Beth Risk from Dare You To : Otherwise known as a classic example of how to self-sabotage. 3.5 stars. I'll be going against the grain in saying that I liked this book better than the first in the series. I understand that the masses went wild over Pushing the Limits, but I struggled with shakily written stereotypes and repetitive speech patterns. That said, the first book was engaging and the characters were likable, which was enough of a reason for me to want to continue on with the series. After reading the second book in this series, I'm starting to wonder how much real world experience this author has with kids in non-standard living environments. Maybe she honestly does and I'm just reliving my own personal experiences from a vastly different standpoint. I really don't know. Beth's story is one that I can somewhat relate to. I was kicked out of my original high school (in a rougher, urban area), and my parents felt it would be 'helpful' for me to move away to the sticks in order to gain perspective. I was inwardly cheering that the girl in this story was the troublemaker instead of the boy. I figured this could get interesting.But then...the story started reading like every bad teen movie I'd ever encountered. There was a scene from She's All That, and one from Can't Buy Me Love, and yet another from A Cinderella Story. It was as if I'd fallen into a Molly Ringwald marathon and couldn't get out!One issue that carried over from the first story which I really wish hadn't happened was the demonizing of kids who smoke weed or party in a way not involving the usual and acceptable 'social keg parties.' It made me cringe when Beth was speaking about how it felt to fly as if we were about to be prepared for some public service announcement about the evils of drugs (don't touch, kids! you might want to go throw yourself off a building!). Later in the book, she reflects on how worried she is now that Ryan found out how she used to party. Really? Is this a huge thing to be afraid of? That someone might find out you partied a little too much before you met them? As I stated in my review for book one, if we're going to put certain behaviors in a box as being freaky, we're ostracizing more than the 50% of today's teens who participate in those behaviors. Bad and Good isn't always a black and white thing. Just like being a jock doesn't always equate to being popular, and coming from the wrong side of the tracks doesn't always equate to you getting bad grades or being a screw up. I appreciate what the author is trying to do by exposing the readers to more than a basic 'boy meets girl' story, but I wasn't quite buying the authenticity of it all. YET...this story wasn't so bad. I enjoyed it for the most part. Other than Beth's issues with running and self-doubt, I liked her. She was sassy and didn't let people push her around. I can relate. Ryan was interesting because he was sweet one moment, cocky in another moment, then completely unsure of himself in the next moment. Different waves of behavior such as his somehow felt closer to real the real thing, instead of when you see book guys who are constantly in "worship me" mode. Ryan did have one strange moment of "she is mine" that made me do a double take but it wasn't a deal breaker.So there was a bet. This story started off with a bet. Before you get ready to eye-roll your way on out of here, let me give you this : he told the girl about the bet before the halfway point of the book! HUGE points for this! One big positive about this story is that there wasn't a ton of game playing. Our characters were genuine people who weren't out to deceive others. One other HUGE, MAJOR, MASSIVE plus to this story (mini-spoiler? maybe not) The guy is the virgin for once! *Stacia does imaginary cartwheels all over this review* Woo hoo! Take that, overdone "innocent girl" cliches. You know, the more I think about this book, the more I realize that I really did like it, even with the complaints. The positives do outweigh the negatives - and these positives made the book for me : 1. This was a sweet love story.2. The normal gender roles in the relationship were reversed.3. Ryan gave Beth (their) rain in a bottle (won't spoil what this means) because she needed something tangible to hold on to from him other than just pretty words. This book provided from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.