Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Book Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Okay, crazy week. This post is going up late and I probably won't post tomorrow. Hopefully on Friday, though. My sister is getting married in less than three weeks and wedding preparations are taking up ALL of my extra time, so my posting may be spotty until after the first week in June. 

So, I finally read Dare You To by Katie McGarry. I have had it on my kindle since around Christmas time, so I'm glad I finally got to it. *I largely avoid spoilers in my reviews so if you haven't read it, you can read this review without worry.*

Plot: Book 2 of Pushing the Limits focuses on Beth's story. (Pushing the Limits is not a series that needs to be read in any particular order. The same group of friends is in each book, but each installment is about a different character's story, so they feed into one another but aren't necessarily chronological.) So Beth is a rough girl. She's had a difficult past, beyond what most people can imagine, and when her uncle shows up to take her away from her broken home, she fights him tooth and nail. Meanwhile she meets Ryan. They really hate one another at first, and the reasons for their initial interaction are anything but the right ones. But, as time goes on, and they get to know one another, things begin to change. Tale-as-old-as-time-style.

Characters: The great thing about Katie McGarry is that her characters are so colorful and believable. The voices are never remotely the same. And it's a nice blend of ages. Their teenager-hood is obvious, but not in an annoying way. McGarry's characters have real problems, not just high school problems, and that makes them more mature than most teens. (Which I think is why I can stand to read her books. High school books generally aren't my thing.) All characters in the book jump off the page as real and believable, and you'll find yourself very invested in their stories.

Writing: The writing is phenomenal. McGarry's stories always draw you in and you can't stop turning pages. A word of warning, though. With Beth being a "rough" girl, there are a lot of cuss words in this book. I remember seeing them in Pushing the Limits #1 as well, but it was much more prevalent here. Lots of f-bombs and other cussing. Maybe I just don't remember how much there was in book 1, but I have the impression of that one being PG-13-ish, where the content in this one is much closer to rated R. You've been warned. 

Ending: I liked the ending. McGarry is good at endings. She always manages to sum up the major problems of the novel, but also leave enough open for it to feel real. Not everything is tied up in a neat bow, but things are being worked on, and you feels satisfied with where she ends.

Overall: Here's the thing--and I've said this before--contemporary romance, especially of the high school variety, is really REALLY not my genre. I generally wouldn't touch it. But McGarry's books I will read and even look forward to reading. That should tell you something. She's really that good. In short, highly recommended! 

Has anyone else read Dare You To? What did you think of it?


  1. It's impressive that she was able to put that much into a contemporary romance and a good ending always makes for a good novel. Of course the opposite is also true.