Published: 28th May 2013
By: Harlequin Teen/Mira Ink
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Unfortunately, Dare you To, for me, was just like any other contemporary romance out there. Great for those who favour this genre, but it just didn't wow me. Pushing the Limits had that something extra special that gave it that extra oomph that I just didn't feel with Dare You To.
I didn't like Beth in Pushing the Limits, and maybe that should have been enough to make me lose interest in this before I even started, but because I enjoyed Pushing the Limits so much, I wanted to give this one a go too, and having read the first chapter, I was quite intrigued about Ryan. They were so completely different that I was interested in seeing how they were going to be brought together. Beth did grow on me a little through the course of the book, but I know she won't be memorable, not like Echo and Noah. And Ryan, while he was a likeable guy, was just a similar mould to every other hot, jock guy I read about.
We're already aware that Beth has had a hard life. She was staying in her aunts basement with Noah and Isaiah, but we learn a lot more about her problems, and the ugly truth that has made Beth the person we know now. And I did pity her, it'd be hard not to. She feels unloveable and finds it hard to trust. But for someone who was so messed up, I felt that Ryan got through her barriers a little too quickly.
She is taken in by her uncle Scott, who moves her about a half hour away from Louisville, to Grovetown, where she lived until she was eight years old. He forbids her to see her alcoholic mother, and also tells her to cut ties with her old friends and her old life. But she really struggles with this and feels a need to protect her mother from her violent and abusive boyfriend. But her mother doesn't want to be saved, and it hurts Beth more everytime she tries to do something good for her.
Scott is one of the only commendable adults in this book. While Ryan appears to come from a good family, they are really just small minded, small town snobs. I especially disliked Ryan's dad, who I felt wanted to live his life through Ryan, trying to force him to do what he wanted with no regard for Ryan's feelings, and who had abandoned, and forced his family to abandon, his older son Mark, because he was gay.
In all honesty, by halfway through I was quite bored and just wanted to be done with it. Contemporary romance has to have that extra something for me to enjoy it, and Dare You To just wasn't it for me. I'm not sure I'll read Isaiah's story. He wasn't a character I was overfond of either. Though I did feel sorry for him in this one so it's nice to know he gets his happy ending too.
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