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.
As someone who read Pushing the Limits last year and loved it, I was excited to read this book to get Beth's story. While she was an interesting character in Pushing the Limits, she becomes fully developed in this story. The romance, characters, and plot are all awesome.
POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD
Beth has put up a shell around herself after bad things have happened to her in the past. She finds it difficult to let her walls down to allow people to care about her. She has had a rough life with a father who left and a mother who drinks and does drugs. Her mom also has an abusive boyfriend, and Beth feels like it is her personal responsibility to protect her mom from the boyfriend. Beth lives with her mom's sister until one night when she takes the blame and goes to jail for something that her mom did. She is bailed out of jail by her father's brother, and he makes her come live with him. She is reluctant at first, but eventually, she finds herself really liking her new life.
Ryan is the guy who is supposedly perfect, but there is actually more to him than that. His family is extremely concerned about appearances. It caused them to not accept his brother, Mark, as gay. They don't even talk to or about Mark anymore. His dad puts a lot of pressure on Ryan to be a major league baseball player right out of high school. College has never been an option for Ryan in his dad's mind. Ryan's parents also fight, but they pretend like they're the perfect couple in public. His mom is more accepting of his writing talent, and the writing competition that he wants to miss a baseball game to attend.
The romance between these two was so well developed and sweet. Their relationship starts as dislike. Beth thinks Ryan is a cocky jerk, and he doesn't like her either. At first, Ryan only tries to ask her out because of a dare. When he starts to fall for her, he calls the dare off. Watching their relationship gradually progress from dislike to like to love is wonderful to read. Beth and Ryan as a couple is certainly complicated, and it isn't easy, but they make it work.
If you like YA contemporary, read this book.