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….
Overall Rating: 5/5 — Definite must-read for new adult junkies and a definite improvement (in my honest opinion) form the first book in this series!
Just when I thought that it would take a while before I would get to read a new adult novel that would break the mold of typical new adult novels nowadays comes this story that really blew my socks off! If I have to be perfectly honest, I kind of gave up a bit with Katie McGarry novels because of Pushing the Limits. For some reason, Noah and Echo’s story didn’t really resonate to me and I kinda just finished reading it for the sake of finishing it. Thank God I had the right mind to pick this one up because I was really amazed with the vast improvement in Ryan and Beth’s story.
I knew Beth had something pretty deep and shitty going on in her life in Pushing the Limits. She’s really your quintessential angsty i-hate-the-world kind of girl, but even though that reason alone would normally annoy the hell of me, I did find her very likeable in this story. I honestly think that the author made the right decision in not letting her end up with Isaiah. Their relationship was just too dysfunctional and honestly, it felt like they would just drown in an endless pit of depression, resentment, and hate. Then enters Ryan Stone, the typical high school jock but with a sensitive heart, who was like the perfect lifeguard to pull Beth out of her own little dark ocean.
I really like how their relationship progressed and developed. Yeah it started out as a bet for Ryan, but it was quite endearing how he was actually the first one to cave in for what he felt for Beth. I definitely got the butterflies when he finally asked her on a real date. Ahhh sweet, sweet high school romance. And even though Beth was angsty as hell, I liked how she didn’t completely shut off her growing feelings and attraction for Ryan as well. I mean the fact that she was able to differentiate what she felt for Ryan and Isaiah was a huge leap for someone who initially didn’t allow herself to feel and get attached to anyone.
With their troubled past and present circumstances, it was clear that the road to their happy ending wouldn’t be a smooth one. I kinda wanted to strangle Beth for the way she risked every good thing in her life, including her life, in order to escape with her mother. But once I knew her reason, I guess I can’t blame her for doing so. In addition, Ryan also had his fair share of the blame for his not-so-perfect life because of how he became so egotistical and self-centred. I really didn’t like the whole premise wherein his dad basically threw out his gay older brother. But I guess there are still quite a lot of conservative people who would really want to remain that way even in today’s modern world. In the end, Beth was able to see and choose the good things in her life instead of remaining in darkness, and Ryan was finally able to stand up for what and who he really loves and wants in his life.
“I don’t lose and I’m not losing her.”
All in all, I adored the way they ended up saving each other in all the ways that mattered. Even though it wasn’t your rainbows-and-butterflies kind of happy ending, it was still very much a happy ending for both of these troubled teens. Now I’m really looking forward to Isaiah finding the right girl for him!