Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)Dare You To by Katie McGarry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Dare You To surprised me... in so many good ways!! I, like many others, wasn't a fan of Beth's in Pushing the Limits and I didn't think any relationship could top Echo and Noah's. Well, Katie McGarry proved me wrong!

We met Beth in Pushing the Limits - dark clothes, ripped jeans, piercings and tattoos. Bitter and angry at the world. Strong relationships with Noah (like siblings) and Isaiah (best friends). In Dare You To we learn so much more about Beth - she's lived a tough life. She takes care of her alcoholic, drug addicted mom. One of the people she trusted most as a child, her uncle Scott, left her behind when she was young. Hard to imagine her loving dresses and ribbons as a little girl, huh? She did though... and some things never change.

Beth meets Ryan at Taco Bell. Ryan is trying to get her name and number; not so much because Beth is his type, but because he was dared to by his best friend Chris. And Ryan always wins!

Ryan is the star pitcher for his high school's baseball team. He's hot and has dimples! He's smart, funny and has the perfect life and the perfect family... according to some. His family isn't so perfect behind closed doors though; his family is hiding something...something that if the small town found out, it would destroy their perfect image.

After an incident, Beth is forced to move away from her mom in Louisville to live with her uncle Scott and his wife, in her childhood hometown, Groveton.

Who else is in Groveton? Ryan :D

With Ryan's "I always win" demeanor, he chases Beth; determined to win! However, he quickly learns that he doesn't want Beth to be a dare... he wants more!

Their relationship is certainly not an insta-love relationship. Beth fights her feelings and refuses to admit that she's falling for Ryan. Thankfully, he doesn't give up and once he has Beth, he promises to never let her go (in a swoony way... not a creepy possessive way, of course).

Ryan lowers his forehead to mine. His warm breath fans over my face. "I will never let you go."

Ryan and Beth help each other face their problems and are there to support each other through the ups and downs. And they both experience quite a few downs, but their ups... *sigh*, their ups are pretty amazing!

I hold the bottle out into the rain and watch as the steady flow slowly fills it. When there is enough, enough that Beth can clearly see, I close the bottle and hand it to her.
She raises a skeptical eyebrow, but accepts the bottle.
"It's our rain, Beth."
Her head barely shakes to show her confusion while I rub the back of my neck and search for my courage. "I told you I loved you in this rain and when you doubt my words, I want you to look at this bottle."
Beth's forehead wrinkles and she stares at the gift I've given her. "I don't..." she starts. "I don't have anything to give to you."
"You're here," I answer. "It's all I want."

During the time she spends with Ryan, Beth also begins to rekindle her friendship with her childhood best friend, Lacy. Lacy is the definition of a best friend; this girl will have your back even if it means having to throw some hits!

And speaking of best friends - We see a bit of Isaiah throughout the story too. He's still Beth's rock and she depends on him to anchor her down... until things are revealed and their friendship becomes rocky.

Dare You To is filled with relationships; love, friendship and family. The one that may have gotten to me almost as much as Ryan and Beth's is the one with Ryan and his brother, Mark. These two made me tear up.

So to sum it all up... I loved Dare You To. I loved the characters and their relationships. I loved the drama. I loved the cheerful and cheesy moments. Katie McGarry did an excellent job writing another amazing story. I can't wait for book #3.

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Monday, July 1, 2013

Review: Pivot Point by Kasie West

Pivot Point (Pivot Point, #1)Pivot Point by Kasie West
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 stars!

After taking a few days to digest, I'm still in awe. Pivot Point was a great, great, great book!!

Addie Coleman is a junior at Lincoln High. Addie lives in the Compound with everyone else that has special abilities. Addie is a Searcher; when she's directly given a choice, she has the ability to see what each path would lead to for her.

Addie is given a difficult choice - after her parents reveal that they are divorcing, she has to choose whether to stay with her mom in the Compound or move with her dad to Dallas; living with the "Norms".

The story alternates between each path Addie is searching and for the most part, it was easy to follow along and not get confused. It worked perfect for the story!!

On one path, we meet Trevor. Trevor is hot, quiet and laid back. He played football until he was injured. He loves comics. Perfect guy, right? RIGHT!! Addie and Trevor become best friends and they're perfect best friends... until they become a little more than best friends.

"Don't best friends hug before they go anywhere?"
I smile. He thinks he's being funny, but I can play this game. "As a matter of fact, they do." I slide my hands past his ribs and under his arms.
He wraps his arms around me, and I relax into him with a happy sigh. But then he starts rubbing my back, and tingles spread down my spine. "Best friends don't rub each other's backs," I tell him.
His hands stop moving, but then they press me closer to him.
"Will you let me read the handbook so I know all the rules?"
"Yes. I will."
He bends down and rests his forehead on my shoulder, his breath warming my skin. Why haven't I pushed him away yet?
"Does the handbook cover this?" he says.
I nod.
His lips tickle my neck as they move along it. Is he trying to drive me crazy? "It definitely says no."
...he takes my face in his hands and presses his lips to mine.
...Holy crap, Trevor the nice guy is an amazing kisser.
He pulls back slightly and meets my eyes. "So when can I get a copy of this friendship handbook?"
"Friends? Who said anything about friends?"

And their relationship beyond friendship is perfect. Are you sensing the trend here? :D

On the other path, we meet Duke. Duke is the typical dreamy football quarterback that all the girls want. But he doesn't want any girl; he wants Addie. I'll admit, while I love Trevor, I did fall under Duke's spell, but he's not the one I'd pick for Addie.

"I think I'm just waiting for reality to hit. I don't understand why you'd want to be with me. We're so different."
"Different is good. Right? I wouldn't want to date myself." He kisses me softly. "I'm falling for you, Addie. Don't break my heart."

On both paths there's a mystery, which adds to the interest and excitement. When the two paths overlap, it gets that much more interesting and exciting.

The supporting characters really helped add to the already great story; Addie's Compound best friend, Laila - this girl is blunt, but fun!! Trevor's best friend, Rowan - he keeps the mood light and cheerful!

I thought this book was excellent; definitely a page-turner! My interest was captured from page one and held through the very end. I'm very excited to see where this series goes and I will definitely be reading more of Kasie West!

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