Book 14: Dare You To, Katie McGarry

Echo and Noah’s dark romance [Pushing the Limits] is yet to be finished, but I decided to read Beth’s more grotesque love story first. Noah claimed her to be his sister, regardless of blood, and since her dark personality has become questionable to me while I delve in Noah’s life story, I think it’s a perfect choice.

Dare You To started off with Ryan, the male protagonist belonging to a popular group in his school, being dared by his friends to get the name and phone number of this biker chick who happened to be Beth. As they were clearly worlds apart, it was marvel for them to end up at the same school, both seniors and same classes.

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Now I understood Beth’s situation. Her physical description again reminded me of Jazmine Luther, from Julie Anne Peter’s book Define Normal. Sometimes, the tough looking people are the ones who have the softest spot, and a harrowing truth behind the black appearance. Beth’s mom, Sky, is an alcoholic, whose drug dealer boyfriend Trent, used her and beat her just for the fun of it. Being incapable of taking care of herself, let alone take care of her daughter, Beth was forced at an early age to be the grown up, and took care of her mom. Getting help was out of the question. Beth witnessed through her best friends Isaiah and Noah what awaits her if ever her mom was thrown into rehab. Having her dad in jail, she dreaded to end up in the foster care system.

I liked the fact that the book, albeit the first person narration, showed both Ryan’s and Beth’s point of view. Ryan’s life is just as fascinating, but I think he’s facing problems typical to the teenagers who have an almost perfect life. Besides, his obsession is baseball, and I don’t have much idea about how Americans treat their sports. Beth, on the other hand has a heartbreaking life story. Though I couldn’t relate in the slightest, I can feel her pain, and the reasons why she always run away. Having no proper family and being abandoned so many times by people she thought who cared made her heart not numb, but shielded from love. It became next to impossible for her to trust. And that’s why she had a hard time opening herself up for Ryan.

A wounded bird who found refuge – I guess that’s what the story is about. Not all the time we are given the opportunity to be loved unconditionally. We may have been hurt and failed and abandoned, and it’s fine to be cautious. But let us not give ourselves enough reason to shut those who want to give us hope out.

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