Daring the Bad Boy by Monica Murphy is a standalone story in the Endless Summer Series. I have to admit that I have struggled with young adult stories lately, but I am a fan of Monica Murphy's and this cover was absolutely adorable. I knew I wanted to give this one a shot when I first saw it, but unfortunately this one didn't work for me at all.
Annie is looking to break out of being the shy girl, and summer camp is exactly the way for her to do it. She sets her sights on hottie Kyle, but with her fear of water, she has no way to get close to him since that is where he likes to hang out. When a game of truth or dare ropes counselor Jacob into teaching Annie how to swim, he knows that he has to be careful since the camp has a strict no fraternization policy for campers and counselors. But soon Annie wants to learn more than just how to swim and Jacob and Annie find themselves doing more than just swimming together. But if they are caught, Jake could find himself in trouble, ruining everything between them.
I have to admit that a lot of my issues here were the characters. Annie was sweet at first, and while I didn't love her I did like her. But then it seemed like she had a massive personality swap and she suddenly became this brat that I couldn't stand. She seemed to go crazy, and I just didn't understand what had happened to her. It felt forced, as though the author was trying to inject drama into the story that would have already been there anyways. It just felt unnecessary and I couldn't get behind it at all. Jake was okay. He wasn't bad, but he wasn't great. I was just not invested in them, and while they had a cute romance it wasn't anything unique or special.
I also felt like the story itself had a lot of issues. Besides things feeling forced at times, the story was choppy. Things seemed to skip around a lot, with time seeming off. There were times that I didn't know how much time had passed and it seems like we were missing things. There was also way more tell than show here, and I wanted to see things happen rather than just have the author tell us. It wasn't a naturally flowing story, and the whole thing just came off as contrived. Unfortunately as much as I wanted to like this one, it just never got there for me and when Annie's personality suddenly became so out of character I was just skimming to finish at that point. I have read and loved YA stories and stories from Monica Murphy, but this wasn't one of them and isn't one that I would recommend.
**ARC Provided by Publisher**