Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Dare You To by Katie McGarry
Release Date: June 7, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen

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.... - Goodreads.com

Just, wow.  I have an enormous reader-crush on Katie McGarry's books.  She is my new YA contemporary romance hero!  She knows how to write these books and write them well.  Her characters are real, real, real, the emotions are so in-your-face vivid, and the romance is raw, sexy, and perfect.

I love how her stories are about real situations, ones that are sad and scary...things that no one should have to go through, but which so many people have to face daily.  She plants her characters in the middle of such situations and we, the readers, have to watch them squirm and twist and writhe under their emotional reaction to the things they've facing, and it's raw and intense to read. 

Beth is one of my favorite characters of any contemporary I've read yet.  This is a girl who has been forced to be the adult, to watch everyone who has loved her leave, watched them let her down time and time again, to the point where she pushes everyone away.  It's easier that way, and comes with fewer disappointments.  To read a character like that was so sad, there were times I just wanted to cry for her.

Enter Ryan... a guy who refuses to be pushed, refuses to let her leave, let her run from him and her feelings.  He is patient, gentle, fun, and sexy.  He's exactly what she needs and she doesn't even know it until he has snuck up on her heart.  You would think that a guy like him would never be interested in a girl like her... it's cliché.  And in most books where this occurs, it is very unbelievable and has me reading in a very skeptical way.  But in this book, it worked perfectly.  There are reasons why it works, and reasons why it is unique and different and absolutely perfect.

As her prior book (Pushing the Limits) did, this book had me at page one and I literally rushed through the pages at a breakneck speed.  I had to find out what was next.  I wanted to laugh at some moments, and cry at others.  The romance was slow-building but powerful.  The whole book was intense, emotionally, and I was left with a deeply satisfied feeling at the end of it.  The mark of a great book.




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