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.