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


Title: Dare You To (Pushing the Limits #2)
Author: Katie McGarry
Date of publication: 28 May 2013
Genre/Themes: Young adult, Romance, Realistic fiction

Author's links:
Facebook / Website / Twitter / Goodreads

My rating: 3.5 Stars

Goodreads Blurb

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....

My Review

This is the second book in the series Pushing the Limits and it tells the story of Beth and Ryan. I absolutely loved book 1, though Beth definitely was not my favourite character. I was curious to read her story and see how Ms McGarry will manage to make her more likeable. And she did make her more likeable, but not as much as Ryan. 

Dare You To like Pushing the Limit treats a number of serious issues affecting the life of teenagers. The focus is on the relationship between children and parents in all its complexity - Beth felt obligated to take care of her mother who was an addict, Ryan questioned his father's authority and judgement for the first time and had to stand up for himself. Even the relationship between Beth and Scot fell in the scope of parent-children since he took her under his care. 

I liked both the story and the character development in this book. I found Ryan the most appealing and it was invested in all the changes he underwent. Ms McGarry presented in a rather engaging way his struggle to define himself as more than a jock. It was a true coming-of-age story for him. He had to re-evaluate his desires and choices and ultimately to make the best decision for himself. His romantic relationship with Beth was a sort of catalyst for him trying to be himself and not the perfect person everyone saw him to be. 

I understood Beth and her attitude but still didn't like her very much. She seemed stuck in the past, always trying to help her mother, not willing to give Scot and the new life he offered her a chance. I also felt bad for the way she treated Isaiah, trying to tell him what he felt or didn't feel. 

The relationship between Beth and Ryan was a rather complex one. At times it felt like they were going in circles - him never giving up, her never fully trusting him. I was happy that they overcame the obstacles in the end, still I didn't like how Ryan repeatedly treated the whole situation as a game he had to win. His I-don't-lose attitude with regard to everything, including Beth and her feelings, annoyed me a lot. 

I wish the supporting characters, Ryan's friends, his brother Mark, Scot and his wife, were better developed. I think that Scot and Mark were central to the story and deserved more place in it. 

I loved seeing Noah and Echo again and I felt really sad for Isaiah. I am really exciting about his book and hope he finally finds the happiness he deserves. His story, Crash into You, comes out on 15 November.

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  1. I actually enjoyed this one more than Pushing the Limits, but I can see your points. I adored Ryan! Beth was a little harder for me to get though I did like her by the end. Like you, I really felt bad for Isaiah and I'm excited to read his story soon. Great review!

    1. Thanks, Jennifer! I also really liked Ryan, but there is no one quite like Noah for me ;)


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