Monday, June 3, 2013

Review Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)


Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)Author: Katie McGarry
Series: Pushing the Limits, #2
Release date: June 7th 2013
Publisher: Mira INK
Paperback, 352 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository

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...

I doubt I was the only one who was convinced Dare You To would be Beth and Isaiah’s story and I confess to being a bit disappointed when I found out it wasn’t. I was already somewhat invested in this couple and I wanted to see how McGarry would make things work between them. But what I didn’t realize at the time was that she never could.

I can’t imagine that two severely damaged people would be good for each other in the long run. I don’t minimize the value of their friendship and the fact that they saved each other more times than they can count, but a good relationship needs to be built on healthier foundations and there was very little that was healthy in Beth and Isaiah’s relationship. Although I was reluctant to admit it at first, Beth needed someone like Ryan to help her clear her life of shadows and find a more peaceful path.

Ryan isn’t without problems himself and he makes many mistakes along the way, but overall, I love his gentleness and his endless patience and he quickly turned into my favorite among McGarry’s characters.

My problem with Katie McGarry’s books isn’t her writing, or her stories, or even her characters. It’s how they react to emotional trauma, how they handle pain that bothers me. I never feel that it’s genuine, there’s something textbook perfect about it that fails to convince me every time. Not everyone reacts to trauma in the same way and not everyone can be fixed with two hugs and a conversation and that is a mistake McGarry keeps repeating with all her characters, in my opinion.

It was a huge problem I had with Pushing the Limits and unfortunately, McGarry’s understanding of troubled teens hasn’t improved any. But I enjoy her books enough to read the last one, although I doubt I’ll remember much about the first two by then.


22 comments:

  1. I was a little surprised too when I found out this book wouldn't be focusing on Isaiah and Beth's relationship, but a lot of readers have been impressed with Ryan's character. I'm sorry you weren't able to enjoy this as much as you hoped Maja, but I'm glad you're still up for reading more by McGarry. Fab review! :)

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  2. Now that you mention it, her characters do have a textbook-like reaction to their issues, but like you, I still enjoy these books. I expected Beth with Isaiah as well, but I grew to really like her story with Ryan. It was one of the strongest aspects of the book - that McGarry convinced us so convincingly of the logicalness of this couple. Anyway, fantastic review, Maja! I'm glad you liked this, despite its faults.

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  3. I really wanted this book to be on Isaiah and Beth. Like you- I was already shipping them. It was definitely a dispointment to PTL but I still adored them greatly. It's a shame you didn't like the emotional trauma side of things.

    Well written review anyways, Maja! <33

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  4. Awwww sorry her series just doesn't quite ring true for you Maja! I agree with you completely on Beth and Isaiah, I wanted them together so badly but you're right that they just wouldn't work. Ryan was the perfect fit for Beth and vice versa, and I'm exited to see how things work out for Isaiah!

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  5. honest opinion I like that. Have read a lot of awesome reviews on this book and I do want to eventually pick up the series but I like learning about the not so much about it. Not sure I like the sound of how she handles trauma as well, I think it would bother me hehe. Great review Maja! something to think about.

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  6. I still haven't read the first one but I can see why you would be disappointed that this one wasn't about the characters you wanted it to be. I think I would have felt the same way.
    I still really want to read both of these and plan on making time soon for them. I love how honest your review was Maja!

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  7. I totally understand. When I heard that Beth wasn't going to wind up with Isaiah, I was upset! Actually, I had a chance to ask Katie about this and she explained that, when she sat down to write their story, it turned out that they really, really liked each other, that they're best friends but it wasn't *that* kind of love, especially since, she said, in many ways, Isaiah enables Beth. Interesting... Anyway, the next story is Isaiah's and I'm really looking forward to it!

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  8. I'm reading this at the moment so I've really just skimmed, but I would have also thought it would be Beth and Isaiah's story and I already know I'm going to feel bad for Isaiah even though I haven't got that far yet.

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  9. Sorry you didn't like this one as much, Maja. I was hoping for Beth and Isaiah to be paired too, but after reading Katie's interview in the end, I get why she picked Ryan instead. I'm with you on Ryan too! I love him! He was so patient and calm with Beth and never left her side. Hopefully you'll enjoy Isaiah's book more.

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  10. Yeah, I know what you mean about the troubled teens. I was supposed to have this reviewed for Thursday this week, and it isn't going to happen right now. I am not as eager to read this because this book has been a blog whore lately. sigh.....

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  11. I guess the parts that you found unbelieveable didn't bother me. Mostly because I find all YA like that. It's like a sticom, it has to be solved within a short period of time for the HEA to come. :) I actually was glad that she didn't make it Beth/Isaiah. I would have rebelled. I knew they couldn't free each other from the hell they dug themselves. I think I was one of the very few who felt that way at the end of the first book. Now you know you are going to read Isaiah's book, right? LOL

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  12. I just read Heidi's comment and that's how I'm feeling. I think I have seen this book TOO much and have lost my enthusiasm for reading it. I'm also burnt out on angst and prefer the easier reading FUN contemporary books. Maybe once the excitement has burnt out a bit on this one I'll pick it up.

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  13. "Although I was reluctant to admit it at first, Beth needed someone like Ryan to help her clear her life of shadows and find a more peaceful path." YES, I was SO reluctant to admit this, and was still sulking over the unceremonious Isaiah discarding for most of the novel before it finally sunk in. I get what you mean about the reactions to trauma being textbook perfect. I also think her endings (especially DYT, but also PTL) are a bit too tidy, but so far I've succeeded in ignoring my inner naysayer and been quite swept up in the stories. I'm hoping for a similar experience with Isaiah in book three, but who knows? I might not be as enamored with this formula by then. :-) Lovely, thoughtful review Maja!

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  14. I am so conflicted on whether or not I should read these books. On the one hand, most of the reviews are insanely positive, but on the other hand, I'm not convinced these are my kind of reads at all. And it's reviews like this one that have me doubting them yet again. It's nice that they are loved by a majority of readers, but I can't help but think I would have criticisms similar to yours where I have a problem with the execution of the story... I guess I wouldn't know for sure until I have tried them out! Anyways, thanks for this helpful review, Maja; it's given me a lot to think about.

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  15. I keep seeing mixed reviews on this. It seems to be a lover or hate thing with these.
    Good review very helpful when it comes to seeing if I want to read them or not.


    Http://www.daydreamerN.blogspot.com

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  16. I loved this and yes I thought it would be Isaiah, but I ended up liking Beth. I liked that she tackled big issues and dysfunctional families. Sometimes the perfect family by outward appearances are totally messed up behind closed doors. You are right not everyone handles trauma and abuse the same way, but I think she did a good job of portraying how a young girl who isn't getting help would lash out and build walls. I would have liked to have seen counseling. Lovely review Maja and thankfully we will get Isaiah's story next.

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  17. I agree that I was worried about what happened to Isaiah when Is started this book, but became convinced that Ryan was a better choice for Beth, and I applaud the author for proving that to her readers. I'm sorry you were disappointed in the emotional content of the book. I can see what you mean about this author following a script about how her characters handle emotional trauma. Sometimes that bugs me in a story, but for some reason it didn't here. Well thought out review, though.

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  18. On I'm sorry this didn't make more of an impression on you, Maya. I loved this one and Pushing the Limits but not every writer works for everyone. Great review. :)

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  19. I liked this more than you but it did take me awhile to warm up to Beth and Ryan.

    I think her books are very formulaic and with most authors I would probably hate them for that reason but her writing seems to work for me. Having said that, I do hope Isaiah's story takes a different kind of direction.

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  20. I gave this 3.5 stars-- I felt really similar to you. I thought it would be Isaiah too, and I was so disappointed when it wasn't! Ryan was very gentle, though, and I think that he was probably good for Beth. I'm sorry that you didn't love this one, Maja. Awesome review! (:

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  21. I remember thinking that the sequel would revolve around Beth and Isiah too. Then I read the excerpt of this one and was like, "Who is this Ryan guy?" He sounds like a great romantic interest though and I get the feeling I might like him more than Noah.

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  22. I couldn't get enough of this book. I was addicted within the first chapter. I would suggest this for anyone who loves a good romance, and always a happy ending.

    Maycee Greene (Seattle IT Consulting)

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