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Book Review: Dare You To (Pushing the Limits 2) by Katie McGarry

Dare You To ISBN:

” I dare you . . .”

So much of life seems to start with a simple dare.  Ryan Stone and his friends are spending the evening daring each other to collect phone numbers when Beth walks in.  Beth looks hard, and there is no way that Ryan will get her phone number.  Beth, you see, is hiding a secret.  If people knew what her home life was like, they would take her out of it at once.  An uncertain future seems more terrifying than the things that are happening at home, no matter how bad they are.  Soon the two find themselves being drawn to each other in an intense, passionate romance but can they dare themselves to love and be open.

“You’re a lot like that bird in the barn. You’re so scared that you’re going to be caged in forever you can’t see the way out. You smack yourself against the wall again and again and again. The door is open, Beth. Stop running in circles and walk out.” – Dare You To

Dare You To is a companion novel to Pushing the Limits, this is the second book in this connected trilogy.  The books aren’t sequels per se, but they tell the stories of various characters.  If you haven’t read Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry, you should do so now.  It’s okay – I’ll wait here.  See? I told you – Pushing the Limits is an intensely awesome contemporary romance, and Dare You To continues in that same vein.

“I like you. I. Like. You. I’ll admit you’re annoying. Sometimes you agitate me to the brink of insanity, but you can throw it back at me like no one else. When you laugh, I want to laugh. When you smile, I want to smile. Hell, I want to be the one to make you smile.”  – Dare You To

Beth is a sarcastic, difficult character at first.  She has walls, but there are good reasons for them.  But she also is strong and loyal and, when she allows herself to, dreams big things.  In many ways Ryan is a typical jock who knows that he can melt girls like putty in his hands.  But Beth, that is a challenge.  As their relationship grows, they must each allow themselves to be open.

“How many more of us are faking the facade? How many more of us are pretending to be something we’re not? Even better, how many of us will have the courage to be ourselves regardless of what others think?”  – Dare You To

There is some beautiful imagery here: birds in barns, rain water.  I am not going to lie, I am not very romantic and it made me get a little weak in the knees.  But this is more than a romance, it is a powerful contemporary that looks honestly at teen lives and emotions. Crash into You, book 3 in the Pushing the Limits series, is scheduled for release in December 2013.  This series is HIGHLY recommended. Dare You To is scheduled for publication in May of 2013, that gives you plenty of time to read book 1 if you haven’t already.

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