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…
This is the first Katie McGarry book that I’ve read and I was pleasantly surprised that I liked it. I’ve read a few NA novels, some I really loved and some I started but didn’t feel like finishing. This one, I definitely finished. I could not put it down, well technically, my e-reader down. I know the story is going to kill me and that the characters were going to break my heart but I read on anyway because I like where the author was taking me with the story.
I appreciate that even though the conflicts of the characters are ones that have been used in many, many books before, the author was still able to keep me invested in the story and eager to find out what happens with her characters through her writing. And that her characters, even though they feel the weight of all these conflicts, did not sound whiny or shallow.
It’s a pretty long read, about 375 pages in my e-reader, and there were times when, like Beth, I ask myself when this will end. I was so eager for them to get their happy ending because they’ve gone through so much already. But I think that the story development requires all those 375 pages in order to really be able to tell the complete story without leaving something out, come to a coherent conclusion and present a resolution to the conflicts that make sense.
Her characters are well-developed. Beth and Ryan were amazing leads. Beth is a tough one. I get who she is and, like her uncle Scott, I want her to have a fresh start and the opportunity to live a life unburdened by the responsibilities that should not have been hers in the first place. Ryan, I like his character a lot. It wasn’t hard to. I know that he seems a little too perfect at times but as he constantly refutes in the book, he’s not perfect at all. But for all the imperfections that he sees in himself, he’s a really good guy. And I would like to believe that there guys like that who still have a firm belief system, who still have values. I really enjoy reading the parts in the book where it’s from his POV. His character is very steady and minus the constant dares and his desire to never lose, he’s a pretty down-to-earth person.
All in all, this was a great read. It was great writing from Katie McGarry and I think I’ll feel the same way about her next book, which will feature Beth’s best friend, Isaiah.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars