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Dare You To Hardcover – May 28, 2013
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From School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up-Narrated from alternating viewpoints, this contemporary novel tells the story of 17-year-old Beth, a troubled "skater girl" with a hard past, and Ryan, a high school jock with a seemingly perfect life. It all starts at a Taco Bell in Louisville, Kentucky, when Ryan's friends dare him to get Beth's phone number, and she turns him down. Their lives become intertwined after she is uprooted from her abusive home by her uncle and is forced to move to a small town and transfer to Ryan's school. At first he sees it as an opportunity to win the dare, but she resists his offers of friendship. Nonetheless, the two gradually fall in love and learn to trust each other with their secrets, which is equally difficult for both of them. The characters are well developed. The use of drugs, profanity, and violence make this title edgier than a typical teen romance. The plot often feels drawn out, and Beth's constant attempts to run away throughout the book will likely frustrate readers. However, young romantics should find the story engaging.-Candyce Pruitt-Goddard, Hartford Public Library, CTα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Beth is living on the edges of her mother’s drama of addiction and abusive relationships when her uncle rescues her and whisks her off to tony Bullitt County High. There she collides with Ryan, a star athlete whose family is socially and politically prominent, and sparks fly. Using the same setting from her previous book, Pushing the Limits (2013), and including some of the same characters, McGarry revisits the concept of star-crossed love with teens that have vastly different secrets to hide. (Ryan’s Instagram-perfect life is darker than it seems.) The gritty details of Beth’s mom’s drug-and-alcohol addiction will draw in readers of Ellen Hopkins’ similarly themed titles, and those who love tangled romance will find plenty to enjoy. While the titular dare that draws Ryan and Beth together is fleeting, their connection is anything but. Recommend this one to fans of Simone Elkeles’ Perfect Chemistry series. Grades 10-12. --Erin Downey Howerton
Top customer reviews
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Fascinating story, I was a surprised by this one. I liked both characters but Isaiah was intriguing. I found the dynamic between the characters and how the story unfolded spot on. I will go back to read the rest of the series, had characters I want to learn more about. If your looking for a book that is different, pick this one up.
By comparison, Ryan is living the dream: steadily (if not happily) married parents, popular at school, good grades, champion baseball pitcher being courted by professional and college scouts. Yet Ryan's life isn't as charmed as it seems: his older brother was disowned after coming out of the closet, and in the wake of that scandal, Ryan's nuclear family is in the midst of a nuclear meltdown.
I liked Ryan. I liked Beth. I enjoyed most of the individual subplots of this story. On the whole, the writing was well done and the plotting was tight and well-paced. I just didn't really feel Ryan and Beth as a couple, and I'm not sure why.
Rachel was the complete opposite of Isaiah, except for her passion for cars. Her family situation made me sad and angry. She kept many secrets, and I had a difficulty understanding how her parents could be so oblivious to her pain. Her entire family saw her as weak, but Isaiah saw the real Rachel: strong and determined. The pair had the perfect combination of sweetness yet undeniable chemistry. Even though their home lives were dramatically different, they unfortunately had much in common in terms of suffering and feeling alone. In addition to the great romance that developed between Isaiah and Rachel, this story had elements of danger and suspense that definitely heightened my reading experience. I love the emotional journeys that Katie McGarry always take me on, and I am looking forward to reading West’s book next.
When things at the race go sideways, Rachel and Isaiah end up indebted to a scary crime boss who will hurt/rape/kill them if they don't pay him back. (Also because Plot.) This makes them unlikely allies, who eventually become unlikely lovers. (Well, unlikely heavy petters, anyway -- this is YA.)
I was fond enough of Isaiah from the previous books to be excited to read his story, and mostly this didn't disappoint, though this whole series is a little angsty for my tastes. (Again, it is YA.) I thought Rachel's backstory was interesting and well done. (There are only so many ways you can make a "poor little rich girl" a sympathetic figure, and McGarry did well in taking an unexpected route.)
I really disliked the ending, which was abrupt and rather of the deus ex machina variety, but otherwise this book was fun. On to the next!