Archive for June, 2013

In Her Shadow

Louise Douglas

in her shadowHannah Brown never thought she’d have a best friend like Ellen Brecht. Ellen is everything she isn’t – beautiful, daring, glamorous and fierce. Growing up together in rural Cornwall, life seems perfect. But their idyllic childhood is shattered by obsession, betrayal and, ultimately, tragedy.
Hannah has tried for twenty years to forget what happened during that terrible summer. Then, one ordinary morning at work, she glimpses a woman who is identical to Ellen. Can it really be her? And has Ellen returned to forgive her – or to punish her?

I was gripped by this novel, it has all the essentials for a good read; compelling characters, beautiful settings, an intriguing story and a little bit of mystery to keep you guessing along the way.

The story is told by Hannah who is in her thirties and working for a museum, she is thrown into turmoil one day by a glimpse of her old friend Ellen Brecht and we discover that Hannah’s past holds secrets and a history of mental illness because of childhood events that she has never really recovered from. Through Hannah’s life now and her reminiscences we gradually discover what she is hiding from and why Ellen’s possible return is so significant.

Ellen and her family burst into Hannah’s quiet life bringing an excitement and vibrancy that Hannah is drawn to like a moth to the flame, but there are hidden dangers and her youthful eyes don’t see the whole picture or the darkness within this family. Ellen is strong, fierce and determined (all things Hannah is not) they form a strong friendship, along with with Hannah’s adopted brother Jago. They grow through their teenage years together with the angst that goes with that and the added problems caused by Ellen’s family and Jago’s history.

Hannah has her own qualities and is a good friend to Ellen, but also struggles with jealousy and loneliness and feeling of betrayal as Ellen and Jago grow closer. She is a very complex character and the many facets come together along with the events so we can understand why she has suffered mental illness. As events roll on in the present we are left wondering if she is having more episodes and if she is heading for another breakdown.

As secrets are revealed and the darker elements come to the fore all the characters show their best and worst sides. I really enjoyed the build-up and revelations when they came, some things I didn’t see coming at all. The whole story is very atmospheric and there is a chill that pervades the book as we wonder where this is all going and how Hannah is going to cope with re-living the horrors of her past.

Verdict:I really enjoyed this and have already got another of Louise’s books on the Kindle to read soon!

Reviewed by Helen

Publisher: Black Swan
Publication Date: August 2013
Format: Paperback
Pages: 464
Genre: Fiction
Age: Adult
Reviewer: Helen
Source: Provided by publisher
Challenge:British book
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TeamNerd Reviews Present: I Heart YA Month

Annabell Cadiz and Bridget Strahin over at TeamNerd Reviews HUGE fans of the Young Adult genre and they decided they would like to dedicate an entire month to their obsession with the genre they love and the authors they love to stalk *hehe*

If you are a Young Adult author, whether you are traditionally published, Indie published or Self-Published, they are offering a number of ways to get your work promoted on TeamNerd Reviews! Just fill out the form below and they’ll make sure to add you to the schedule!

They’re also hosting I HEART Young Adult Nominations where fans can nominate their favorite author, favorite bad boys, heroines, boy next door, kickbutt heroines and more!

They will also be putting together a BIG giveaway and are adding to it as they go along setting everything up! Here are some of the goodies they have so far to giveaway!!

** 3 Ecopies of Lucifer (Sons of Old Trilogy, #1) by Annabell Cadiz

**Signed copy of Monument 14: Sky on Fire by Emmy Laybourne which also includes 3 wristbands and a tote bag

**Signed copy of Interred by Marilyn Almodovar and an e-copy of Interred also with two Interred magnets and two wristbands for each winner

**Ecopies of Forged by Greed and Forged by Magic by Angela Orlowski-Peart
**Ecopy of Life, Love & Lemons by Magan Vernon

**Ecopy of The Puppet Spell by Emma Adams

**2 ecopies of Fire (Elements of Power Series, #1) by Heather James

**2 ecopies each of Book of Lost Souls and Don’t Fear the Reaper by Michelle Muto

**Paperback copy of Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey

**Paperback Supernaturally by Kiersten White

**Paperback of Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

**Paperback of Legacy by Cayla Kluver

**Paperback of Kiss by An Angel (which includes two additional books in the series) by Elizabeth Chandler

**The Trinity Pact by E.M. Shelton

**Paperback copy  of Nightshade and Paperback copy of Wolfsbane by Andrea Creamer

**Paperback copy of Weather Witch by Shannon Delany

**Paperback copies of book 1 and 3 in the Morganville Vampire Series by Rachel Kaine

Let the fun and nominations commence!

~Annabell & Bridget
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The Kissing Booth

Beth Reekles

the kissing boothMeet Rochelle Evans: pretty, popular–and never been kissed. Meet Noah Flynn: badass, volatile–and a total player. And also Elle’s best friend’s older brother…
When Elle decides to run a kissing booth for the school’s Spring Carnival, she locks lips with Noah and her life is turned upside down. Her head says to keep away, but her heart wants to draw closer–this romance seems far from fairy tale and headed for heartbreak.
But will Elle get her happily ever after?

The Kissing Booth is a book I have long been waiting to read and in view of my summer holiday I thought it would make a perfect pre-vacation read to get me into a light breezy mood. Although it was successful in putting me in a good mood, I did find the synopsis a little misleading.

When I first picked up Beth Reeks standalone I was expecting a funny lighthearted romance with a prickly situation as Rochelle’s (who only answers to Elle and will give you the evils if you so dare call her Shelly) beau just so happens to be her best friend’s big bad-ass and not good news brother: Noah Flynn. I found the synopsis a little misleading because whilst I thought, and expected the actual kissing booth itself to be the centre of the story and have a massive and excruciating buildup to it, it was actually only the very first step to a myriad of tricky events, romantic moments and difficult decisions; for a girl who has to decide whether a friendship that was born when she could first crawl, is worth risking for what could very well be the right guy for her. Despite being incredibly irritating and the reason she’s never had a straight boy approach her with any intention other than to ask her for directions. Because if they did they might be the new proud owners a few stitches and bruises within the next hour.

I cannot say that I fell in love with Beth’s writing style as at times I felt she built up a situation and mood beautifully only to then state the obvious rendering all her previous work almost a little redundant. Having said that the speed and flow of the narration was good allowing each chapter and event to flow smoothly.

In all truthfulness I felt that I probably would have enjoyed The Kissing Booth more had the synopsis been a little clearer in what to expect.

Despite this I still enjoyed The Kissing Booth and found it to be a light hearted read, with no drama, a wonderful trusting friendship and some rather funny moments.

Verdict: I was very surprised to hear that Beth Reekles had written The Kissing Booth whilst undergoing her A levels!!! I will be keeping an eye out for more of her stories.

It should be noted that this book does contain some reference to adult scenes, but nothing direct. This said I do not feel that by any means it falls into a New Adult classification and have not categorized it as such.

Reviewed by Pruedence

Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: December 2012
Format: eBook
Pages: 450
Genre: Contemporary romance
Age: YA
Reviewer: Pruedence
Source: Own Copy
Challenge: British book
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Princess Pony: The Magical Friend

Chloe Ryder

magical friendChevalia is an enchanted island where ponies and horses rule, its magic powered by eight golden horseshoes hanging in the royal castle. But the horseshoes have been stolen and must be found before Midsummer Day or the island will lose its magic . . A Magical Friend
On her summer holiday by the sea, pony-mad 8½-year-old Pippa is transported to Chevalia. A beautiful white pony gallops over and introduces herself. This is Princess Stardust, the youngest pony of the royal family; impulsive, impatient . . . and she has always wanted a pet girl of her own. Chevalia needs Pippa’s help, and with Stardust she sets out on a quest to find the golden horseshoes and embarks on the most exciting adventure of all – friendship.
The beginning of a fabulous series of six books filled with spooky Night Mares, unicorns, Princess Ponies, and rip-roaring adventure.

My niece has been reading Princess Pony books so when we had a chance to read one my 5 year old was so excited! I didn’t know much at all about these stories but it turns out that this is the first in a series of six books about the magical horse land of Chevalia. Chevalia is peopled by horses, there are no people there. As you would expect from the title they have a horse royal family too. But things are not all well in Chevalia as the eight magical horse shoes that keep the place in existence have vanished, they need to be found by Midsummer’s Day or the island will disappear. Pippa is brought to Chevalia by two impressive sea horses as she could be the one to find the magical horse shoes and save Chevalia.

Pippa arrives at Chevalia where she is greeted with a mixture of welcome and suspicion by the horses who have never seen a human before. Pippa makes friends with Princess Stardust and realises she has to help locate the missing hose shoes. The two become friends,( I liked the scene where they both recognise that to the other they are usually a pet) and set out to search for the golden shoes.

The book is well written, it has humour, mystery, princesses and, in this first story, a focus on friendship. We enjoyed all these themes and they are all things that appeal to young girls. If you have a horse lover then I am sure she would love them, but even for a non-horse person there is much to revel in. I was slightly apprehensive about whether I would like reading this to my daughter, but it turned out to be better than expected. It is girly, horsey, sparkly stuff, but Chloe Ryder has used interesting words and good prose so that it is not sickly or overly sweet.

It held the attention of my daughter, but it was not asked for every night. She got into it more towards the end. I think she is still a bit too young for it really and there were things that she did not understand. She enjoyed the parts about Pippa’s journey to Chevalia and the search for the horseshoes. As she gets older and understands more about horses (and about stories) she’ll appreciate it more. She does want to know what is going to happen next in the story, but I think she would get more out of it if we waited at least another year to read more, and probably even more if we waited until she was able to read them herself.

Verdict: Overall, an entertaining read for younger girls. I expect we’ll be collecting more in the series at some point.

Reviewed by Helen

Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s
Publication Date: March 2013
Format: Paperback
Pages: 128
Genre: Horse/Pony
Age: Early Readers
Reviewer: Helen
Source: Provided by publisher
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Self Published Sunday: Renhala Extract

We are delighted to welcome Amy Joy Lutchen as she shares an extract from her debut novel,Renhala. The first book in her urban fantasy series.

Renhala Final Cover ArtKailey Rooke, timid accountant, dedicated to philanthropic work, finds herself spiraling into a deep depression after she suffers a horrifyingly odd and humiliating assault, to only discover more of these freakish assaults occurring across the globe.
A chance discovery leads Kailey to a meeting with elderly Gunthreon, actual master of persuasion. Gunthreon, who seems to know too much of Kailey’s history for her liking, opens Kailey’s eyes to a coexisting realm she never knew existed: Renhala, while entrusting her with the knowledge of her newfound power as karmelean, serving as a beacon to the Higher Ones. Kailey slowly starts revealing new talents, and Gunthreon is fascinated with what she starts achieving.
She soon discovers that Renhala is in danger, and this danger has been leaking into her own realm. As she uncovers secrets within herself, and attempts to toughen up, she fuses with an unlikely band of fellow travelers (including a dragon, woodsprite, six-hundred-pound greble, her faithful female canine companion, and a “giver”), falls into an unexpected love triangle, deals with her sexy and flirtatious best friend’s “issues,” and finds the courage to master a new deadly weapon.
On her mission to save Renhala, Kailey will find herself running from life-threatening disasters, such as greble Tartarin, who likes to remind Kailey that when he catches her, he plans on eating her brains with ice cream; she’ll run from the deadly meeples: small cute bunnies with talons and an undeniable thirst for imposing self-destruction on others. Kailey will also run into the possibility that a centuries-old Renhalan rumor is true, that advanced technology existing in Kailey’s realm shortens all life spans.
As blood is shed and puzzles near completion, Kailey pulls from deep within herself, conjuring up mystical qualities that enable her to astonish as once predicted at her birth, but despite the newfound strength, Kailey will discover that monsters not only come in ugly packages, but can be easily disguised as those she has come to love and trust.

As an unexpected warmth flows into the room, running over my feet first, I freeze. It slowly crawls up my body, touching my hands and forcing them to reach forward. As the heat envelopes my head, I suddenly yearn to possess this deadly treasure, so I touch it, and the pole comes off the wall with one pull. I embrace it, suddenly feeling I will never be disconnected from my new lover, because it is me and I am it. I swing, and it is light in my hands. The metal whistles as it slices air, singing its song of perfection—perfect balance.

Suddenly, I am torn from my find by a peculiar noise accompanied by the faint smell of rotten eggs. I know the smell, and I run to the door, not wanting to be cornered in this room. That’s when I see it standing in the road, and it’s huge—at least eight feet tall and five feet wide, with dark brown skin and fur. I recognize the feet—all three of them, situated like a tripod, with the center leg slightly forward. Its full hideousness is far worse than its feet alone. The huge eyes that take up at least 50 percent of its head stare at me while its mouth, which seems to take up the other 50, quivers, drooling some dark liquid. I can’t be sure, but it looks like it’s hungry. It stares at me as though I’m a huge medium rare rib-eye steak. There are sprouts of fur here and there around its body, and its arms dangle below its waist. It wears a large loincloth and short pants, both shredded on the edges. There is also a band around its waist, somewhat resembling an extra, extra, extra large fanny pack. I stand, frozen with fear at the realization that I’ve been visited by yet another hideous creature. It was not a dream. The delicious meal I just ate starts creeping up my throat, but I swallow, keeping it at bay.

A noise escapes from behind the creature. Its ears quiver, and its head turns all the way around like an owl’s, then swivels back toward me. I’m amazed by its flexibility. Its skin seems to be in constant movement, and it begins moving toward me quickly. It’s so fast. And so big.

I grab the pole and stabilize myself, knowing I cannot outrun this abomination, and it’s time to prove I can take care of myself. Seconds before it reaches to grab me with its monkey-length arms, I duck and swing the pole out, but the creature jumps over me swiftly.

It lunges again quicker than expected, and I manage to somehow cut my leg with my own weapon. The flow of blood freezes me, vulnerability creeping up on me like a dark shadow. The creature makes the jump toward me. I fall directly down, sticking my pole spade straight up in its direction with my eyes closed. My movement is unexpected—by both of us—so the creature comes down slightly crooked as my blade nicks the inside of its leg.

Black ooze runs down its leg, dripping onto the dirt. Black ooze. Before I lose myself to the visions, I notice the tears in its eyes. This big, ugly creature—surely sent by Satan himself—is crying, and reeks of regret?

“Ow! You hurt Bu! How could you? Bu was only going to help you.” Its voice is undeniably male and youthful as it wipes the dark ooze from its mouth on the back of his hand, then proceeds to lick some off.

“Oh, gross,” I say, totally disgusted. I hold the pole weapon out in front of me.

The tears are as big as his eyes as they roll down his cheeks, and I find myself feeling bad I hurt him, even if he was going to rip my throat out. I get closer to him, just out of arm’s length, and say, “You were going to eat me! Is this a trick? You feign pain, I come close, and then you eat me?”

He then does something unexpected—giggles. It’s then that I feel it—purity. Purity of heart and soul is spewing from him, like rays from a sun, warm and soft as cashmere.

“Wait,” I say as I sniff the air. “You smell like chocolate.”

Amy Luchen author photoBorn in Chicago, Illinois, a few days prior to watching her first movie, at a drive-in theater. Yes, drive-in theater. And yes, her mother believed she was possessed by the devil after said first movie.
Grew up in the Chicagoland area and graduated from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, where she simply became a number, but decided it was a good number.
Loves cooking (mostly candy-cooking), gardening (putting holes in the ground for perennials, DONE!), designing and constructing jewelry (everything from silversmithing to lampworking), and living with her wonderful husband, two children, black Labrador, and frog—and maybe even the chipmunk family that likes to destroy her aforementioned perennials.
Also hopes that you enjoy her writings, and won’t criticize her for her aversion of eating things in multiples of three.

To learn more about Amy and her work you can visit her Facebook page (here), her Website (here) or her Goodreads Authors page (here). Alternatively follow and converse with her onTwitter (here).
Renhala is avaliable to buy now from (here)and Smashwords(here).

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Keeping Her: A Message From Cora Cormack

We are delighted to welcome Cora Cormack as she shares a sneaky peek at her upcoming novella, Keeping Her.

Preview Package: Cora Carmack's KEEPING HER by AvonBooks

The Keeping Her ebook novella will be published on 13th of August by William Morrow for US readers and on the 15th of August, by Ebury Digital,for UK readers.

If you would like to learn more about Cora’s work she will be participating in a Goodreads chat along Jay Crownover (author of Jet and Rule)on the 26th of June (click here to go to the site).

Cora will also be hosting a FAKING IT book club on her Facebook page (click here to visit her Facebook page) on the 27th of June from 3-4 p.m. EDT( 19:00-20:00 GMT) where you can live chat with Cora about the book and ask her all your burning questions.

Alternatively, visit the Keeping Her Goodreads page (here).

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A Pirates Wish

Cassandra Rose Clarke

a pirates wishAfter setting out to break the curse that binds them together, the pirate Ananna and the assassin Naji find themselves stranded on an enchanted island in the north with nothing but a sword, their wits, and the secret to breaking the curse: complete three impossible tasks. With the help of their friend Marjani and a rather unusual ally, Ananna and Naji make their way south again, seeking what seems to be beyond their reach.
Unfortunately, Naji has enemies from the shadowy world known as the Mists, and Ananna must still face the repercussions of going up against the Pirate Confederation. Together, Naji and Ananna must break the curse, escape their enemies — and come to terms with their growing romantic attraction.

The Pirates Wish is book two in the Assassins Curse duology and as such this review may contain unintentional spoilers for book one.

It’s no secret that I loved The Assassins Curse (read my review here), and that I began agonizing over the wait for The Pirates Wish from the moment I turned the final page of the first book. As one of my most anticipated releases for 2013, you can imagine my delight at getting my hands on an advanced readers copy, and shortening that wait by a few weeks.

I was immediately transported back to the creepy and disorientating Isles of Sky. Weeks after the events of Assassins Curse, barely tolerating the cold, rain and monotony, Naji and Anna are no nearer to finding the cure to the curse and their misery was palpable.

Into this environment of listlessness Cassandra introduces a new character, a manticore (with an unpronounceable name), who’s uniqueness and humorous partnership with Ananna is a sparkling light in the gloom.

The introduction of new friends doesn’t detract from our reunion with our beloved characters. We learn more about Marjani and the circumstances which led to her life on the high seas. While I appreciated the friendship and support she provided to Ananna in the first book, in The Pirates Wish her mentorship of Ananna is more than just instructive. Naji is still very much strong, silent and brooding. But like Ananna, through better acquaintance, we learn to read Naji’s non-verbal cues more clearly.

After all of her experiences, I was not at all surprised to find that Annana is not quite the bolshie, over confident, firecracker we met in book one. While she retains her distinctive voice, quick witted snark, and fierce loyalty, she is at times winey and self serving, and I found her naive attempts to catch Naji’s attention and make him jealous, squirming uncomfortable. Ananna’s flaws, however, make her more believable as character, marked her growing up, and actually endeared her to me even more.

At one point, as Cassandra’s imagination conjured up an unexpected twist in the quest to break Naji’s curse, I found it difficult to suspend my disbelief. Although the twist was firmly grounded in Cassandra’s excellent world building, It was just a tad too “Disney” for me.

While the ending may not have been the traditional HEA ( I have an increasing respect for Clarkes unique perspective of love and romance. Read my review of Clarke’s The Mad Scientists Daughter here) that romance fans like myself crave, it was absolutely perfect for the characters and so beautifully written that I have already re-read the final chapter twice.

After bemoaning the trilogy formula, and the agony of committing to a series for two years or more, the current spate of duologys (that’s a sequel to you and I) have come as a welcome relief. However, I am one who is never satisfied and I can’t help wishing that we could spend more time in Ananna and Naji’s lives (yes I want to have my cake and eat it!).

However, I am happy to be consoled with the news that although The Assassin/Pirates story is complete, Cassandra will be revisiting the world in The Wizards Promise, another duology for Strange Chemistry (expected publication 2014).

Verdict: For me Cassandra Rose Clarke is an author who’s work is synonymous with one click preorder.

Reviewed by Caroline

Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Publication Date: June 2013
Format: eARC
Pages: 336
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Magic
Age: YA
Reviewer: Caroline
Source: Netgalley
Challenge: None
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The Hueys In …It Wasn’t Me

Oliver Jeffers

the hughesWhat’s all the arguing about? There are plenty of Hueys to go around in this hilarious story from a New York Times bestselling author and artist
The Hueys are back! Oliver Jeffers’ egg-shaped creatures may look the same, think the same, and even do the same things, but that doesn’t mean they always agree. The only problem is, they can’t seem to agree on what they disagreed on in the first place! Which ultimately leads to an even bigger disagreement! Confused? Well, so are the Hueys. Which only adds to the fun and hilarity.

Although I’ve seen Oliver Jeffers’ books and know they are wonderful, for some unknown reason we don’t have any and my girls haven’t come across them. Being given this to read was an excellent opportunity to remedy this situation.

In this story the Huey’s, who usually agree on things, have a disagreement.

Oliver’s drawings are great, they are simple, and yet in no way simplistic. The Huey’s are draw in black and white line drawings with splashes of colour. The argument is a cloud of colour and lines above their heads as they grumble and moan. It’s just how to imagine a row. It also made it really relatable for the children. As any parent knows children fall in and out all the time, often over the most trivial of things. They were glued to the story and at the first reading you could see them checking out the pictures and taking it all in.

I loved the page where Gilespie has asked what the problem is and the Huey’s all stand in silence as none of them can remember what the problem was in the first place. Dare we say so often typical of all of us not just children?

I also loved the way the text was partly narrative and partly speech bubbles, something my older girl who is learning to read also picked up on.

The other thing that I found interesting about this was that after hearing it the first time, instead of the ‘again’ we so often hear, my five year old wanted to take the book off and go by herself to look at it. She spent a good while just sitting looking at the pictures.

Verdict: So a highly recommended book with an ending that made me laugh out loud. We must invest in more of this author’s work.

Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: April 2013
Format: Hardback
Pages: 32
Genre: Picture book, Humour
Age: Picture book
Reviewer: Helen
Source: Provided by publisher
Challenge: None
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New Adult Read-a-thon 2013

NAReadathon1Pruedence and I have signed up for The New Adult Read-a-thon hosted by the lovely Faye of Daydreamer’s Thoughts (visit her awesome book and film review site here) and Laura of Bookish Treasures (visit her NA shrine here).
The aim of the week long read-a-thon is to read as many New Adult titles as possible.
Pruedence and I will be posting everyday with progress report and mini reviews. We will also be hosting a mini challenge with an awesome (in my opinion)prize which will be open to INTERNATIONAL entrants.
For more information about the readathon or to sigh up to the event visit the New Adult readathon announcement page (here) or check out Faye’s Vlog post below!

Posted by Caroline

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Dare You To

Katie McGarry

dare you toRyan 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…

Dare You To is the very anticipated sequel to Katie McGarry’s fantastic debut novel Pushing the Limits (read my review here). Before I start discussing Dare You To I should first explain the sheer impact it’s prequel had on me. Pushing The Limits was unquestionably one of my favorite reads of 2012 and set a very high bar for Dare You To. The emotions and themes touched by Katie McGarry in this prequel were heart wrenching to the point that I will confess that by the end I had shed a tear or two.
Suffice to say that I had high expectations for Dare You To given what Pushing The Limits had previously delivered.

In all truthfulness although I did enjoy Dare You To it did not touch me the way Echo and Noah’s story did.
Picking up with one of the trio of friends to whom we had previously been introduce to in Pushing The Limits, Dare You To is the story of Elisabeth, who prefers to be called Beth (and she is quite vocal about this preference), and Ryan. Like in Pushing The Limits alternate chapters are written from either Beth’s or Ryan’s point of view, a style of narration that I always very much enjoy as it allows an increased insight into each character’s mind, personality and into the different relationships they have.
Similarly to Echo and Noah, Beth and Ryan each have a complicated history. One wears it like shield along side the f*** off sign stamped on her forehead, whilst the other hides it behind a façade of perfection in the hope that if it remains hidden long enough it just might go away. Neither method is healthy and nobody would have thought that two people with such different backgrounds and ways of dealing with it could be each other’s cure.

Dare You To had a slow start which I initially struggled a little bit with, but after I got past the first few chapters and once the characters took on a more steady shape, Ryan and Beth’s story picked up the pace and from then onward I struggled to put the book down.
As in Pushing The Limits, Katie McGarry strived to tackle important social themes that more often than not interfere with our opinions, choices in life and life itself. Through Ryan and Beth Katie dealt with trust, acceptance and the forever complicated relationships between family, friends and more.

Despite liking Beth and Ryan I cannot say that I grew to love them and their story as I did Echo and Noah. I also found Katie McGarry’s writing style initially somewhat different from her previous book.
I will admit though that I was so blown away by the prequel that I do not doubt that, despite my best efforts to not let it affect my judgment of Dare You To, Pushing The Limits has in fact compromised my thoughts. It is also debatable that because the overall genre of the story and that some of the afore mentioned themes overlap with those in Pushing The Limits, that this also makes it more difficult to not compare the two.

Verdict:This said Dare You To was still a very pleasant and interesting read, and I will be looking forward to reading the final book in this series!

Reviewed by Pruedence

Publisher: Mira Ink
Publication June 2013
Format: eARC
Pages: 352
Genre: Contemporary romance
Age: YA
Reviewer: Pruedence
Source: Netgalley
Challenge: None
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