Tuesday 2 April 2013

Dare to You (Pushing the Limits 2) by Katie McGarry

Reviewed by Willow 4 Stars (written Feb 2013)

Beth’s the bad girl that no-one wanted, not even parents. Ryan’s the high school hero that everyone wants a piece of – even if no-one knows the real him. Their paths should never have crossed – now they’re each other’s only life line. If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk’s mum they’d send her mother to jail. So seventeen year old Beth protects her mum at all costs. Until the day she can’t. Suddenly sent to live with her uncle in a small town Beth’s now stuck with an aunt who doesn’t want her, and at a school that doesn’t get her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn’t go anywhere near a girl like Beth. Ryan Stone is gorgeous, a popular jock and the town golden boy— with secrets he can’t tell anyone. Even his friends. As Ryan and Beth dare to let each other in, they’re treading on dangerous ground – and the consequences could change their worlds forever

*****ARC received for honest review*****

After having read Pushing the Limits and loving it I was excited to hear that Katie McGarry was doing a story about Beth. Like most of you I'm sure, I was expecting this story to be about Beth and Isaiah. I was hoping for more of Noah and Echo too and seeing how they are getting on.

The story is told from two points of view, Beth and Ryan - yes I did say Ryan and not Isaiah! the story starts with Ryan and his mates at a Taco Bell. We learn that Ryan and his friends are big on dares, they get a rush from it and Ryan is very competitive and hates losing. The current dare is to get phone numbers off selected girls. Spotting Beth walk in, Ryan's mates set the challenge, to get this weird, Gothic looking girl's phone number. Ryan accepts and steps up to talk to Beth. After some banter Beth tells Ryan he can have her number if he can walk her to her car. Ryan, tasting victory, agrees, but is cut short when Isaiah and Noah are outside waiting for Beth. As Beth drives off she holds up the palm of her hand and the word "can't" is written on it. Ryan never loses, but he lost this one and she managed to rub it in too! but what can he do, he's not going to see her again right?- I loved this first meeting. Beth has a lot of attitude and I felt that she put cocky Ryan in his place!

Beth's mum is an alcoholic, Beth's Dad is no longer around, instead Beth's mum has a boyfriend named Trent. Trent is the scum of the earth, he is a drug dealer who regularly beats Beth's mum and has beaten Beth on occasion too. After an event involving Trent, Custody of Beth is given to Scott, Beth's uncle, who she hasn't seen in years. The problem is it means Beth moving away from her mum and away from Isaiah and Noah. Scott forbids Beth from seeing her mum or he will tell the Police something that will cause her mum to go to prison.

Enter Ryan again. Ryan is a Baseball player and discovers Scott Risk, a famous Baseball player has moved to his town. He meets Scott and starts talking with him, Scott explains that his niece has moved in with him and he needs someone to show her around school. Ryan agrees and then he's introduced to Scott's niece and it's Taco Bell girl! Ryan never loses a dare and now he is has the opportunity to right the lost dare at the Taco Bell, all he has to do is get her number and take her on a date. Easy right?

You've kind of got four stories woven through this book:

You've got Ryan - I loved the fact that although he seems like he has a perfect life on the outside (his parents believe appearances are everything) actually his life isn't. There's a secret about his family life and how he deals with this along with him learning to make decisions about his future for himself. I really liked Ryan's character.

You've got Beth's on going problems her mother and Trent and how she can't just let go. Add in the mystery of what Scott knows that's so bad that could put her mother in jail and little bits of information coming about about why her dad left keeps the story interesting and helps us learn why Beth is the way she is.

You've got Beth's relationship with Isaiah which is filled with feelings of hurt, disappointment, betrayal and love. I have to say that I felt really sorry for Isaiah, who was only trying to do what he thought was best for Beth.

Finally you've got the story of Beth and Ryan and the dare. It looks like Ryan is starting to have feelings for Beth and is seeing Beth for who she really is, but is it all just part of the Dare and can Beth trust him?

I really did enjoy this story, but (sorry there is a but!) towards the end I felt that it needed to go more in depth, it jumped a bit and then the ending seemed a bit abrupt. I would have liked this fleshed out a bit. Also although I loved Beth, there were parts of the story that made me want to yell at her. It didn't engage me as much as Pushing the Limits did and I didn't see much of Echo and Noah, but, *writes "can" on my palm* Katie McGarry has written another very enjoyable book.