Loved it! Loved it! Loved it! What an amazingly well written book!! And I loved every minute of it! Pushing the Limits was awesome and Dare You To was just as awesome and so satisfying! Katie McGarry is fast becoming one of my favourite YA contemporary fiction authors.
We met Beth in the 1st book and while she seemed like an extremely difficult person, she was not unlikable and in Dare You To we find out why she is the way she is. We also meet Ryan, the jock with the perfect life and fast on his way to play pro baseball. They’re two people who could not be more different from each other and yet somehow, we know that circumstances will push them together and that’s exactly what happens. Beth has to move in with her uncle after she gets arrested and has move away from everything she has known her whole life: her old life, her mother, her friends and most importantly Isaiah. Things get difficult for her to deal with without her support system. Ryan’s seemingly perfect life is also taking a nose-dive making it difficult for him to keep up with the façade of perfection. (wow, I’ve used perfect way too many times in this paragraph)
Despite all the attitude and tough talk I really liked Beth. She is a genuine person and with her what you see is exactly what you get. She doesn’t play games and while she can be cruel, its more a defense mechanism than some sadistic desire to cause pain to the other person. But what made her most endearing was her loyalty towards her people she cared about. She’s loyal to a fault. Sometimes, even when the other person doesn’t deserve it. And I love that she’s grown up to be a strong person despite everything she had thrown at her when she was growing up.
Ryan’s a great guy. Seriously, he’s one of the sweetest popular guys in contemporary YA fiction and I love him. He’s a great guy. He’s smart and he’s got a passion for baseball and he is also a really good friend. Another amazing quality is that he refuses trash talk or even bitch about his ex-girlfriend even when she’s messing with him. One of the best things about this book was the banter between him and Beth while they both tried to get under each other’s skin. Ryan I think had a much easier time dealing with the relationship because while he did have baggage, his wasn’t nearly as heavy as Beth’s. He doesn’t let Beth bully or intimidate him and he manages to get past her defences. They’re one of the sweetest couples I’ve come across, one of the others being Noah and Echo.
The old gang also made an appearance this time around, but that’s just what it was, an appearance. Isaiah features more prominently than the others but that was to be expected. Beth was closest to him and depended on him tremendously. I love Isaiah, if I didn’t know that he was getting his own book and then a happy ending I would’ve been very unhappy with what he went through in Dare You To. He’s an awesome guy and the tattoos just him hotter! Noah and Echo also feature and I wish that we’d seen more of Echo. She was hardly in it. Yes, I get that she and Beth weren’t thick to begin with but its nice to come across old characters that we’ve fallen in love with. Beth is still pretty harsh with her opinion of Echo and while it is unfair, I can understand why feels like that. To her Echo is responsible for the changes in her ‘family’ and Beth doesn’t like changes. But I still wish that she’d cut Echo some slack, after all, she knows what Echo went through. So my only grouse: that we didn’t see nearly enough of Noah and (especially) Echo.
We also meet some new characters like Beth’s uncle, Scott and his wife Allison. Ryan’s friends; Chris and his girlfriend Lacy and Logan. Then there’s Ryan’s ex: Gwen and Ryan’s parents and his brother Mark.. All great characters though I did not find myself as emotionally invested with them as I did with the characters from the 1st book. Of the new bunch I really liked Lacy and maybe Logan. Chris, I was a little iffy about. Where Gwen was concerned, she didn’t really make an impact at all. She wasn’t mean enough to be a mean girl and wasn’t nice, so I have no idea how to categorize her. Of the entire lot, she was the only character who seemed half-baked to me. But I’m just nit picking here. I also liked Scott quite a bit. It seemed like he was really making an effort to start afresh with Beth and also make up for what happened in the past. As far as the villain goes, this time it’s Trent. The same loser we met in the previous book. Yes, he’s still around and he’s just as despicable as he was before.
Another unrelated and irrelevant piece of opinion, there were parts in the book that seemed very similar to Touched by Corrine Jackson. Now, I’m not suggesting anything by saying that (really, I’m not) but the basic gist is a little similar. Except that that book is also a paranormal romance and this one has NO paranormal elements in it. And I loved both books. That’s it for my unrelated and irrelevant opinion. One of the best books of this year. This is the kind of book you could read again and still enjoy as much as you did, the first time around. And if you liked Pushing The Limits, you’ll love Dare You To, promise! 😀
Side note: I can’t wait for Isaiah’s book to come out. I read on Goodreads that it releases in November, thank god that it releases this year and not next year.