Book Review

ARC Book Review: You Wouldn’t Dare by Samantha Markum

Rating: ★★
Audience: YA Contemporary Romance
Length: 368 pages
Author: Samantha Markum
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: March 28th, 2023
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


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.

Thank you to Wednesday Books and Netgalley for an eARC.


I will still recommend Markum’s first book, This May End Badly. But unfortunately, I can’t recommend this one. It was the complete opposite of everything I loved about TMEB.

Junie spends over 3/4 of this book selfishly entitled, saying every wrong thing, being mean to her almost half sister AND the cute boy and I couldn’t take one more bit of it. I’m all for a character arc with growth, this ain’t it. She did one nice thing at the end and that was great and all, I guess.

The only true saving grace here was Graham. He was sweet and the steadfast kind of hero I loooove. Frankly I don’t know why he kept putting up with Junie.

And the play?? It did NOTHING for the plot other than help me move faster through the book because I skimmed right over these scenes. I did not care that Junie was in a play. Or that she dragged all of her friends into it. Or they had to recast someone. Or etc. etc. etc.

Alright I’ll stop. I hope to try Markum’s third book and that it is a redemption.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Contemporary Romance
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: heated make-outs
  • Violence: low
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: small scale injury, emotionally unavailable father, underage drinking and smoking, loss of a mother (off-page), near drowning

Instagram || Goodreads || The StoryGraph

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s