18 January 2013

Book Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry


“That must be love: when everything else in the world could implode and you wouldn't care as long as you had that one person standing beside you.” 

It's one of those rare books where I wished GoodReads can provide me with more stars for me to express how much I love the novel.

If you thought Pushing The Limits was great - Dare To You is even better. 



My heart ached for her in Pushing The Limits & my heart just broke for her in reading Dare You To . Beth is a very strong girl who was forced to grow up at a young age to take care of herself and her mother when her father left. The person whom she trust and depend on - the one who promised to come back for her, never did. So, she never trusted anyone's word. She relied on herself and some on Noah and Isiah - the only people who mattered to her. 

But in just one night, everything changed. She was forced to leave her past behind or she was to suffer the consequences. Something that she could not afford to. She was stuck in living with her uncle and his wife who clearly doesn't like her - now she has set of rules to follow and she needs to go to school and get good grades. She came across Ryan once again. She did her best to get him off her back. But he was relentless. She didn't want to fall in love with him because she was afraid she'd get hurt - after all, why would someone as popular and as good looking as Ryan would fall in love with her? 

She has secrets - so dark and grave she was not willing to share with anyone. All these years, she kept it to herself. The last time she told it to someone - all hell broke loose and she doesn't want to see hell again. She just want to keep her mother safe. She wants to get away.

No matter how strong seemed Beth is outside - she's lost and scared inside. Her insecurities and trust issues are eating her up. If she wants her own happy ending - she'd dare to take the risks. Would she?




It all started with a dare. That's when the jock and the skater girl first met. 




For him: DEFEAT is a nasty word. He hated losing and the word wasn't in his vocabulary.

I'm not interested in second place. Never been. Never will be. 

So when he lost a bet he made with his friends in getting the skater's girl number - he had a hard time accepting it. Good thing the world is such a small place and he found a way to revise the bet. This time he will make sure he wins.

Ryan: he doesn't do drugs, don't drink (much) and doesn't smoke.Is he a normal high school teen-ager? Yes, he still is. He doesn't get his adrenalin rush from all those unhealthy stuff. Instead, he gets with with all those dares . A dare which started it all. I do admire his drive and motivation to win each dare that was thrown at him. 

His life is baseball. He's good in pitching the ball - but he also good in writing. He loves both. Something his father doesn't really agree with. Being an obedient son - Ryan is torn between his father's 'wants' and the confusion of his heart's desires. 

All he knows is that his family is fake. A facade. Everyone in town thinks they're perfect, but they're really not. After the revelation is brother announced over dinner - everything was not the same anymore. His brother packed and left the house - never looked back.

Now there's this girl - she's different. It all started as a dare. But something changed. It was not supposed to end this way. He was not suppose to fall in love with the skater girl who keeps on running away from him and has a trust issues. 

“I won't let you go." I blink. As if he could stop me. "You won't let me go." "No, I won't let you go. You're mine and I don't lose.” 

If he were a lesser man, and didn't have enough balls - he would leave her and stay away. But falling in love is losing your mind over something strange, scary at the same time wonderful. The Jock dared to fall in love with the Skater girl 

“Screw what Mom and Dad think. Screw the rest of the town. Screw perfection. This girl is mine.” 


Isaiah Beth 


And I THOUGHT after reading Pushing The Limits the two of them were already given. But I guess I was wrong. Although I'd love for Katie McGarry to make them their own happy ending - I was expecting they'd have their own happy ending together. Without any jocks lurking behind Beth to sabotage what they already have. Surprise. Surprise. 

For those who have read the first book, we all knew that besides Noah, Isiah was Beth's best friend. He was her constant, herusual. Isiah was her safe. When she needed help, he was always there for her. And I did love Isiah for her despite all those tattoo running on his arms and his occasional drug use. Something happened between the two of them. Something was said that they couldn't just forget or retract. Something was said when they were both sober and it changed everything.


The million dollar question is: Who does Beth really loves?

If you were to chose:

Between a stoner and a jock?
Between your best friend who always takes care of you and someone that makes your heart skips a bit?
Between Ryan and Isiah? 

It was a tough decision to make. But by the few final chapters, I made my choice and so did Beth.



To End...
I fell in love with every word, smile, laugh, tears, heart breaking dialogues - Katie McGarry writes very well that it makes meFEEL

It is not only the primary characters that are important in this novel, but the author made sure (*again*) that her secondary characters have their shining moments in the book. Perhaps - this is what I love most about Katie McGarry - because she placed importance not just on the major characters but as well as to those people that surrounds them. Lacey, Scott, Logan, Chris, Allison and even Gwen - they all played an important role (no matter how small) in this novel,

I think Trust is the major concept of this novel. When trust is restored, or when it finally exists in a relationship - all will just progress. But when someone whom you love, whom you have trusted all your life suddenly betrays you - your world comes to a halt, and that aching feeling at the pit of your stomach appears and exacerbates. 

To say that this book is about love would be an understatement. Because it's not just about love - it's fighting for it really hard, pushing yourself to the limits , knowing that it's all worth it in the end. 

Katie McGarry - my 2013 just kept on getting better and better because of you. Can't wait for your third installment!

Review Grade:

Favorite Quotes:

  • “Screw what Mom and Dad think. Screw the rest of the town. Screw perfection. This girl is mine.” 
  • “I won't let you go." I blink. As if he could stop me. "You won't let me go." "No, I won't let you go. You're mine and I don't lose.”
  • “I've fallen in love with him. I've done it. I've given him power over me.”
  • “You're falling for me like I'm falling for you. That's why you're pushing me so hard.” 
  • “Here's the thing- I love you and I love her, but I swear to God I'll kick your ass if you hurt her.”
  • “Baseball isn't just a game. It's the smell of popcorn drifting in the air, the sight of bugs buzzing near the stadium lights,the roughness of the dirt beneath your cleats. It's the anticipation building in your chest as the anthem plays, the adrenaline rush when your bat cracks against the ball, and the surge of blood when the umpire shouts strike after you pitch. It's a team full of guys backing your every move, a bleacher full of people cheering you on. It's...life” 
  • “Emotions is evil. People who make me feel are worse. I take comfort in the stone inside of me. If I don't feel, I don't hurt.” 
  • “Quiet anger frightens me. The drunks, the idiots, the ones that rage easily - them I can handle. I know when to step out of their way. It's the ones that hold the anger in, the men that think about what they do and how they do it, that scare me. They're the ones that cause damage.” 
  • “Some guys touch the girls they love. Others touch the girls they use. The worst touch girls they hurt.” 
  • “This overwhelming, encompassing feeling is love. It's not perfect and it's messy as hell. And it's exactly what I need.” 
  • “That must be love: when everything else in the world could implode and you wouldn't care as long as you had that one person standing beside you.” 
  • “My fingers lightly trace her arm and I swear she presses closer to me. I'd love to kiss her right now. Not the type of kiss that makes her body come alive. The type of kiss that shows her how much I care - the type that involves my soul.” 
  • “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.” 

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Note: Thank You Harlequin (UK) Limited for providing the reviewer a copy through Netgalley.


  1. Hey!! I've nominated you for the Liebster award. Check out more info on my blog here: http://laekanzeakemp.wordpress.com/2013/01/21/liebster-award/

  2. Fab review, I loved this title!!

    Feel free to check out My Review

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