EXCLUSIVE: Teaser from Dare You To by Katie McGarry

dareyouto_322x500dareyouto2Last year I read one of the most sensitively written YA novels that I have ever come across, Pushing the Limits. It is a story about survival and about love – two beautiful souls, Echo and Noah, served with so much adversity in their young lives, but battling through, finding each other in that darkness and helping one another to overcome the injustices that life has thrown at them. Instead of focusing on the unfairness of it all and the inevitable anger stemming from it, this book celebrates love, love in all its myriad of forms – love between a child and a parent, love between siblings, love between a boy and a girl, and love between friends. It also celebrates human endurance and a person’s ability to overcome unspeakable tragedies. Echo and Noah stole my heart and quickly earned their spot among some of my favourite book characters.

Thankfully, the series continues and we are soon getting two books to follow this beautiful tale. Crossing the Line, a novella that tells the story of Lila and Lincoln, will be released on 1 April 2013, and then Dare You To, Beth and Ryan’s story, on 28 May 2013.

Today, Katie is giving us an excerpt from chapter 3 of Dare You To, from Ryan’s POV.

Expected release date: 28 May 2013

exclusive

“See you tonight, dawg.” Chris kicks my foot as he walks past. He cradles his bat bag in one hand and Lacy’s hand in the other. Chris and I met Lacy when our schools combined in sixth grade. I liked her the day she skinned her knee playing football with the boys. Chris fell in love with her the day she pushed him on the playground after he tagged her out in baseball. They’ve been a couple since sophomore year — the year he grew a pair and finally asked her out.

Lacy pulls a rubber band off her wrist and twists her brown hair into a messy bun. I love that she isn’t a girly girl. In order to keep up with me, Chris, and Logan, a girl has to have thick skin. Don’t get me wrong — she’s hot as hell, but Lacy doesn’t give a damn what others think of her. “We’re going to the party tonight. I want conversation and people and dancing. There is more to life than batting cages and dares.”

With our fingers frozen on unlacing our cleats, Logan and I snap up our heads. Chris’ face blanches. “That’s sacrilegious, Lace. Take it back.”

Next to me, Logan shoves his feet into his Nikes and tosses his cleats into his bag. “You don’t know the thrill of winning a good dare.”

“Dares aren’t fun,” she says, the reprimand thick in her tone. “They’re crazy. You set my car on fire.”

Logan holds up his hand. “I opened the window in time. In my defense, the upholstery is barely singed.”

Chris and I chuckle at the memory of Lacy screaming as she was doing forty on a curve. The short story: a hamburger wrapper, a lighter, a stopwatch, and a dare. Logan accidentally dropped the blazing wrapper and it rolled under Lacy’s seat. One patented I’ll-kick-you-until-you-drop glare from Lacy shuts us both up. “I wish you’d get a girlfriend so she can drive your insane ass around.”

“I can’t.” Logan waggles his eyebrows. “I’m Ryan’s wingman.”

“Wingman.” She spits the word, then points a sparkly fingernail at both me and Logan, but I don’t miss how it lingers on me. “One of you needs to find a girl and commit. I’m tired of this testosterone bull.”

Lacy hates the string of girls I’ve dated over the summer. She’s terrified I’ll influence Chris to drop her, though she should know better. Chris reveres her as his own personal religion.

“You didn’t approve of the one I committed to last time,” I say. “Why should I try again?”

“Because you can do better than evil.”

The Story

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.

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The Pushing the Limits Series – Reading Order and Purchase Links
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Connect with Katie: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
The Giveaway

To win a set of e-copies of Pushing the Limits, Crossing the Line (to be sent on release day) and Dare You To (to be sent on release day), please enter below. By entering, you accept the following Giveaway Conditions.

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Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with “freaky” scars on her arms. Even Echo can’t remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal.

But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo’s world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible. Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she’ll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

review

Oh, how I love when a book takes me on an emotional roller-coaster! I picked this book up by sheer chance, I was intrigued by what it was about but I had no idea it was going to be so GOOD.

Echo is a 17-year-old girl in her last year of high school. She was part of the popular crowd at school, everyone loved her, she was dating Luke, a popular jock, and her life was ‘normal’. All that disappeared one night when she woke up in hospital, with cuts all over her arms and back, with no memory of what happened. She only knows that something happened at her mother’s house and that there is now a restraining order against her mother prohibiting her from contacting Echo. Echo now lives with her dad and a new stepmother, her ex babysitter, her older brother is dead, everyone except a few of her old friends have shunned her at school and her life is no longer ‘normal’.

Noah is a 17-year-old boy who lost both his parents in a house fire. He has two younger brothers but he no longer lives with them. Noah lives in a foster home with two other teenagers, Beth and Isaiah, he smokes pot, he has tattoos, he has a reputation for only using girls for sex, but all Noah really wants from life is to have his brothers back and a life that is ‘normal’ again.

Echo and Noah share several classes together but they are not friends. The only thing they have in common is Mrs Collins, a school counsellor, who, from their perspective, holds both their futures in her hands. Echo needs Mrs Collins to help her fill the gap in her memory without fracturing her mind in the process. Noah needs her to clean his record up, increase his visitation rights with his brothers and help him get custody of them once he graduates from high school.

What follows is a beautiful and heart-wrenching story of two troubled and deeply hurt souls who gravitate towards each other based on their shared pain and desperation to have ‘normal’ back, not to mention a mutual attraction to each other. Noah sees Echo past her ugly scars, he sees her as beautiful and exciting and he falls for her without a second thought. Echo finds acceptance and safety in Noah’s arms, something she has been longing for. She believes that the only person that truly ever loved her in her life was her late brother.  She thinks her father is overbearing but she is unable to challenge his authority, she hates her stepmother and believes that she is the reason her family is now broken, she appears calm and collected on the surface but inside her there is a frightened little girl who truly believes that no one loves her, who is screaming from pain and sadness, and who is heartbroken from always coming second to the people that should love her unconditionally.

I had butterflies in my stomach throughout this entire book and not the good I-could-fly sort but rather “spawned mutant pterodactyls”. I wanted to cry at the unfairness of what Noah and Echo had to live through. I was so happy that they had found each other but I knew that they had to sort themselves out individually before they could really work as a couple. I was amazed at their strength, it made me cry so many times. I was sobbing like a child during the scene with Noah’s brothers and their foster parents. It just showed how much he really loved them and it simply broke my heart. The same happened during the scene between Echo and her father – I was one hot mess by the end of this book, let me tell you.

This is one beautifully written book, something I will probably re-read at some point once the butterflies are truly gone.  This is a book about love in all its forms – love between a child and a parent, love between siblings, love between a boy and a girl, and love between friends. It is also a book about human endurance and ability to overcome tragedies. I loved the characters and I hope the series continues as I am not quite ready to let them go. I cannot believe this is Katie McGarry’s first novel but I do believe that I’ll be reading all her subsequent ones.

5stars

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Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Connect with Katie: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
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Pushing the Limits – Reading Order and Purchase Links
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crossingtheline
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Pushing the Limits: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Crossing the Line (novella): Amazon US | Amazon UK
Dare You To: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Crash into You: Amazon US | Amazon UK
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Other books in the series or related posts:
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