Dare You To (Pushing the Limits #2) by Katie McGarry
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….
Minor Spoilers Ahead: After I read Pushing the Limits I fell in love with Isaiah and was so excited to find out that Beth was getting her own book, because I thought for sure those two would be getting together. When that didn’t happen I was crushed but I got over it immediately after reading the sizzling chemistry between Beth and Ryan. It was literally fire. I wasn’t sure how I was going to take to this small town jock but he really won me over. The story immediately picks up after the events of Pushing the Limits and finds hard-hearted Beth being shipped off to live with a rich uncle she barely knows after stepping in to protect her trainwreck mother from being sent to jail.
Beth has had a hell of a life. She was a fairly unlikable character in Pushing the Limits so it was really interesting to delve into her character and understand where she was coming from. You slowly realize that Beth has been taking care of her alcoholic/drug addicted mother since she was a small child, horrific incidents have plagued her young life that have turned her into a hardend shell. When her Uncle Scott steps in and takes over her life you can’t help but feel a sense of relief. However, for me as the reader that relief was short-lived. If anything annoyed me about this story it was Uncle Scott. I found myself angry at him for the entire book. The way he swooped in out of nowhere to take over Beth’s life never sat well with me. From the instant he took custody he set about trying to systematically change everything about her, from her clothes, and hair to even her name and I found myself being so angry it was as if Beth was a real person and I was aching on her behalf. However, just like Beth, I think I was blinded by anger and not realizing that everything he was doing no matter how harsh it seemed was basically to save this girls life.
As someone who has a family member addicted to hard drugs I could really sympathize with Beth’s stance on her mother it is so hard to let go. That was why I was so angry at Scott for not understanding where Beth was coming from it was truly frustrating. And Beth’s mother? Where do I even go with that. She was someone that I was rooting to change just as Beth was but at a certain point, you just have to let people go and live your own life. That was the hard lesson that Uncle Scott had to get through to Beth.
It was disheartening to read about the unraveling of Beth and Isaiah’s friendship. For Beth it was the one constant in her life but as a reader I realized that maybe those two were enabling each other too much and for them to truly grow and change they both had to let go but my heart truly broke for Isaiah. However, a 2 chapter sneak peak at the end of the book for Crash Into You has me over the moon to read Isaiah’s story. I can already tell it’s going to be amazing. I hope that Beth and Isaiah can repair their friendship as it was a highlight of both these stories.
I honestly didn’t want this book to end. Beth and Ryan finally had their happiness and I really wanted to keep reading. Watching this small town jock win over this bad girl from the wrong side of the tracks I couldn’t help but just keep rooting for them. In addition, the appearance of Noah and Echo made me so happy! Getting snippets of those characters and knowing they are still happy really enhanced this story for me.
Katie McGarry has really emerged as an author to watch for me. She is so talented at creating complex and interesting characters. I cannot wait to see where this series goes. I hope it continues beyond book 3!