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....
I wasn't entirely sure what to expect, even after the drama that was Pushing The Limits. I think this was mostly because I didn't really like Beth in PTL. Luckily, I warmed to her quite quickly as we tried to understand her from Ryan's perspective and got inside her head. We already knew Beth's home life was pretty shit from PTL so it came as no shock that this was what Beth is keeping secret and the burden she was carrying. But the extent of her burden was unbelievable and I really admired Beth for sticking up for her mum and her past. She wasn't exactly ashamed of it but knew it was bad and really did want to make a better future.
As for Ryan, he was the typical jock: perfect hair, perfect body, perfect sportsman, all that. But his family was coming apart at the seams because they had an image to uphold and could let no one see how horrible it really was. And it really was. His dad was a bully and a homophobic, his mum was too used to being pushed around by his dad, and his brother had abandoned the family after coming out. Over the course of the book, he begins to realise that his perfect persona was not worth it, especially as it was so wrong. This does come through the progression of their relationship; both Ryan and Beth learn to stop running and start to accept who they really are.
I'm aware this is quite a short review but do not mistake that for dislike of the book. Anything but! I really did love this, and practically flew through the last third where it was all drama-packed and breath-taking. It tackles all sort of difficult issues like drugs, homophobia, family, peer pressure and probably more but I can't think of them right now! And I loved how all these horrible past-issues, Ryan and Beth got through them together, by learning to trust each other. I think that's all I have to say, apart from: go read this book! It's amazing!
Published 22nd May 2013 by MiraInk. Thank you to the publisher for my copy in exchange for an honest review.