My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
It took me an awfully long time to figure out that Katie McGarry had written any other novels, much less novels that acted as companions to “Pushing the Limits”. (Which I loved.) Since I finished “Dare You To” the same week a teaser for McGarry’s next novel was released, I suspect that I’ll be enjoying these characters for a long time to come.
Beth was the girl I spent most of “Pushing the Limits” disliking. I justified her behavior frequently by reminding myself that she’d had a tough life and an unstable upbringing before the story began. It didn’t hit home for me how true that was until later in “Dare You To,” when Beth started offering little glimpses of her past. Her abrasive behavior is never swept under the rug, but within the context of her own story, the cursing and fighting and isolationism make a hell of a lot more sense.
Compared to Beth, Ryan’s life seemed so much easier–even with his family crumbling to bits. His feelings toward his brother Mark irritated me at times, especially since his family still seemed like one that could be fixed. It was nice to see Ryan embrace the other characters as multifaceted as he began to accept that his own strengths lay in more than just baseball. That particular juxtaposition worked well for me.
One of my only complaints is that I would’ve liked to know more about a couple of the secondary characters. Logan the adrenaline junkie friend and Allison the new wife spring immediately to mind as people whose stories I really want to hear. More spin-offs, perhaps? 🙂
While “Dare You To” never quite reached the intensity level of “Pushing the Limits” for me, I still whipped through the big climactic ending very fast. Can’t wait to get my hands on the next two books in the series!