So I’ve been reading a lot of dual-narrative books in YA contemporary because that is what my current WIP is – trying to do my homework since I’ve 1) never really been drawn a lot to contemporary and 2) also never really read a lot of multiple POV stories except maybe Game of Thrones…but come on, George R.R. Martin is a genius so of course that was good.
Anyway, in my research, Katie McGarry’s Pushing the Limits kept coming up as a good dual narrative YA contemporary. When I saw her latest novel Dare You To on NetGalley for free to review, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity for me to test out her writing style since it was also a dual narrative (and pulled characters from Pushing the Limits so I guess it’s considered part of a series). Now I had just finished reading The Sea of Tranquility which I am still reeling about how amazing it was so I wasn’t sure how much this book was going to show me anything more about dual narrative that I didn’t already acquire from TSoT.
Here’s the book summary:
Ryan lowers his lips to my ear. “Dance with me, Beth.”
“No.” I whisper the reply. I hate him and I hate myself for wanting him to touch me again….
“I dare you…”
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 forces Beth to choose between her mom’s freedom and her own happiness. That’s how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn’t want her and going to a school that doesn’t understand her. At all. 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 neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won’t let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all.
So my review? Wow. It was pretty damn good.
I was drawn to the characters right away – they popped off the page and had very unique characteristics to them. And a lot of secondary characters still had major roles to fill in the story which I also love. The motivations behind why people did what they did were so strong and made so much sense that I was on the edge wondering how everything would turn out in the end. I stayed up until almost 3 AM reading the first night and had to stop in exhaustion because there was no way I could finish it that first day without bleeding my eyes out.