Monday, July 13, 2015

Dare You To Review: Beth

**DON'T FORGET: The Dark Elements Series Re-Read is starting July 14th (tomorrow!!!), hosted by me and Cody from Literary-ly ObsessedThis is in celebration of the upcoming release of Every Last Breathso you don't want to miss it! Join us! More information HERE.**

Now for the review.

Let's pretend the police knew about my mom.
They would throw her in jail.
And I'd be shipped off who-knows-where.

So I protect her.

Even if it means paying her bills.
Even if it means putting up with her abusive boyfriends.

And then my uncle comes.
He takes me away from Mom.
"For my own good," he said.

But I can't protect her if I'm away.
And no one understands me in this new town.
No one, expect Ryan Stone, who really shouldn't.
Book: Dare You To
Author: Katie McGarry
Series: Pushing the Limits
Standing: Book 2
POV: 1st person, Beth and Ryan, present tense
Genre: YA romance

Source: Physical copy

Pages: 456
Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Favourite line: "I told you I loved you in this rain and when you doubt my words, I want you to look at this bottle [of our rain]."

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: (Goodreads)
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....


I don't really read an abundance of contemporary, but this series is an exception, this book in particular. It was fantastic, and I really connected to the two main characters, Beth and Ryan.

This book is not pure romance. It's not sappy, it's not your typical oh-I-don't-think-they're-going-to-work-but-they-do-for-whatever-magical-reason. It's A LOT more.

Beth Risk is "that" girl: the bad girl whom is automatically deemed a bad influence to everyone around her. She wears questionable clothing and has a tough attitude to match, and is never afraid to get into a fight. But there's a reason behind it: her mom. Her mom, the alcoholic who has a string of abusive boyfriends and is on probation, meaning one mistake and she's sent to jail. Beth's mom has dragged Beth down, but Beth has to protect her. I mean, she's her mother. Of course Beth will do anything to make sure her mother doesn't end up in jail. She loves her mother, and because of it, puts up with all her crap and stupid boyfriends.

When Beth's uncle comes to take her away, all Beth can think about is her mother. Has she eaten? Is she all right? Has her boyfriend been hitting her? It goes to show that Beth truly cares for her mother, in the sense that her mother needs her to stay on track. This book tackles a big question, of when someone you love has gone too far to be helped. When do you draw the line? It's a very hard decision to make, and we see this is the portray of Beth. She can't not help her mother. Without Beth, her mother would be in jail, and Beth can't bare for that to happen. As the book progresses, we see Beth struggling to find the correct answer: should she find her own happiness, at the cost of dooming her mother to jail, or continue to let both of them live a half-life? This question was excellently addressed, and I'm more than satisfied with Beth's character growth.

On the flip side, we have Ryan Stone. Pretty obvious that he's the love interest, but that's not the point. Ryan has issues of his own, ones that are on the complete opposite scale of Beth's. Ryan's life is relatively perfect: he's the best baseball player around, and has a seemingly supportive family. Baseball is important to Ryan, yes, and his father is pushing him to go pro. Ryan starts off completely fine with going along with going pro with his father, but a new development occurs: Ryan not only is gifted in baseball, but in creative writing. Ryan enjoys creative writing nearly as much as baseball. But creative writing is not on his father's plan for Ryan's future (nor is dating Beth, but that's besides the point).

Ryan's family deals with the issue of perfectionism. I'm not talking about straight-As. I'm talking about model families. I'm talking about everything seeming perfect, doing exactly what everyone expects them to do. Ryan's parents have Ryan's entire life mapped out for him, including who he should date, and eventually marry. It all works out in their heads, and makes perfect sense. They tried to do the same thing to Ryan's older brother Mark, but it doesn't end up well and they're desperately trying to fix their reputation of it with Ryan. Being perfect for Ryan's parents' standards isn't easy, and throughout the book, we get to see that it becomes nearly impossible to live your own life and make your own choices without fear. As Ryan learns, it's not easy to tell your parents "no" when they've practically given you everything you need freely to go down the path they want you to.

This book tackles two very different upbringings, but it all comes back to the same thing: uphold your parents' happiness is much different than finding your own happiness. In Beth's case, she beings by thinking that protecting her mother is enough, sacrificing her own happiness along the way. For Ryan, he beings by following his parents' model idea of who he should be, without much protest. Both Beth and Ryan find that their happiness comes from the choices they make freely on their own, and not the ones influenced by their parents.

And, as the title suggests, happiness can also come from winning a few dares. You never know what a simple dare can lead to ;)

Thanks go to Bridget, who recommended this series to me! I definitely owe you one :)


  1. Yes! I'm so glad you enjoyed this book; it's one of my favourite series :) Bridget has great taste haha

    1. Haha, yes, she does! I can't wait to read Crash Into You now :)

  2. Yay! I love this series, out of all, I love Dare You Too best. I wasn't planning on reading it at first but when I read the first two chapters, I was sucked in, I loved that part where she wrote can't on the palms of her hands, it made me wish I had that tough and 'always with the good comebacks' attitude.

    I'm glad you enjoyed it as much as I did. :)

    mimi @

    1. Haha, I was the same! After the first two chapters, I was sucked in. Couldn't put it down! :)