Sunday, 27 October 2013

Dare You To - Katie McGarry

Katie McGarry was a surprise author for me when I read her first book Pushing The Limits (review) last year. I thought it would be full to the brim on eye rolling moments at the cheesiness and corniness of the narrative. I was completely wrong. It was an immersing read that had both that lovely bit of romance I love to read about as a guilty pleasure but not too much that I wanted to throw the book across the room.
This is the second book in this 'series'. Reading this doesn't particularly ruin anything for readers who haven't read Pushing The Limits - just gives a bit of context for the characters of Echo and Noah in this book.

Synopsis: Beth has had a tough life but if anyone knew the truth about her family, her mother would surely go to prison so she protects her no matter what. Until the day her uncle - thinking he's saving her - swoops Beth away from her hometown to live in a place to different from what she is used to and with an aunt who hates her. No-one understands her except one person.
Ryan is the perfect teenager. A baseball player, he has hopes of being the next big thing in the sporting world as well as being clever and popular. In what begins as a dare becomes something else completely between Beth and Ryan despite their different personalities and backgrounds.

Review: I started this book thinking that I wouldn't be a huge fan by the time I finished. It just seemed like it would confirm what I was predicting in Pushing the Limits in the cheesiness of the romance and the obvious 'bad girl-good guy' relationship between Ryan and Beth. I could almost see how this was going to end.

However, I was completely wrong. So there is still some elements of cheesiness when it comes to the romance and at times particularly in the middle, the cynical side of me wanted to throw up but it was far better than I think I, the cover and the reviews I had read made it out to be.
There is a certain depth behind Katie McGarry's writing that makes this not ALL about the love story at the heart. And books that do that make me want to give the authors a hug.
Beth and Ryan are very different people when we meet them at the beginning of the book and I could completely and utterly not see them together. Beth has had a difficult upbringing with no father around and a selfish, carefree mother who has basically left Beth to grow up alone. So when she goes to live with her uncle, a man who left her alone with her complicated family to pursue his own dreams, things aren't going to go well. It was interesting to see her relationship develop under the guidance of her uncle and aunt who are so far removed from her.
Ryan also doesn't have the perfect life however it may seem on the surface with a father who is all about appearances - the reason behind his brother deserting them when he announced he was gay. Again, it was good to see this issue throughout the book and put a more human side to Ryan in showing the imperfections of his character.

Beth and Ryan are such likable characters and I found myself really rooting for both of them, particularly Ryan. Beth is quite a hard character to understand compared to Ryan yet the way McGarry portrays them is very realistic. They have their moments - Ryan can be a bit of an arrogant jerk at times and Beth can be such a meanie too - but McGarry shows that isn't ALL they are. Like I read in one review, she shows now to trust the stereotypes through Ryan and Beth.

I thought Pushing the Limits was pretty good but this just proves that McGarry is not a one hit wonder so to speak. This second brilliant book by her shows she is the queen of character development. She's made a romance that once again ticks all the boxes. This is the perfect book to keep you up until 3am or to read on a windy and rainy Sunday afternoon or on a long journey. Whether you liked or disliked Pushing the Limits or even haven't read that book, I'm sure this book will be enjoyable.

I give it a 4 out of 5

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me the opportunity to review this book!

Author's Website:
Pages: 456
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Challenges: None

Related Reviews: 
Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Teen Idol by Meg Cabot
The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

1 comment:

  1. Hi Rebecca :) I finished Pushing The Limits today (which I loved) and I'm so glad that you enjoyed Dare You To because I was hoping it wouldn't suffer 'Sequel Syndrome'. You know how marmite sequel's tend to be. I didn't particularly like Beth in PTL so it'll be interesting. I just want more Noah and Echo. So glad you enjoyed it, Great review :)

    - Sunny @ A Sunny Spot Blog


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