I'm a mother, lifelong-student, avid reader, and reviewer. I'll give pretty much anything a shot, but my guilty pleasure is romance, especially if it's dark and full of suspense.
Dare You To, by Katie McGarry was an amazing read. It demonstrated that no matter how ‘perfect’ a family may appear, or on the contrary, how delinquent; most families are dysfunctional. It’s only a matter of how badly or in many cases, how they're perceived.
”Dad wants perfection. Scratch that.
Dad wants perfection on the outside
so everyone else can see it.
Mom, too. They could care less if we’re
torn up on the inside as long as
the rest of the world envies us.” ~Mark
The characters were amazing. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of Beth’s after Pushing the Limits, but I am now. She’s a strong, compassionate, loyal, and selfless young woman who was dealt a shitty hand, yet she endured. The closest thing she ever had to a caring parent was her Uncle Scott and he too deserted her, in order to pursue his own dreams and essentially save himself. Now he’s back and looking to make amends...
"This is your break, kid. This is your baseball. All you have to do is trust me and take it. Whatever you want, it’s yours, but you have to let the past go."
Ryan was the town’s golden boy and captain of the baseball team. He’d always dreamt of going pro directly out of high school, but when new opportunities arose and he opened up to his passion and natural talent for writing, Ryan started to question what HE truly wanted. Should he go pro, or should he play college ball while pursuing a degree in creative writing?
”Someday, you’re going to see how Mom and Dad controlled and manipulated our lives. You’re going to notice how they made us believe that their dreams were our dreams. They dictated our every breath. Think about it—do you have any idea of who you are without them?” ~Mark
Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, it didn’t take Ryan long to see the truth in his brother’s words. His father blatantly disregarded his passion for writing. Both of his parents forbade him from dating Beth. She was deemed not good enough for him—not good enough for the image they expected him to portray.
Beth and Ryan seemed to be from two completely different worlds. Nevertheless, they were two damaged souls who formed a bond through their mutual pain. Beth’s past was town gossip, while Ryan’s festered under a ‘perfect’ façade. Throughout their friendship, they helped, encouraged, and more importantly were simply just there for one another.
This was a profound journey filled with betrayal, loss, discrimination, abuse, addiction, and heartache, as well as, friendship, love, loyalty, perseverance, trust and ultimately FREEDOM.
“This overwhelming, encompassing feeling is love. It’s not perfect and it’s messy as hell. And it’s exactly what I need.” ~Ryan
*Copy was kindly provided by Harlequin Teen via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.