Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Katie McGarry - Dare You ToDare You To is a young adult contemporary novel, written as a sequel to Katie McGarry’s first novel: Pushing The Limits. Dare You To can be read as a stand alone, however, reading the first novel will provide you with more insight into the characters. Like all YA romance novels, Dare You To is centered around 2 high school teenagers, their personal dramas and their personal journey to overcome their issues by taking a chance on love. In Dare You To, the two lucky winners of this role are: Ryan Stone and Beth Risk.

Ryan Stone is portrayed to have a perfect life, people see him as ‘perfect’. He is popular, nice, and extremely good looking, proving to be cocky in his ability to play baseball, a dare devil among his friends and a gentleman with the ladies. His parents have built a perfect life for both him and his brother Mark, living in a perfect home, with the perfect family and a perfect marriage. On the outside, the Stone family seem to have it all, but inside Ryan is slowly suffocating, his parents marriage is a sham and is crumbling right in front of him, while his brother Mark, has recently been cut off from the family and is considered dead to his father.

Beth Risk has she has grown up seeing the ugly things of life, having had a tumultuous upbringing in a broken home with a alcoholic mother. Her mothers boyfriend is a drug dealer and is both abusive to both Beth and her mother. Having to live through this ordeal has caused Beth to grow up quickly and independently. She doesn’t have the capability trust anyone and doesn’t let people in.

Somehow fate steps in and their paths cross. Beth is forced to live with her uncle in a new town and attend a new school where low and behold she runs into Ryan. They have briefly met before (in the beginning of the novel) and upon seeing each other again you wonder how they will even get along, he’s a jock, she’s an outsider. However, everything is not what it seems,  appearances aren’t always everything, both characters seem so different on the outside but on the inside they are the exact same, both characters are dealing with personal struggles. Ryan hides his struggles from the public eye, whereas Beth could care less of what the public saw or knew about her.

Fate has given Beth a fresh start in a new town, but somehow she can’t bring herself to leave her mother. Her mother needs saving and Beth feels like she can be the one to save her, but sometimes there are things that are so out of your own control that no matter how hard you try, they just can’t be saved. Will Beth’s obligations to her mother ruin her chance at something new? Will Ryan’s personal struggles interfere with his chance of finding love?

I was so excited for this book to be released as I loved the first book so much, but in my honest opinion,  I was so disappointed. I found this book to be too long, really long actually and in some ways it was too descriptive. There was too much jargon, irrelevant descriptive parts and I felt like it took me a decade to finally get to the point.  Yes, I know a bit dramatic but when you read the book, you’ll pick up on its overly- longness. I no doubt enjoyed the basis of the story line as I was curious as to see how this love story played out,  however, I almost put it down after 100 pages because by then the story had not developed enough yet.  The characters background stories were still playing out, there was bits during this time I felt the book could do without. I can see why the story was so long, as I believe Katie wanted to develop the characters and their backgrounds before jumping into anything, but in doing so, Katie made the story too drawn out. It just dragged on and on, and at times I found myself skimming over parts to try and find the end point.

Overall I rate this book 2 stars, you should read this book if you enjoy a descriptive novel filled with rich character insight.