Wednesday, May 22, 2013

SUNNY: BOOK REVIEW "Dare You To" by Katie McGarry

Ryan lowers his lips to my ear. "Dance with me, Beth."

"No." I whisper the reply. I hate him and I hate myself for wanting him to touch me again....

"I dare you..."

If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does....

Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him.

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all...

"I love you", "I trust you" seem to be the two most difficult phrases for Beth and Ryan to verbalize.  Based on the background of the characters, I can easily understand why.  And I guess when it comes down to it, that is what I think about this book.  Easy reading.  Katie McGarry has a lovely writing style that just flows.  The conflicts sit right on the surface and it is easy for the readers to access the emotions.  I can't decide if this is because because this story is told from the first person perspective or not.  Nonetheless, Ms. McGarry captures the burden of being the recipient of bias and judgement.  She makes it clear that there are negative consequences of even so-called "positive" stereotypes - no life is perfect and assuming so hurts both the person judging and the person receiving. Nicely done.

IN A NUTSHELL: I enjoyed this read, though it was a little "tamer" than more normal fare. I could easily, and will, recommend this to any young adult reader.  

Thank you to Harlequin via Netgalley for the ARC.  

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