Wednesday, March 26, 2014

YA Book Review: Dare You To ( Pushing The Limits 2)

Book Title: Dare You To (Pushing The Limits 2)
Author: Katie McGarry |Website| TwitterFacebook|
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: YA Fiction
Series/Standalone: Series
Format: Paperback
Cost: $17.99
Pages: 480
How I got it: Book Expo America 2013
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: June 2013
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"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...
Book two and this one was of course another marathon read. I don't know why I doubt Katie, but I was hesitant to pick this one up after reading Pushing because I was scared it wouldn't be as good.  And while Beth can't replace Echo, and Ryan isn't anywhere near as awesome as Noah I still loved this story.

We get to see deeper into Beth and why she was constantly running in Pushing. We see her true home life and why and how it went down hill. Poor Beth is that kid who just desperately wants to be loved so much she was willing to do whatever her mother needed her to do. She didn't want to leave her mother behind even though everyone else was desperately trying to save her.  Beth was drowning but didn't want to see it.

Having read books about the psychology of children of addicts I know that Beth fits the diagnosis to a T, but it was still heartbreaking to read.  I kept getting angry with her and on her behalf when certain people would tell her that her mother was her responsibility.  Like no Beth is a child and your sister is a grown woman why don't you help her??  Especially after what happened in Pushing the Limits, I wouldn't have allowed Beth anywhere near her mother  The solution to Beth's issues was so easy but no one wanted to be the one to do it.

Even though she's been given a new chance at life, Beth believes she's betraying her family and her friends by being happy. Ryan oh man Ryan is the golden boy whose family life looks great on the outside but has gone nuclear on the inside.  I loved that they both needed each other and that they worked at becoming a couple even with Beth's crushing issues. I loved seeing Noah & Echo again, meeting Chris and Lacy, Logan with his dare devil self and of course learning so much more about Isaiah. I can't wait to read more from the gang especially Logan's story, because that should be interesting to say the least.

I do love this book, but I felt like someone should have been more responsible and not put Beth in the position she was in; someone should have done more for her. Although when people like her Uncle tried to do more for her, she kept running from it. I get that her friends couldn't do it, but really everybody was being an enabler.  Beth like most kids can only see what's in front of her and was so focused on taking care of her mom she never saw the bigger picture, she never saw the fault within her parent.  Everyone was trying to keep her from drowning and Beth was hell bent on swimming out further.  I get it, but this annoyed me so much, like you have a chance at a better life, but you keep coming back, you keep running back to the cycle of abuse.   I loved that Ryan was able to point out to Beth what her 'normal' was and it totally freaked her out.Beth dominated the story, and even though we know Ryan's life wasn't exactly great, she definitely held down a good majority of the story.

Ryan's home life wasn't what the town thought it was, it imploded a long time ago but no one knows because his parents refuse to seek help or to even discuss it. His family was more concerned with image than with reality and I totally get why Ryan was being spun around.   His brother's announcement turned his whole world upside down and now he's trying to figure out where he fits in. Does he want the dream he's always wanted, the one that would make his family happy or does he want to go to college and make himself happy.  I loved the few glimpses we have of his brother and how clearly their relationship made Ryan feel centered and made their home life great.  His father was an overbearing asshat, who was attempting to live his dreams through his children.

Although it annoyed me, Beth's characteristics fit with the psychology of children of addicts and I thought Katie was wonderful for writing such a heart wrenching story.  I loved how messy and real the story was, how each persons life helped to build up the characters and also how some of the relationships held them down. It was a raw, and realistic look at modern life and I loved it immensely.

I will confess that I met Katie McGarry at BEA 2013 and I had no idea how wonderful her writing was. I know a lot of bloggers were fangirling over her being in the Harlequin booth and so I snagged a copy. Best Decision Ever!!

I love that she has included a soundtrack to the book and I will be making a playlist along with other songs I thought of will reading the story.  The playlist will be under the Books and Music Tab and on my Youtube channel under Playlists.
I highly recommend the series and this book. Just don't start reading right before bed.  There are several others set to come out and I can't wait to read them!!!!
Happy Reading

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