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 Beth finds herself starting over at a school where no one understands her. 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. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image is risking everything for the girl he loves, and the girl who won’t let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all.…
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I'M NOT INTERESTED in second place. Never have been. Never will be. It's not the style of anyone who wants to play in the majors. And because of my personal philosophy, this moment sucks. My best friend is seconds from scoring a phone number from the chick working the Taco Bell counter, placing him in the lead.
What started as a simple dare twisted into a night-long game. First, Chris dared me to ask the girl in line at the movies for her number. Then I dared him to ask the girl at the batting cages for her number. The more we succeeded, the more momentum the game gained. Too bad Chris owns a grin that melts the hearts of all girls, including the ones with boyfriends.
I hate losing.
Taco Bell Chick blushes when Chris winks at her. Come on. I chose her because she called us redneck losers when we ordered. Chris rests his arms on the counter, inching closer to the girl, as I sit at the table and watch the tragedy unfold. Shouldn't she be having an epiphany right about now? If not, can she find some self-respect and tell Chris to beat it?
Every single muscle on the back of my neck tenses as Taco Bell Chick giggles, writes something on a piece of paper, and slides it over to him. Dammit. The rest of our group howls with laughter and someone pats me on the back.
Tonight isn't about phone numbers or girls. It's about enjoying our last Friday night before school begins. I've tasted everything-the freedom of hot summer air in the Jeep with the panels down, the peace of dark country roads leading to the interstate, the exciting glow of city lights as we took the thirty-minute drive into Louisville, and, lastly, the mouthwatering taste of a greasy fast-food taco at midnight.
Chris raises the phone number like a referee holding up the glove of the prize champion. "It's on, Ryan."
"Bring it." There's no way I've gotten this far to have Chris outdo me.
He slouches in his seat, tosses the paper into the pile of numbers we've collected over the evening, and tugs his Bullitt County High baseball cap over his brown hair. "Let's see. These things have to be thought through. The girl chosen carefully. Attractive enough so she won't fall for you. Not a dog because she'll be excited someone gave her a bone."
Mimicking him, I shift back in the chair, extend my legs, and fold my hands over my stomach. "Take your time. I've got forever."
But we don't. After this weekend, life changes-my life and Chris's. On Monday, Chris and I will be seniors starting our last fall baseball league. I only have a few more months to impress the professional baseball scouts or the dream I've been working toward my entire life will dissolve into ashes.
A shove at my foot brings me back to the here and now.
"Stop the serious shit," Logan whispers. The lone junior at the table and the best damn catcher in the state nods toward the rest of the group. He knows my facial expressions better than anyone. He should. We've been playing together since we were kids. Me pitching. Him catching.
For Logan's sake, I laugh at a joke Chris told even though I didn't hear the punch line.
"We close soon." Taco Bell Chick wipes a table near ours and gives Chris a smile. She almost looks pretty in the glow of the red neon Drive-Thru Open sign.
"I may call that one," says Chris.
I lift a brow. He worships his girlfriend. "No, you won't."
"I would if it weren't for Lacy." But he has Lacy, and loves her, so neither one of us continues that conversation.
"I have one more try." I make a show of glancing around the purple Tex-Mex decorated lobby. "What girl are you choosing for me?"
A honk from the drive-thru announces the arrival of a car full of hot girls. Rap pounds from their car and I swear one girl flashes us. I love the city. A brunette in the backseat waves at me. "You should pick one of them."
"Sure," Chris says sarcastically. "In fact, why don't I hand you the title now?"
Two guys from our table hop out of their seats and go outside, leaving me, Logan, and Chris alone. "Last chance for hot city girls before we drive back to Groveton, Logan."
Logan doesn't say anything one way or another, nor does his face move an inch. That's Logan for you-unmoved by much. Unless it involves a feat associated with death.
"There she is." Chris's eyes brighten as he stares at the entrance. "That's the girl I'm calling as yours."
I suck in a deep breath. Chris sounds too happy for this girl to be good news. "Where?"
"Just came in, waiting at the counter."
I risk a look. Black hair. Torn clothes. Total skater. Damn, those chicks are hard-core. I slap my hand against the table and our trays shift. Why? Why did Skater Girl have to wander into Taco Bell tonight?
Chris's rough chuckles do nothing to help my growing agitation. "Admit defeat and you won't have to suffer."
"No way." I stand, refusing to go down without a fight.
All girls are the same. It's what I tell myself as I stroll to the counter. She might look different from the girls at home, but all girls want the same thing-a guy who shows interest. A guy's problem is having the balls to do it. Good thing for me I've got balls. "Hi. I'm Ryan."
Her long black hair hides her face, but her slim body with a hint of curves catches my attention. Unlike the girls at home, she isn't wearing marked-down designer labels. Nope. She has her own style. Her black tank top shows more skin than it covers and her skintight jeans hug all the right places. My eyes linger on a single rip in them, directly below her ass.
She leans over the counter and the rip widens. Skater Girl turns her head toward me and the drive-thru. "Is someone going to take my fucking order?"
Chris's laughter from our corner table jerks me back to reality. I pull off my baseball cap, mess my hand through my hair, and shove the hat back in place. Why her? Why tonight? But there's a dare and I'm going to win. "Counter's a little slow tonight."
She glares at me like I'm a little slow. "Are you speaking to me?"
Her hard stare dares me to glance away, and a lesser guy would. I'm not lesser. Keep staring, Skater Girl. You don't scare me. I'm drawn to her eyes though. They're blue. Dark blue. I never would have thought someone with such black hair could have those brilliant eyes.
"I asked you a question." She rests a hip against the counter and crosses her arms over her chest. "Or are you as stupid as you look?"
Yep, pure punk: attitude, nose ring, and a sneer that can kill on sight. She's not my type, but she doesn't have to be. I just need her number. "You'd probably get better service if you watched your language."
A hint of amusement touches her lips and dances in her eyes. Not the kind of amusement you laugh with. It's the taunting kind. "Does my language bother you?"
Yes. "No." Girls don't use fuck. Or they shouldn't. I don't care for the word, but I know when I'm being tested and this is a test.
"So my language doesn't bother you, but you say-" she raises her voice and leans over the counter again "-I could get some fucking service if I watched my language."
Wouldn't hurt. Time to switch tactics. "What do you want?"
Her head snaps up as if she had forgotten I was there.
"To eat. What do you want to eat?"
"Fish. What do you think I want? I'm at a taco joint."
Chris laughs again and this time Logan joins in. If I don't salvage this, I'll be listening to their ridicule the entire way home. This time I lean over the counter and wave at the girl working the drive-thru. I give her a smile. She smiles back.
Take lessons, Skater Girl. This is how it's supposed to work. "Can I have a minute?"
Drive-Thru Chick's face brightens and she holds up a finger as she continues with the order from outside. "Be right there. Promise."
I turn back to Skater Girl, but instead of the warm thank-you I should be receiving she shakes her head, clearly annoyed. "Jocks."
My smile falters. Hers grows.
"How do you know I'm a jock?"
Her eyes wander to my chest and I fight a grimace. Written in black letters across my gray shirt is Bullitt County High School, Baseball State Champions.
"So you are stupid," she says.
I'm done. I take one step in the direction of the table, then stop. I don't lose. "What's your name?"
"What do I have to do to make you leave me alone?"
And there it is-my opening. "Give me your phone number."
The right side of her mouth quirks up. "You're fucking kidding."
"I'm dead serious. Give me your name and phone number and I'll walk away."
"You must be brain damaged."
"Welcome to Taco Bell. Can I take your order?"
We both look at Drive-Thru Chick. She beams at me, then cowers from Skater Girl. With her lids cast down, she asks again, "What can I get you?"
I pull out my wallet and slam ten dollars on the counter.
"And a Coke," Skater Girl says. "Large. Since he's paying."
"Oookaay." Drive-Thru Chick enters the order, slides the money off the counter, and returns to the order window. We stare at each other. I swear, this girl never blinks. "I believe a thank-you is in order," I say. "I never asked you to pay."
"Give me your name and phone number and we'll call it even."
She licks her lips. "There is absolutely nothing you can do to ever get me to give you my name or number."
Ring the bell. Playtime ended with those words. Purposely invading her space, I steal a step toward her and place a hand on the counter next to her body. It affects her. I can tell. Her eyes lose the amusement and her arms hug her body. She's small. Smaller than I expected. That attitude is so big I hadn't noticed her height or size. "I bet I can."
She juts out her chin. "Can't."
"Eight tacos and one large Coke," says the girl from behind the counter.
Skater Girl snatches the order and spins on her heel before I can process I'm on the verge of losing. "Wait!"
She stops at the door. "What?"
This "what" doesn't have nearly the anger of the one before. Maybe I'm getting somewhere. "Give me your phone number. I want to call you."
No, I don't, but I do want to win. She's wavering. I can tell. To keep from scaring her off, I bury my excitement. Nothing sends me higher than winning.
"I'll tell you what." She flashes a smile that drips with a mixture of allure and wickedness. "If you can walk me to my car and open the door for me, I'll give you my number."
She steps into the humid night and skips down the sidewalk to the back parking lot. I wouldn't have pegged this girl as a skipper. Skip she does and I follow, tasting the sweet victory.
Victory doesn't last long. I freeze midstep on the sidewalk. Before she can prance past the yellow lines confining an old rusty car, two menacing guys climb out and neither appears happy.
"Something I can do for you, man?" the taller one asks. Tattoos run the length of his arms.
"Nope." I shove my hands in my pockets and relax my stance. I have no intention of getting into a fight, especially when I'm outnumbered.
Tattoo Guy crosses the parking lot, and he'd probably keep coming if it wasn't for the other guy with hair covering his eyes. He stops right in front of Tattoo Guy, halting his progress, but his posture suggests he'd also fight for kicks. "Is there a problem, Beth?"
Beth. Hard to believe this hard-core girl could have such a delicate name. As if reading my thoughts, her lips slide into an evil smirk. "Not anymore," she answers as she jumps into the front seat of the car.
Both guys walk to their car while keeping an eye on me, as if I'm stupid enough to jump them from behind. The engine roars to life and the car vibrates like duct tape holds it together.
In no hurry to go inside and explain to my friends how I lost, I stay on the sidewalk. The car slowly drives by and Beth presses her palm against the passenger window. Written in black marker is the word signaling my defeat: can't.
THERE'S NOTHING BETTER than the feeling of floating. Weightless in warmth. Comforter-out-of-the-dryer warmth. The warmth of a strong hand against my face, running through my hair. If only life could be like this.. forever.
I could do forever here, in the basement of my aunt's house. All walls. No windows. The outside kept outside. The people I love inside.
Noah-his hair hiding his eyes, keeping the world from seeing his soul.
Isaiah-a sleeve of beautiful tattoos that frightens the normal and entices the free.
Me-the poet in my mind when I'm high.
I came to this house for safety. They came because the foster care system ran out of homes. We stayed because we were stray pieces of other puzzles, tired of never fitting.
One year ago, Isaiah and Noah bought the couch, the king-size mattress, and the TV from the Goodwill. Shit thrown away by somebody else. By yanking it down a flight of stairs into the depths of the earth, they made us a home. They gave me a family.
"I wore ribbons," I say. My own voice sounds bizarre. Echoing. Far away. And I speak again so I can hear the strangeness. "Lots of them."
"I love it when she does this," Isaiah says to Noah. The three of us relax on the bed. Finishing another beer, Noah sits at the end with his back propped against the wall. Isaiah and I touch. We only touch when we're high or drunk or both. We can because it doesn't count then. Nothing counts when you feel weightless.
Isaiah runs his hand through my hair again. The gentle tug urges me to close my eyes and sleep forever. Bliss. This is bliss.
"What colors?" The normal rough edges of Isaiah's tone disappear, leaving smooth deepness. "Pink."
"Dresses. I loved dresses."
It feels as if I'm turning my head through sand in order to look at him. My head rests on his stomach and I smile when the heat of his skin radiates past his T-shirt onto my cheek. Or maybe I'm smiling because it's Isaiah and only he can make me smile.
I love his dark hair, shaved close to his scalp. I love his kind gray eyes. I love the earrings in both ears. I love that he's hot. Hot when he's high. I giggle. He's tragically hot when he's sober. I should write that down.
What People are Saying About This
This intense and intriguing debut delves into the psychological difficulties of two teens who fall in love ... A probing, captivating story." Kirkus Reviews on Pushing the Limits
"This poignant narrative, which is told in the two protagonists' alternating voices, will find a following among those who enjoy contemporary teen romances." School and Library Journal on Pushing the Limits
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Come on people! Stop retelking the story in the review! Just state if u if u liked it or not then if u are going to give something away then please dont give any of the biggest/ most important events! Please and thank you, Shyanne Vanblair 15
It is a perfect romance story that keeps people on edge! I didn't think it could be this good! You have to buy it!!!! Read the whole book in less than a day. Great for teens.
I have to say that I am in LOVE. Yep, when I read this book (and this was a cover to cover in one sitting, you know laundry, what laundry? kind of book!) I fell head over heals for Ryan. I really wanted to reach through the book and smack Beth and ask her what the heck is wrong with you? Can’t you see how awesome he is??? That said. Beth is a mess when she ends up living with her uncle. Her uncle wrongly blames a lot of things from Beth’s past as being the problems that have gotten Beth where she is, so he makes some pretty dumb rules. She has to change everything about her life, including her clothes, her friends, everything. And then Ryan saunters in and kind of upends her world. Like everyone else who read Pushing the Limits, I figured that this book would be the story between Isaiah and Beth. Because it was obvious that Isaiah was head over heals in love with Beth. I guess it just wasn’t as obvious that Beth wasn’t as in love with Isaiah. So, Beth has to deal with falling in love with Ryan, figuring out how to make her life fit within the rules of her uncles life (an uncle that she once adored but now doesn’t really know), and breaking the heart of her best friend. Oh, and don’t forget that she is also going to a new school. Simple, right? I just adore Katie McGarry’s characters. They are so real and so amazing. Seriously I know my eyes filled up with tears or I cried several times throughout this book. Pushing the Limits set the bar pretty high (I thought I had written a review for that one, guess I’ll have to go back and do one!) so I went into Dare You To with high expectations. Oh my! I think I love this book even more than Pushing the Limits. If PTL got a 5, than DYT would get at least a 5.5 from me! I have Crossing the Line on my TBR shelf, which is in between PTL and DYT… This is a novella of Lila, Echo’s best friend. But I’m super excited to finish the series with Crash Into You, Isaiah’s story, which is set for November 2013. As for Dare You To, yeah, this one has a permanent spot on my favorite shelf and will definitely be a fav for 2013!
I couldn't put it down!
A Home Run! Let me just say that my words won't do this book justice, so I dare you to read it and see for yourself how Katie McGarry knocks this out of the park! What I loved: This a heartrending story about of love, forgiveness and learning how to trust. Beth and Ryan are the kind of characters who tug at your heart strings right off the bat, making it virtually impossible not to route for them. They're raw and edgy yet completely relateable and are supported by a cast of characters who want to see both them reach their full potential. Beth is a force to be reckoned with and I.loved.her. despite her potty mouth. ;) Ryan puts the "swoon" in swoonilicious and the fact that he still had his rookie card had me doing this. ---> *faints* What left me wanting: My heart broke for Isaiah but I know his story is coming and I'm really looking forward to reading it. Final verdict: I dare you to read this. I double dog dare you to read it and NOT love it! *whispers* Especially Ryan. Favorite quote: “I like you. I. Like. You. I'll admit you're annoying. Sometimes you agitate me to the brink of insanity, but you can throw it back at me like no one else. When you laugh, I want to laugh. When you smile, I want to smile. Hell, I want to be the one to make you smile.”
Okay, confession time: I haven't read the first novel Pushing the Limits. But I felt that I could just dive into the second novel, Dare You To. So, I didn't see the love triangle that everyone was talking about. It was clear from the beginning to me. Why Dare You To got such a low rating from me was because of Beth (inward shutter). She WHINED all the time; she literally whine on every single page. I'm not even going to start on her relationship with her uncle, that alone docks a stars. Which in turn made her seem completely immature and annoying throughout the entire book and on top of that she slews swears words every time she talked! Yes, I get that she was raised in a poor neighborhood with mommy issues, but seriously she doesn't need to potty talk every other word. She truly deserves soap in her dirty mouth. Oh Ryan, Ryan, why do you like Beth? Seriously, what does he see in her? Is it like the good girl likes the bad boy, but only in reverse? The allure of danger? I have no idea what he sees in her. I'll tell you what I see... absolutely nothing. Back to Beth, anyone else catch that she kicks the multiple addictions in under a week because she met the perfect guy and he magically made her forget her addictions? Sorry to break it to you, but addiction do not go away in under a week, even if you met your soul mate. Most of the book dragged, never really picking up. Dare You To could have easily been cut in half, without you missing anything. Maybe if I'd read the first book, I would have liked Beth better. But since I didn't, this is my impression of her. Who should read this: anyone who loves head banging, hair pulling, and shaking the book to death. Enjoy. Without further ado, welcome to the "I hate Beth fan club."
I have read plenty of books and i have never had a favorite till this the love between Beth and Ryan is the stuff of dreams and this book helps you explore it and even feel it best book ever!!!!!!!:)
i love this book im a guy and most dont read this stuff but this book was really good i love beth and ryans relationship and what brings them together
Oh my goodness. This was dark, amazing, emotional and hot. Katie has written another contemporary masterpiece and as an added bonus we get to see a peek at Noah and echo. Though you didn't have to read pushing the limits to understand and love dare you to. They would just seen like secondary characters. I loved Beth and her tough exterior and how Ryan broke through that and while she was still amazing and kick ass we get to see get beautiful heart. Ryan is perfect on the surface but there is a lot brewing under neath. I loved his loyalty and admired his self confidence and how hid desire to win became a theme. Though i really appreciated that he stepped up and did what wad right even if it meant losing. There were some smoking hot scenes that made me need to stick Mt head on the freezer and then run back to get more. The characters in this story are so beautifully written! Ryan's inner dialogue was awesome and it made me smile a lot. Lacy is a great character as well and i loved how she fit into the whole scene. She reminded nee a lot of myself with the boys was friends and the limited loyalty. As well as being on the fringes. Gwen... Oh, Gwen. I wanted to smack her. Loved Ryan s brother and that her read not perfect bit he too had a story and things to prove to himself. Beth and her need to take care of her mom is so understandable and it hurts my heart all that sheer had to go through. Isaiah... I so thought that some how this would be his and Beth story but while he was in it and their friendship was an important theme and he had a lot to add to the story it was not in the way that i thought. Watching Beth learn to trust others and especially learn to trust herself was the most amazing part of this story. It wasn't an easy road, and she had to go through sooo much. Not only did her relationship with Ryan help, but also her uncle, Lacy and letting go of her past. She had to realize that no one is perfect, herself included, but that there are people who are worthy of the trust. Really, the theme of learning to also accept yourself for who you are is what I am coming away from this story with! I love the dual narrative, it helped me to understand and love both of the characters all the more. It is also a unique way of storytelling where you know what the other person is really thinking and feeling. The ending is like the rest of the book--perfection. Bottom Line: Darkly captivating an emotional romance woven with hope and character growth.
This book was even better then the last! From the first moment i read the first page i was a goner. It is now probably my all time favorite book ever!!!! katie-mcgarry is an amazing author that has the ability to make reader become the charecter and see and feel what they are. Beth being an independent person is forced into a situation where she has to see that she's not alone. Ryan a person who people declare is perfect struggles to come in terms with what he wants and who he is. These two people who couldnt seem more diffrent come together and relise that maybe there is more then what meets the eye. I would recomend this book to everyone and anyone!! Read this and i promise u wont be disappointed.
So so good!!! Katie McGarry is amazing!
Beth. I saw such a different side of her character in this book. I watched her grow from someone who helped the people she loved until it destroyed her into a person who realized that it’s okay to help yourself first every now and then. Beth is fighting a war no one else can see. A war with herself to never let her mother down. No matter how many of her boyfriends take to beating them. No matter how many times her mother throws her under the bus in favour of men and alcohol. Beth refuses to abandon her. So when her uncle returns and blackmails her into leaving the only family she’s ever known to go live with him and his so called picket fence. Beth doesn’t go down without a fight, she tries everything she can think of to hold onto her old life and make sure she keeps her mother safe. But when she makes an unexpected connection with a boy at her new school, Beth begins to question why she was so against with starting over. Could it possibly be this easy? With the constant doubt and fear of making the wrong choice in her mind, Beth guards herself like a fortress. Refusing to let anyone break the walls except for Ryan. The only boy that seems to be able to melt her heart as it turns to ice. I loved this story. Beth is a character I wanted to know more about from the beginning and I was so happy when Katie McGarry decided to write a book with Beth as the MC. The banter, the drama, the heart-break, the low-lifes and the caring. This book had so many emotions and my stomach would not stop fluttering until the very end. I was just so invested in Beth and Ryan. They are so cute and it’s about time that Beth caught a break and got her happily ever after. I was rooting for her from the very beginning. I’ve decided to rate this book four stars. As it kept me gripped to my seat the entire time keeping me entranced and really invested in the outcome of the story. But after I turned the last page, I didn’t have that swirly feeling in my stomach about what happened in the book. It didn’t give me a book hangover, is basically what I’m trying to say. I love this series, and I will definitely be continuing it’s story in the near future.
High school love. Lots of drama. There are zero sex scenes. Well written.
Loved it stayed up all night read it in one day. Good way to spend $5bucks L. D.
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!
Absolutely wonderful and completely worth the money. You won't regret it.
I absolutely loved this book! The fact that you don't have to read them in order is nice; although it is helpful. The character crossovers are unbelievably perfect. The plot is edgy and graceful all at the same time. I've rarely felt any form of sympathy for a character but Katie McGarry brings it out of me no matter which book it is.
This book was even better than I thought it be. I love the characters and how they developed throughout the book, love the story line and how it was written , this is definitely one of my new favorite Contemporary reads. Im definitely going to be reading more books by this author!!!
I really loved this book. I probably went over it like 10 times and fast forward to the parts that I truly enjoyed. To me it was not only a book , but a movie. BTW I always fast forward to the parts that I truly enjoy the most whenever I watch movie, but this was a first for me treating a book like a movie. Judging the fact that I bought this book over a week ago.