Review: Dare You To (Pushing the Limits #2) by Katie McGarry

April 29, 2013 Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Dare You To, Harlequin Teen, Katie McGarry, Netgalley, Pushing the Limits, Realistic Fiction, swoony boys, YA, Young Adult 42

Publication Date: May 28th 2013

From 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….

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As someone who thoroughly enjoyed the first novel in this series, Pushing the Limits, it was a no-brainer that this novel would be a must read.

Once again, we find our story told through alternating points of view. This time around we have Beth, Noah’s friend who we first meet in Pushing the Limits, and a new character, Ryan. For those of you who read the first book, you may be wondering about Isaiah, and he is there at times, but more on that later.

From what we already knew of Beth, she had family problems that often led her to escape and stay at her Aunt’s house with Noah and Isaiah. We get a glimpse of her life with her alcoholic mother and her abusive boyfriend and what a tragic position she finds herself in, needing to be the parent and take care of her mother but not really having the means to. She continues to have the spunk I remember of her before but on a whole new level, making her one of my favorite YA female characters. She has that no nonsense attitude full of sarcasm and wit, but underneath is someone a little vulnerable and doesn’t believe herself worthy. Piss her off though and she will curse and threaten bodily harm.

“Get your arm off of me before I rip it off and beat the shit out of you with it.”

Yep, that’s my girl! She has some serious balls and I love her for it. An unfortunate turn of events takes her away from this life and thrown into a new one with her Uncle as guardian. This is where she meet Ryan.

Ryan also has a few issues going on at home but nothing to the extreme we get with Beth, which I appreciated. Pushing the Limits was super high on drama and it was nice to have it a bit toned down in this companion, which made it feel more realistic.Β I usually go for the bad boy but I think it’s safe to say my tastes are slowly changing. Ryan’s a whole different type of swoony. Ryan plays to win in all aspects of life. His life has always been baseball, but he discovers a few extra interests as the story progresses. He’s a gentleman with perfect manners and boy is he sweet! (Bottle of rain for anyone who has read it?) He has just enough imperfections to balance out all of his perfections though. But man, every time he turned his hat around for a kiss and pulled it down to cover his embarrassment… DEAD.

I’d love to kiss her right now. Not the type of kiss that makes her body come alive. The type of kiss that shows her how much I care – the type that involves my soul.

These two come together on a dare and what develops is a truly remarkable love story. Obviously there is a lot of outside factors coming into play from both families as well, but the fun carefree moments give it a good balance and keeps you engaged in their lives. And of course there was Isaiah… Let me just tell you how hard my heart broke for poor Isaiah. I think my impression from the first book was that Beth and Isaiah would develop into something more so it was so hard to see him hurt and root for the other guy. BUT I know his story is coming in the next book and I am DYING to see him get a happily ever after.

Overall, this book is one of my favorites for the year so far! A truly amazing story with characters you cannot help but love, I strongly recommend this novel. As more of a companion, you do not have to read Pushing the Limits to read Dare You To.

Beth feels like this storm. Constant and persistent as a whole, but the more I get close and try to clutch the individual drops of rain, the more the water falls out of my hands.

Sara @ Forever 17 Books

42 Responses to “Review: Dare You To (Pushing the Limits #2) by Katie McGarry”

  1. Jasprit

    Sara, Rachel really enjoyed Dare to You too, both of your enthusiastic reviews make me want to give this book a try! I definitely used to prefer the bad boys too, but I think like you my tastes in fictional crushes has changed quite a bit, I think I would like Ryan too! πŸ˜‰ Great review Sara! πŸ™‚

  2. Dea S.

    I liked Pushing the Limits a lot but I have to admit I enjoyed this so much more! I also felt bad for Isaac, but I guess Ryan is the guy Beth needed in her life. They are perfect for each other. I’m looking forward to reading Isaac’s story as well. Wonderful review!

    Dea @ Teen Readers’ Diary

  3. lilybloombooks

    I loved Pushing the Limits and I have been anxiously waiting to read this! (got the egalley last wk) I’m happy to hear Beth is “no nonsense” and tough. Seems there are hard to come by these days in YA! Awesome review πŸ™‚

  4. starryeyedjen

    Yay…FIVE STARS!!! I need to hurry up and get caught up so I can read this one. I loved both Pushing the Limits and Crossing the Line and can’t wait to read Beth’s story!

  5. Shooting Stars Mag

    Awesome review! I really need to read Pushing the Limits. I love a great contemporary and this is one that so many people seemed to enjoy. I’m glad the first companion novel was just as great!


  6. YA Book Queen

    Ha! Love the quote from Beth πŸ™‚

    I’m glad it ended up being a favorite read for you! I’m very excited for this story, it sounds fantastic.

  7. Aman

    YAY! I loved this one too, more so than PTL. Beth was one awesome character and I loved her. What she did for her mother was admirable (not a lot of people agree with that but I would have done the same too) And Ryan was truly adorable, he was so opposite of what I expected him to be. I can’t wait to read Isaiah’s book, I already love his girl!

  8. Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed

    This book was soooooooo good! I liked it better than Pushing the Limits and I loved that book! (I feel kind of bad admitting that. Like I’m cheating on PtL with DYT or something)
    Beth was awesome, I have no patience for weak chicks. And Ryan, holy hell! Who knew nice guys could be so freaking HOT! My list of β€˜Good Guys I Like’ is slowly growing.
    Isaiah broke my heart πŸ™ I have a feeling his story will be the most emotional and my favoritest.
    *covers the other books ears*

    Is it weird that I giggled when I read the word balls coming from you? Ha! Didn’t expend that one.

  9. Lauren Elizabeth

    I think I liked this one even more than PTL (I feel blasphemous even saying that)! OMG your Ryan quotes are seriously in danger of making me swoon again. And I love Beth, even though she would probably bite my head off and eat it for breakfast. I couldn’t help but love her.

    I cannot WAIT until we get Isaiah’s story thoughβ€”I felt SO bad for him! Amazing review, I’m absolutely thrilled to hear that you loved this one too! πŸ™‚

  10. Tanja - Tanychy

    *does a happy dance* I’ve got the arc of this one too and finally put it on my schedule! I can’t wait to read it. I really like the sound of it. Great review Sarah πŸ™‚

  11. Kat Balcombe

    Ah I’m so exited for this book – I loved the first one and I think Beth is going to be totally my kind of character. Great review, you’ve got me even more exited now πŸ™‚

  12. Sunny Duvall

    Since I haven’t read Pushing Limits yet, I wasn’t planning on readin this one, but WOW. It sounds great and romantic and wonderful. Who doesn’t love dares? And Beth really does sound tough and strong, which I absolutely admire in my MCs. I might even read this before Pushing the Limits πŸ˜‰ Great review, Sara!

  13. Sierra

    This sounds so good….I haven’t read Pushing The Limits yet, it’s on hold at my library. They both sound good, I’m really looking forward to reading them!

  14. Lisa (Lost in Literature)

    I have this coming up soon for review, so I have to admit that I didn’t read your review. I’m one of those weirdos that won’t read reviews until after I’ve written mine. But the 5 star rating says it all!!! And totally not surprising. I’m just assuming I will love this since I loved Pushing the Limits. πŸ™‚

  15. Lauren @ Love is not a triangle

    This is a FAVORITE of the year! YES. It’s coming my way soon so I cannot wait to read it. I love nice guys in books, so I’m very excited about Ryan. And I’m glad that there’s a bit less drama than the first story. I was also confused about Isaiah not being the love interest, but can’t wait to see how Beth works out with Ryan. He sounds like a good match for her. Can’t wait for more of her fire too. Great review!


    I just got an ARC of this book on netgalley so you can only imagaine the squeals of joy I did and the silly embarrassing jig I did right along side it. I’m glad you liked it and this review only made me decide to read this one next! Hopefully I love it too!
    Lily @ Lilysbookblog

  17. Synchronized Reading

    I don’t want to read you review yet, because I STILL have not read Pushing the Limits! I have a copy on my kindle, but just haven’t found the time. I’ve heard so many awesome things about this series and I see your rating so I’m glad book too was great for you! Makes me want to read the series even more πŸ˜€

    Janina @ Synchonized Reading

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