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Home » Authors, Doll Mona Leigh, Katie McGarry, Reviewers, Reviews

Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Submitted by on July 8, 2013 – 3:20 pm2 Comments

Author: Katie McGarry
Title: Dare You To
Release: May 28, 2013
Reviewer: Mona Leigh
Source: Publisher/NetGalley

Purchase: | Book Depository

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….

Katie McGarry has become one of my favorite YA authors because she doesn’t shy away from touchy subjects. Last year, I reviewed Pushing the Limits, and loved the grittiness of it. Dare You To is just as gritty and real and down ‘n’ dirty.

Seventeen-year-old Beth Risk exists on the periphery of society and that’s the way she prefers it. She can’t afford to draw attention to her drug-addicted, alcoholic mother or her mom’s drug pushing boyfriend, because her mom would end up in prison.

When Beth ends up in jail trying to protect her mom, her uncle steps in and gives her a fresh start. But Beth knows she doesn’t fit in with the kids at her new school, and spends too much of her time worrying about her mom.

Ryan Stone is the perfect all-American boy from a perfect family. Or so everyone assumes. But even the most perfect family has its secrets and flaws.

The first time Ryan meets Beth, he’s trying to fulfill a dare by his friends, but instead of falling for him like all the other girls, she blows him off. He knows he should just forget about her, but he can’t. He never loses a dare, and he won’t stop until he wins this one.

When Beth is suddenly enrolled in Ryan’s school, things change – Ryan, Beth, and even their worlds. For the first time, both of them are forced to acknowledge that there are some things completely out of their control and life gets awfully messy.

What draws Ryan to a girl who basically lived on the streets? And what makes Beth think she can ever fit into his picture perfect world?

The emotions of these characters isn’t the typical teen angst you’ll find in most books. These are real life, hard core, spit in your eye issues that have ruined the lives of real people the world over, and McGarry doesn’t dress them up or try to put a pretty face on them. Instead, she captures all the raw pain and anger and shoves it in your face until it hurts to breathe.

Once you read about her characters, you won’t be able to stay away.

Mona Leigh

Mona's first grade teacher, Mrs. Stanford, gifted her with the love of reading. For that, she'll always live in her heart. But reading took over Mona's life, eclipsing everything but playing sports, and has continued to be a huge part of her life. Although she has always written poetry and stories for her self, last year she decided to try her hand at writing fiction. She is currently editing her first urban fantasy and hopes to have it ready for the agent by summer's end. Besides reading, Mona loves speed in the form of fast cars. The faster, the better! In her next life, she plans to drive race cars (or whatever happens to be their replacement in the future) all while reading and writing. She has also taken up rune reading, and find it to be disturbingly accurate and exciting.
Doll Mona Leigh


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