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Speed Date: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

By Darthclavie @DarthClavie
Speed Date: Dare You To by Katie McGarry The Plot: After taking the fall for her alcoholic mother (who trashed her boyfriends' car), getting arrested and ultimately sent (or dragged) off to live with her Uncle Scott in a town outside Louisville, Beth isn't having the best start to her senior year, as she's forced to leave Noah and Isaiah - the only people she could rely on during the last few years - and move in with the Uncle who abandoned her once before and his hostile wife
There is also Ryan Stone, best high school pitcher in the State and Scott's next door neighbor... who also happened try to get Beth to give him her phone number a few days before, on a dare. Beth doesn't like jocks, she was badly burned by one before, and she doesn't like that, deep down, she kind of likes Ryan anyway.
Ryan has plenty on his plate too... his parents are fighting all the time since Ryan's older brother Mark came out to them at the beginning of summer, and their dad kicked him out; and now both mom and dad spend their time pressuring Ryan to do what they want - Mom wants him to return to his old girlfriend Gwen, never mind that she dumped him, Dad wants him to abandon everything that won't mean he'll turn Pro once he graduates high school, like college and his other talents. 
For Ryan, Beth is prickly and complicated and he wants to be with her, dare or no dare. 
First Date: All right... this set up is taking for freaking ever, but I got it. Ryan is a spineless wonder when it comes to his parents, Beth is a scared little girl acting tough. Gotcha. 
Second Date: I have to say that I like Lacy, but by GOD if I were her I would have slapped the crap out of boyfriend Chris long ago, he of the stupid dares and who never knows when to shut up. Also, Beth is acting dumb. Sure, give your drug addicted and alcoholic mother all your money and your trust, that's SO going to work out well, dumb ass. 
Third Date: Sigh, I can't help feeling like that was a) way too long, b) anticlimactic as hell, and c) kind of predictable and boring. Relationship Status: It's best if we don't see each other for a while...
Okay, so, last year when I read Pushing the Limits, I really liked it, the way secrets were kept and the dual point of views that helped to keep things moving at a brisk pace even though the book was a bit on the long side.
In Dare You To, that dual voice just make everything so slow, as both Beth and Ryan kept going over the same stuff over and over and over in their heads.
Neither of them started well with me, Ryan with his stupid dares and his "I don't lose"; and Beth with her stringing Isaiah along, willfully blind and TSTL ways - for someone so "tough" she has an impressive lack of survival instinct. 
Ryan redeemed himself for the most part, but just barely. Beth, though? not really. Maybe I'm a bit hard on her but she made no sense to me. And there were plenty of ways to make her side of the story better, if it had explored her relationship with Scott and Lacy, for example, if they had shown more about Allison - Scott's wife - who goes from hating Beth to embracing her with no in between or character development whatsoever - if she had had a transformation that wasn't "Oh, I'll decide to behave different today."
So yeah, we won't be riding into the sunset together and I'm going to take a break before I tackle Isaiah's book Crash into You.
starstar1/2
Alex
What's a Book Speed Date, you ask? It's a quickie review--about 150 words or so--of any genre book (variety is the spice of life, after all).
If you want to join in or just read other speed date reviews, check out The Book Swarm

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