Review: You Wouldn’t Dare by Samantha Markum

You Wouldn't Dare by Samantha Markum

You Wouldn’t Dare
Samantha Markum
Wednesday Books
Published March 28, 2023

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

About You Wouldn’t Dare

A rom com about trying to have the summer of your life before everything changes – only to realize change might be exactly what you need…

When Juniper Nash Abreheart kissed Graham Isham for the first time, she had no idea it would nearly be the end of their friendship.

More specifically, she had no idea that the terrible, unforgivable thing she did to keep their summer fling a secret wouldn’t just ruin their friendship, but also Graham’s entire life. Now, months since the fallout, Junie and Graham spend most of their time sidestepping conversational landmines on the journey back to normalcy.

Junie is sure the strangeness between her and Graham is her biggest problem – until her mom hires Tallulah, her boyfriend’s surly teenage daughter, to work at their family café, and then announces they’ll all be moving in together at the end of the summer. The only bright spot ahead is Junie’s dad’s upcoming visit, just in time for her community theater production. And then poor turnout soon threatens that.

But when Junie starts to realize the feelings she swore to take care of last summer have lingered, saving her production and managing her hostile relationship with Tallulah might be the least of her problems. Graham isn’t just off limits – their friendship has been mended to barely withstand a breeze, and the gale force of Junie’s feelings could be just what breaks them.

Samantha Markum’s YOU WOULDN’T DARE is about the risks and triumphs that come with being brave enough to take a chance at what you really want, including love.

You Wouldn't Dare on Goodreads

My Review

YOU WOULDN’T DARE is set in Florida, on a (made up) island called White Coral Key that’s about four hours from Jacksonville. One side of the island is ocean-facing, and the other is bay-facing, so I’m guessing the island would be either somewhere just south of Tampa on the Gulf side of FL or somewhere around West Palm Beach on the Atlantic coast. Anyway. I live a pretty short drive from both of those places, so it was fun to read about a place so similar to my own hometown.

Besides the beachy summer setting, there’s so much to love about this book. There’s the fun community theater production, which Junie ropes all her friends into helping with. There’s the banter between her and her three best friends, and the simmering tension between her and Graham.

This book literally made me laugh out loud (twice) and cry (also twice). I loved the messages about community, found family, and the bravery it takes to have the relationships you want. I also loved Samantha Markum’s debut, THIS MAY END BADLY, but I might have actually enjoyed this one even more?

If you like friend banter, antics, and summer fun plus angsty friends-to-lovers romance, you do not want to miss this one.

You Wouldn't Dare on Bookshop

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 12 up.

Junie is white. She has a diverse group of friends. One is bisexual. One is biracial, and one is Latine.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used somewhat frequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing between boy and girl. Kissing between two girls. References to hands up shirts in the kissing sessions between the boy and girl. Vague reference to Junie’s friends having sex.

Spiritual Content

Violent Content
References to a car accident in which someone was killed. References to characters stung by jellyfish.

Drug Content
Junie and her friends drink alcohol at parties. One gets very drunk and sick.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support this blog. I received a free copy of YOU WOULDN’T DARE in exchange for my honest review.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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