Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Dare You To by Katie McGarry : Review (ARC)

Title: Dare You To

Author: Katie McGarry

Series: Pushing The Limits

Release Day:  June 7th 2013

Genre: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult

Rating: 4/5

I received this book from NetGalley for review.

Goodreads Synopsis

Ryan lowers his lips to my ear. "Dance with me, Beth."

"No." I whisper the reply. I hate him and I hate myself for wanting him to touch me again....

"I dare you..."

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

I read Pushing The Limits a couple of months ago after a very long wait. I thought it sounded really interesting and I was very excited to read it. Unfortunately, my expectations may have been too high foolish decisions, I still found this frustrating. The one thing I did want at the end of the story was to find out what happened with Beth and Isaiah. Luckily, I noticed a chapter from the next book in the series but immediately realised that it was not going to be about Beth and Isaiah but about Beth and a new character, Ryan. At first I was disappointed, but as the story progressed in Dare You To I began to accept that this was the best decision.

Katie McGarry gives the characters appropriate names in her stories. In Pushing The Limits Noah was appropriately named because he had a similar urge to gather the people he loved and take them away just as Noah did with his Ark. Echo was named after a character in Greek mythology and she followed in her namesake's place by being a distraction to her mother while her father was with another woman, similar to Echo in mythology who distracted Hera while Zeus was with other women. The name symbols continue in Dare You To with surnames. Beth's surname is Risk which accentuates the trouble her family has been through. Ryan's surname is Stone, highlighting the family's cold and hard interactions. They appear to outsiders to be unfeeling and don't show affection. I found this play on words to be quite clever and possibly one of the best aspects of both books.

I liked the characters a lot more than Pushing The Limits. Beth was a reasonably strong character at the start at times, she stood her ground and fought yet as the story continued I did find her tendency to run away from everything, both physically and emotionally, very annoying. She constantly tried to find the hardest way around things which was rather frustrating when the answer is obvious and her way wouldn't work out. Ryan started out to be an almost perfect character, he didn't take no for an answer and saw through her B.S. but that may have just been in response to the dare. Then he changed and most people would say that that was because he was starting to be himself and open up but I don't think that that kind of change in a person so rapidly is believable, or plausible. By the middle of the story I was not finding any redeeming qualities in the two characters, between Beth's running away and Ryan's inability to stand up for himself.

However, none of this is the story, though it all has an impact. I liked idea of the dares from the beginning. I thought how the two protagonists met was funny and quirky. I liked how it wasn't insta-love and that the only reason Ryan was chasing her was because of a dare and how Beth could see that and was annoyed by it. At one point it threatened to turn into She's All That territory but McGarry save it well. She didn't make the "jocks" into the bad guys, just pointed out that boys will be boys with their games. I have noticed that there are a lot of weak women in these stories and a lot of abusive men, both physically and emotionally yet at the end of each story at least one character changes for the better.

From my above notes I'm not completely sure why I like this story. All I can say is that in a very Wuthering Heights way the characters may do and say the worst things yet people still love the book. I feel this way about Dare You To, not Wuthering Heights. The characters got a lot worse before they got better but in the end I was happy.

The reason I took away a star rating was because the story was a bit all over the place. There was no consistency in the characters personalities, their decisions were terrible at times, and their resolves wavered making them change their mind constantly as well as coming to the same conclusion several times. It felt like it was not read over. The storyline similarly wavered and lacked consistency, having no straightforward pattern. I realise that I could have taken away more stars but there was something about this book that I found endearing.

If you like a book where there is a lot of build-up and a very small critical point then this book is for you. Trying not to spoil it but I was shocked that there was such a quick ending, it seemed rushed.
Another thing I like about these stories is the change in point of view, it's nice to see both sides in a story and that there was no chapters just view changes.

I'm sorry this review is all over the place but it is just reflecting how this book made me feel.

In summary, I liked the story and at times the characters but most of the time they were just too frustrating and the story line was so back and forth that a person would not want to be reading this if they were motion sick. However it had a lot of potential, that it may not have fully lived up to but it was good. The idea of the dares could have been a lot more prominent. If the changes in the characters were believable and their choices were consistent then it would have been an awesome read.


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