly enjoying the journey. Thank you, Katie McGarry, for another amazing story!

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I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher, through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest opinion.

*Note: The quotes used belong to Katie McGarry. TBQ's Book Palace does not claim them.

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Have you read any of Katie McGarry's books? If not, what are you waiting for? Even if YA isn't your genre of choice, I think any romance fan, any fan of a great emotional story with real characters, will love these books. I can't stop gushing about PTL and DTY! I'll be rereading these books for years to come, and recommending them to everyone!

Oh, and let's talk about McGarry's awesome covers for a moment, shall we? I was lucky enough to receive a hardback of PTL last year, and let me tell you that as beautiful and sexy as the cover looks online--it's ten times better in print! I'll admit to stroking my book a few times; under the dustcover the hardback's cover is a glossy print of the cover. Love. It.

Now, I haven't ordered my copy of DTY yet, but I will. First, like I already said, the book itself is amazing and I want my own copy to keep. But second, the cover is sexy as hell, and I *must* have a copy of that to stroke and stare at, too. :D CoverWhore, remember?


Until Next Time,


*TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!


Anna@herding cats said...

Oh yes those are my favorite types but so hard to find them. Ones you find a connection to and that twist you all up. Glad Beth won you over :) I'll have to add this one to the list.

Wickedly Delicious said...

Beautiful review. I have not read any of her novels. Seen them in netgalley and read great reviews all over the blogs.

The_Book_Queen said...

Thanks. I highly recommend this series, but be prepared, McGarry's books are very, very emotional! :) If you read either book, let me know what you think!

The_Book_Queen said...

They are hard to find; lately my luck with books have been horrible. But I *loved* DYT. Highly recommend, let me know if you read it, I'd like to know what your thoughts are. :)

Anna@herding cats said...

I go through phases like that too. Drives me nuts. Went through a couple not bad books but just in the middle ones this past couple weeks. Hopefully we'll both have better luck the next couple :)

The_Book_Queen said...

I really hope so, too! :)