Gritty and Passionate
7 March, 2014
Before Dare You To, I read Pushing The Limits by the same author and I loved it. Ever since then, I've been waiting for Dare You To to get released, and Harlequin Teen, you have my heartfelt thanks for giving me an advance copy!
Three words that describe Dare You To: witty, emotional, and relatable.
Witty, because both the author, and in turn the characters are so. The things they say had me laughing, smirking and sad in turns. The language is crisp without any over embellishment or slang like in some books that portray 'teen life'. Plus, the book is a pretty safe read for young people, without any unsuitable scenes.
Let me ask you this: What book with a tough-as-nails heroine who's actually a softy who loves ribbons is not going to be emotional? Dare You To brings out a whole new side to the rude girl Beth that we saw in Pushing The Limits. I had several heart-squeezing moments (I don't know how else to describe them) while reading, and I love such books. I especially loved two scenes. One in which Beth is compared to a trapped bird that is trying to escape, and the other in which she finally learns to trust Ryan completely. The difficulties that Ryan faces with his broken family, and his conflicting interests are also beautifully handled.
Relatable because, well... Its a love story on the surface, but underneath that, its so much more. Its about accepting people for who they are, its about fighting for your dreams and its about letting go and doing the right thing even if you don't want to. We all face issues like these all the time, so I could totally relate (I mean to the underlying concept, not to the issues per se).
The author has succeeded marvelously in conveying two points of view. I've found that in many books there's hardly a difference. Both Ryan and Beth have distinct voices. Ryan is thoughtful, mature and uses beautiful descriptions, as befits a writer, while Beth's insecurity, facade and fragility come through crystal clear. I loved how Ryan has this daring bring-it-on attitude to everything, and at the same time, he's a gentleman. McGarry says that since Ryan has no history with Beth, he could see her all the more clearly. I completely agree. I have to say, I couldn't really see Beth and Isaiah working out even in Pushing The Limits, but I love Ryan.
The plot is not new. It has the same poor-beaten-down-angry-girl-and-jock story that you've read before with a slightly High School Musical like twist to it. But for a story that is so complicated, the author keeps it all straight. And when a story is well written, it doesn't really matter.
The only flaw (if you can call it that) I found was that after all the hype surrounding Beth's fear, it wasn't as big a deal as I expected. And I wish there was more of Noah and his better side, though I do understand that this is Beth's and Ryan's story.
Bottomline: Dare You To is a wonderful read. Definitely recommended for people who loved Pushing The Limits (and for those who didn't like Beth, because this shows her in a whole new light).
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