Dude! Where to start? Maybe I could just write something like [insert gushing and truffle shuffling and flailing arms of adoration here] and that’d be enough? Because, for some reason, I don’t feel as though anything I have to say will truly do this book justice. I mean, I picked the book up, and I didn’t want to put it down. Then when I neared the end, I slowed my pace, because I didn’t want it to end. And I love when I get suckered into a tale that way.
When I read an ARC of Pushing the Limits last year, I just knew I had discovered something seriously amazing in Katie McGarry’s writing. She wowed me with PtL and because of that, I was equally parts excited and nervous to reading Dare You To. Excited because I wanted to see what she would feed my mind and emotions next. And nervous because I didn’t want to be let down. Because there’s nothing worse than anticipating a book that ends up leaving you deflated.
That SOOOOOOOOOOO wasn’t the case with DYT. Nope. I LOVED it. Loved it enough that I want to decorate my review in and ribbons (<<there’s a point to the ribbons) and possibly some pink hearts with Ryan’s name inside them.
This book has a slightly different tone to it than PtL—obviously to reflect the new MC’s. And whilst you may not believe it’s tugging on your heartstrings quite as much as PtL does, you just know it’s leading up to something, just know that Ms McGarry is going to be breaking our hearts. And she so seriously does.
Beth is an AWESOME MC to spend time alongside. Anyone who’s read PtL knows she’s screwed up due to family issues, but I’m not sure anyone truly grasps how deep that runs. And in DYT, we get to see that. And it’s sad. So freakin’ sad. Made all the more sadder by the author’s ability to so expertly portray teenage emotions at their utmost frazzledness.
And then we have Ryan. He’s the dude I mentioned above whose name I wanted to stick in love hearts. This guy ain’t Noah, it’s true, but he’s certainly, in his own right, excellent book boyfriend material. I loved watching him progress. Loved how there was much more to him than the usual preconceptions might have us believe in the outset. Love that his family, which seems wholesome and true in the beginning, exposes its cracks until we come to understand that it’s also screwed up in its own way. And I loved how Katie McGarry made me ‘feel’ the vibes and situation of this family when being in the UK means I don’t ‘get’ the entire sports infatuation and importance of the scholarship deals that drive so many youths in the US. I love that she made me understand.
I also loved that Beth ends up somewhere that holds roots for her, which means there’s hope for her, that means there’s a chance of her settling, which I doubt would have felt so ‘real’ in any other ‘town.’
So what I guess I’m really trying to say (around all that flailing and shuffling and gushing) is: Kudos to Ms McGarry, because she’s done it again.