By: Katie McGarry
Published: May 28, 2013 by Harlequin Teen
Source: ARC from publisher via Netgalley
(Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository)
Ryan lowers his lips to my ear. "Dance with me, Beth."My Review:
"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....
My first impression upon reading this was that it wasn't the original path I thought Beth would take and I had to get over a bit of disappointment...
"Isaiah's my safe. He always has been. He's that place where I fall when the world tumbles into chaos."
After I got past the brief shock that perhaps Isaiah and Beth weren't the perfect couple as many readers (self included) thought them to be from book 1, I realized this story was just as fabulous as Noah and Echo's story. It isn't just a story about a messed up teen, or rather how the majority of people would label a teen who has been through the stuff Beth has been through, but it's also a story about how every one has struggles. Some people know how to hide them better than others to give off an appearance of perfection. They are a walking stained glass masquerade - pretty on the outside but broken on the inside. Whether you hide your struggles or they are out there for everyone to see, whichever side of the fence you find yourself on the damage on the inside is where similarity is found as it is between the extremes that are Beth and Ryan. This damage causes some to be insecure, some to rush toward unhealthy avenues to find acceptance, some to have trust issues, some to become cold and distant, or still others follow the path that someone else thinks is best for them leaving them to not follow their own heart.
I loved how this story deals with bullying too which is such a huge issue among kids of all ages today. Though it deals with the negative side of bullying - the name calling, the tearing down of someone to make yourself look or feel better, it also shows that kids don't always follow the crowd who are causing the harm. Sometimes kids rise above the meanness into doing the right thing. Kids tend to make fun of what they view as different. It's important to read stories about those who embrace the hearts of others instead of tearing someone down because they dress different, die their hair funky colors, are big time into sports, poor or wealthy, who their family members may be, whether they live in a mansion or a trailer, the nicest clothes or clothes with holes, etc... Different doesn't always equate to bad. This aspect of the story was refreshing.
Don't forget that this is a love story and sometimes love stories are more about learning what love is and what it isn't than just the "feel good butterfly in your stomach" kind of love.
"That must be love: when everything else in the world could implode and you wouldn't care as long as you had that one person standing beside you."
"I don't know who you pretended to be in Louisville, but I see the girl you really are now." "The way he stares at me - it's as if he doesn't even see the outside anymore."
"How many more of us are faking the facade? How many more of us are pretending to be something we're not? Even better, how many of us will have the courage to be ourselves regardless of what others think?"
"I love how he can smooth away the roughness and make me feel like someone worth loving."
Final Rating: 4.5 stars!
Coming soon: Crash Into You
Isaiah's story!! Expected publication - November 2013