Last year I read Pushing the Limits…in one sitting…while I had a migraine. It was epic. I absolutely LOVED it (obviously). Honestly, there are few books that have hit me as hard emotionally as Pushing the Limits did. So, while I had high hopes for Katie McGarry’s second book in the series, I was not prepared to love Dare You To as much as I did. I didn’t really like Beth in the first book, and then to find out Beth’s not being paired up with Isaiah…I just didn’t know if I could handle that. But I should know better than to question Katie’s brilliance.
So, what did I love? Well, while I can’t say I loved it more than Pushing the Limits…or maybe even quite as much…I will say it came in at a close second. Like Katie McGarry’s first novel, Dare You To is incredibly real. Her characters feel like they could live and breath off the page. I don’t run across many contemporary romances that I feel like I have to remind myself the story is fiction not a biography, and Katie truly makes her characters feel that real. Ryan and Beth were people I wanted to get to know better in real life. They had a strength and vulnerability that made me need to know more.
The plot development was amazing. A slow but steady revealing of Beth and Ryan’s secrets left me furiously flipping pages, and while it was not any of the things I expected, it was everything I never knew I wanted it to be and more. =) Beth was so much more complex than what I saw in Pushing the Limits. I felt like I understood her actions better and could relate to her better. Ryan, sweet Ryan, that boy made this story. His secrets, his loyalty to Beth, his decency made me adore him and made the plot work. It was beautifully done.
Overall, Dare You To was just another example of what an an incredibly talented author Katie McGarry is. I loved it and highly recommend it to anyone in need of a deep emotional connection to some fascinating characters. I can’t wait to read more in this exquisite series.