Beth is a troubled youth. Her father walked out on her when she was child and her mom is an alcoholic who has an abusive boyfriend. Beth’s mother gets into trouble and instead of having her mom go to jail, Beth takes the blame and gets arrested. Beth’s uncle, who also walked out on Beth when she was younger, takes Beth in until Beth turns 18.
Ryan is the popular baseball jock. Ryan is very goal oriented. He eats, sleeps, and breathes baseball. One night, his friends dare Ryan to ask Beth out and get her phone number. Even though both of them have very different backgrounds Ryan and Beth continue to bump into each other and despite Beth’s negative attitude, Ryan tries to finish out his dare.
I would say my summary is about the first 50% of the book. I found the overall theme of “dare” a little immature, but it really wasn’t the foundation of the story. To me, Dare You To was about two people with not so ideal situations at home help each other cope.
I did not like Beth. In the beginning I was very interested in her. I found Beth’s story a little depressing, but her background was kind of the perfect set-up for a Heroine. She’s that trashy skater girl from the wrong side of the tracks. She use to have blond hair, but she dies it black, which is fitting for the way she feels towards life.
In some ways it’s very endearing reading the scenes between her and her mom. You have this abusive alcoholic mother who does everything she can to cause problems for Beth and then there’s Beth. One word to describe Beth is that she is a HUGE martyr.
I cannot relate with these types of characters and that is where my feelings start to shift. It’s almost as if Beth has blinders on throughout the book and she can only see one thing, she will do almost anything and everything to save her mother.[or runaway with her (hide spoiler)]
I liked Ryan at times, but the more I got to know him, the more I didn’t understand him. I get the whole parent-push-you-to live-out-their-dream bit, but I just wanted a little more justification. Sure, Ryan only focuses on baseball, but why? I mean, yes I know his Dad pressures him, but I felt like that wasn’t enough. So, Ryan wants to write, big deal? I mean, I felt like instead of writing, it should have been like ballroom dancing, something a little more taboo and something that would get more in the way of his baseball practice.
The whole relationship between Ryan and Beth was kind of just too intense for me. I can see how Ryan finds Beth attractive, but when Beth starts to mouth off to Ryan, I just thought to myself, can a popular guy really fall for this girl? I couldn’t stand how every time Ryan pushes Beth to open up, Beth shuts down and runs away, and she doesn’t run a way one, two or five times, it’s like an on-going ordeal.
There is a slight love triangle that involves Beth’s best friend, Isaiah. I really didn’t like Beth because of Isaiah. I would describe Isaiah has a big puppy dog. He does everything he can to be there for Beth and Beth does nothing, but (in my opinion) use him for emotional support. Oh and that part (view spoiler)[when she told Isaiah she loved him so she wouldn’t lose him, even though she knew it wasn’t like the way she loved Ryan (hide spoiler)] I wanted to slap her!
I can see why there are so many rave reviews. The overall story was very angsty and there’s plenty of drama. My rating for Pushing the Limits is pretty much on par how I feel towards Dare You To so let’s just say the problem is that my personal taste didn’t mesh well with the storyline.
Just because Dare You To didn’t work out for me, doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be a five star for you. So, give it a go.
I was provided an ARC by Harlequin Limited Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review