Pushing the Limits #2
Release Date: May 28, 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher via Netgalley. I voluntarily provided a review.
Rating: 4.5 Bookworms
Challenges: #BloggerShame, #COYER, #ShelfLove
Ryan lowers his lips to my eat. "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 too close is daring herself to want it all...
I cannot believe I let this languish, y'all. I'd totally forgotten I had it but I'm oh so glad I found it!
As a parent, Beth's story as well as Ryan's, broke my heart. I was a teen once (yeah, a looong time ago but still) and I remember how difficult is was - trying to figure out who you are and to define your place in the world. I'm watching my own children experiencing it. That neither Beth nor Ryan had the support behind them to make these decisions and help the transition to adulthood - yeah, heartbreaking. Things should have been looking up for Beth when her uncle took custody of her but she felt the weight of responsibility for her addict of a mother - something no child should ever have to endure. On top of that, she'd been removed from her normal and Beth has learned, the hard way, to never depend on anyone.
Enter Ryan. The perfect jock boy with the perfect life. He offers Beth a hand - okay, so it started as a dare - but Beth knows the score and that boys like him don't fall for girls like her. But Ryan's life isn't as perfect as it looks from the outside. His brother left and his parents barely speak. And his father has Ryan's life planned for him - nevermind it might not be what Ryan wants.
Watching as these two learn to trust and depend on each other was touching. Ryan had to work hard at chipping away Beth's wall. They both grew emotionally and figured out a few things about themselves in the process.
One trope I'm not fond of in YA is bad/neglectful/absentee parents but McGarry does it well, making the story so realistic and riveting. I felt for Beth and Ryan - understood where they were both coming from, and I wanted to hug them both as well as applaud their decisions and growth.
McGarry also built a great supporting cast and I enjoyed getting to see Noah and Echo again. I'm also eager to see some of the cast get their own story. I don't have the next in the series hiding, unfortunately, but I will be continuing this series soon. It's one I know my library carries. :)