Friday, May 24, 2013

ARC Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Hello Everyone!

Dare To You by Katie McGarry
Publication Date: May 28th, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen 
Source: Netgalley from Publisher (Thanks!)
Rating: 3.75 INTENSE STARS
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My Review

After reading a wonderful encouraging review by Rachel at the Reader’s Den, I decided that I will try this book. I’m glad I did. It was an entertaining story full of many layers.

The Good:

This book is intense. 

The Bad:

This book is a predictable in its hate to love story and its finale for the writing competition subplot.

The Weary:

It took awhile for me to become excited by the story. After page, 95, I started enjoying the story. That’s when my feelings towards the story started turned from indifference during an insipid meal to enjoyment during eating delicious pasta. The hungered for amusement ended! I have no idea why I did not enjoy the book till that point, just resulted from personal feelings. Also, I felt it could be shorter because, occasionally, there was times I just felt like skipping segments because of their redundancy.  

The Wonderful:

McGarry sure knows how to create wonderful characters.

The two narrators Ryan and Beth are on the opposite ends of the lifestyle spectrum. Throughout the story they embark on a journey that makes them both stronger characters as they learn from each other. They both learn the imperfections that fill everyone’s lives. I love how the writing weaves the great heights the characters changed throughout the book. 

Ryan “Arrogant Taco Bell Boy” (McGarry 81) Stone is a rich kid, a jock and has amazing friends. In the beginning I find a boy just wanting to win a dare and to become a successful baseball player. He is rightfully sullen while dealing with his family’s private issues and sadness over his beloved brother’s abandonment. Ryan becomes admirable. He becomes a man who is in love, who wants to be more then just a pitcher, who learns the joy of writing and does not care so much about winning dares. I love the writing subplot dealing as the zombie story Ryan writes reflects his own inner feelings.

Beth lives life on the edge. A horrid man abuses her mother. Her father left her in third grade. Her uncle, the famous baseball player Scott Risk, orders her to live with him, was not there for her the first time she needed him when she was younger. Beth grows from being solely bitter to seeing loyalty exists among her new relationships. She makes creative threats that are always a joy to read.

I enjoyed both of their distinctive voices and their humor that ranged throughout the book. I liked Ryan’s performance style prose, allotting fun dramatics. Beth’s mind is drastic from her exterior. She cares for a few people and her mind always reveals the passion she feels for them. I am glad that once they started to be direct and honest towards one another resulted in their relationship transformation.  

The Quote Time!


“LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, bow your heads and give an amen.” Pg. 96 of my ARC.

“Game on, Skater Girl, Game on.” Pg. 101 of my ARC


“With one touch, Isaiah could ground me. Keep me floating away with his arms as my anchor. His steady beating heart the reminder he would never let go.” Pg. 103 of my ARC.

“A silver of hope sneaks past my walls and I slam every opening shut. Emotion is evil. People who make me feel are worse. I take comfort in the stone inside me. If I don’t feel, I don’t hurt. “ Pg. 119 of my ARC



“Half of that mud Beth gained on our trip in. I should have told her what she looked like before we went to the party, but Beth was laughing. Smiling. I selfishly held onto the moment.” Pg. 233 of my ARC


“Before Groveton, I never understood love and now …  still don’t understand it. But I know that it’s not emptiness, I know it’s not letting a guy use me, I know there are different types.” Pg. 310 of my ARC.

The Friends:

Ryan’s and Beth’s friends, respectively, are all awesome. Lacy is my favorite! She is so sweet, fierce, a true friend, tenacious, empathetic and funny. My favorite scene is one where she explains her struggles to Ryan and her appreciation to her friendship with Beth when they were younger. God, I feel so sorry for Isaiah. Can’t wait to read his book! Loved the scene where Ryan spends time with Beth's friends from her old life.

The Conclusion:

So, after a rocky start, and despite excess moments, I was able to enjoy Dare You To. Although, you start knowing the overarching story arch towards romance, it is an enjoyable story. And there are some surprises that come about Beth’s past.

It’s a story that riots your emotions, root for the characters and wish they all could have the simple life. Actually, no in regards to the simple life; I am glad their difficult lives allowed Beth and Ryan to realize there is more to life than dares or complaining. Trustworthy people who have your back do exist. 
(All hail Lacy!)

All quotes are subject to change in the final, published version of Dare You To and I received an electronic-ARC on Netgalley in exchange for a honest review. 

Thanks for reading!


  1. Yay! Thanks for the shout out, Rachel!

    I'm glad to see you enjoyed this overall, even if the beginning didn't grab you. Kattie McGarry is becoming a favorite author of mine. Great review, my dear! :)

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed this one in the end, despite the bumpy start. I really liked it too! I do agree that it's quite predictable, though I generally feel that way about most contemporary books. I was still pretty impressed with this one overall. Great review, Rachel!

  3. I really liked Pushing the Limits, but I'm not so sure about this one. I like the way you break things down, though!

    -Taylor @ Reading is the Thing 

  4. Even though both of her books were a bit predictable. I think like you said, what keeps you engaged is the characters. Mcgarry wins you over with compelling and interesting characters. I am reading this next week, looking forward to it!

  5. Yay I'm so happy you really enjoyed this one! I think the beginning was the setting-up for the actual story, and I have to admit I remember it being a little boring too, but I totally fell in love with Ryan and I agree, they were total opposites but it was so amazing to read about.

    Fantastic review, Rachel!

  6. I agree that some of the sections felt repetitive but I still overall enjoyed the book and swooned for Ryan.

  7. I'm glad you enjoyed this one, even though it took you a bit to get into it. I loved this book a whole lot. I love that quote quote of Beth's about Isaiah. I hope they can work out their friendship in his story. :)

    ~Sara @ Forever 17 Books

  8. I have been dying to read Dare You To ever since I finished Pushing the Limits and discovered that we were getting a companion novel. I needed more from Katie McGarry and I was very curious about Beth's story. While I admit that I liked Noah and Echo's story more, I still really loved Beth and Ryan's story. It was heart wrenching and emotional and it hurt, but I loved every single second of it.



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