Katie McGarry should get a job writing movies for Lifetime.
She has the perfect overdramatic and cheesy Lifetime movie act down to a T.
And usually, I would complain about this. But in this particular scenario, it completely works.
The melodrama, somewhat 1D characters, and cheesiness makes Dare to You a juicy read for me. Which is really weird since I should be raging.
However, oddly I’m not. Raging that is.
The plot itself is a bit of a drama fest. Don’t believe me look at the summary:
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….
Just out of that brief summary we have girl with bad home life, rich uncle who blackmails her, a magical boy, and according to the blurb intense attraction.
And the blurb is actually sort of an understatement. The amount of melodrama that goes on in this book really does rival anything you’d see in a Lifetime movie, but there’s something about the writing that makes it engaging in not a train wreck sort of way.
I tried to think of some explanation for this all day while I was at work, and then it dawned on me. Lifetime movie. I enjoyed Lifetime movies despite their sheer horribleness because they keep me entertained. Of course, I’ll give this book credit it is a lot better written than The Pregnancy Project or that movie about Jodi Arias, but at the same time the same cardboard characters and ludicrous plot devices are there.
You just sit there waiting for what awful thing is going to happen next.
But for awfully 1-D characters, they are rather interesting. While Beth’s mood swings were annoying, girl had so much drama going on I just had to know more about her. As for Ryan, he was a bit dull but again he had drama in his life and that made him interesting. I think it also helped their cases that this was a contemporary and compared to most YA contemporaries stuff actually happened here. And the characters weren’t sanctimonious
Though Beth was really annoying…
But there were consequences and reasons behind her being annoying.
So, I’m not going to hold that against her (though undoubtedly by the time this review is over, I’ll point out that she’s annoying again).
But to get back on track, the melodrama was what made the book. It was like a fairly decent soap opera with a heavy dose of Lifetime in there kicking out the ridiculousness of soap opera.
Obviously, since melodrama was involved, I have to talk about how serious issues were handled in this book.
It was okay.
Personally, I would’ve wished the characters were a tad bit more realistic and someone got Beth into therapy. But at least they addressed that there were issues.
However, I think what disgusted me the most about this book was the fact that Beth’s aunt (who’s deemed responsible enough to be a foster mom) allowed her niece to lie to the police. Also, the whole jail scene had one very obvious plot flaw in it to anyone who watched Gideon’s Trumpet ( or had the actual brainpower to read Gideon v Weinworth). The rich uncle being there to provide for a lawyer thing, therefore was completely un-needed.
To be honest, there were lots of plot holes in this one. But again, if you’re reading this book you’re not going to enjoy it for it’s well thought out plot and characters.
Overall Rating: B. Enjoyable fun. I probably won’t read the entire series in one read though. I think this is the sort of stuff you can easily get a book belly ache on.