Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: July 31, 2012
Pages: 384
Source: BEA 2012- Thanks, Harlequin!
Buy It: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
"I won't tell anyone, Echo. I promise." Noah tucked a curl behind my ear. It had been so long since someone touched me like he did. Why did it have to be Noah Hutchins? His dark brown eyes shifted to my covered arms. "You didn't do that-did you? It was done to you?" No one ever asked that question. They stared. They whispered. They laughed. But they never asked.
So wrong for each other...and yet so right.
No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.--Goodreads
Echo is scarred, both physically and emotionally, for the rest of her life from an incident that she doesn’t even remember.  She is forced to go to a therapist every week, in hopes that she can find enough strength to remember what happened to her, the incident that her mind represses.  Noah is in a foster home but for all they take care of him, he is basically living with his friends.  He is separated from his brothers ever since the accident that had stolen their parents from them.  Echo and Noah share a common goal, teaming up they might reach success: getting a peek at their files in the therapist’s office.  However, they are more alike than both can imagine and their relationship blossoms through their broken souls.  Pushing the Limits is a fast read, but filled with strong emotions that takes its reader on a wild ride they will never forget.

This novel was so fantastic; there are no words to describe how awesome it was.  The cover is what bothered me.  Mostly because the moment shared on the book cover is very private and I felt that it shouldn’t have been on the cover like that.  It was too private.  I felt like I should look away.  (But, I suppose, I’m being overdramatic because I do not really read too many romances.)

Katie McGarry wrote this magnificent, heart-wrenching story that made me want to know more.  It reminded me a lot of Simone Elkles’ Perfect Chemistry, the book that made me want to write reviews in the first place.  I believe I had the same reaction to this book that I had for that one.  I feel like I need to share something about this book with you.

The characters were fabulous.  Each had a story beyond the plot and kept the story moving.  As the reader, you fell for each one in turn, trying to get a glimpse of what they were all about.  Noah had this raw energy that kept his dialogue flowing with Echo’s.  They, both, had this chemistry that is rarely in any books nowadays.  They didn’t decide one day that they fell in love, which are most modern romances.  There was a gradual relationship that led to the event of falling in love.  I liked it and most of all, there was a message in the book that I thought all young adults could take.  (A bit of a spoiler:) McGarry had Echo’s previous boyfriend obsessed with sex and with the rumor about Noah, how he treats his one-night stands, sex seemed inevitable in the book.  I was glad how McGarry handled the whole prospect.  The main characters did not need to have sex to show how they felt to one another.  I loved that message and how McGarry played it out in the scene.  It made me respect the relationship much more.

This book was more than the relationship.  It was the backstory and the characters’ narrative of how they had coped.  It was not so much relatable as it was empathetic, imagining these scenarios and putting the reader in the characters’ shoes.

There is going to be companion novels, or so I’ve heard and I can’t wait to hear about some of the different characters’ stories.  I loved Pushing the Limits and its rare realness.  However, the book wasn’t the original contemporary I was looking for, it became this emotional raw novel that still has me trying to catch my breath, days after finishing it.  Pushing the Limits does just that, pushes you to the limits and hangs you over the edge, waiting for more. 

First Sentence:
“’My father is a control freak, I hate my stepmother, my brother is dead and my mother has… well… issues.’”
-Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry (ARC), p. 7

Rated PG-13 for adult content, brief language, brief nudity, and graphic violence.

Cover: 3
Characters: 5
Writing Style: 5
Plot: 5
Ending: 5


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  1. I really enjoyed this book as well! Especially the characters! I don't know if I'll be reading the companion novels but I look forward to your thoughts.

  2. So basically I love everything about this review, Gina! You summed up SO WELL everything I, too, loved about PTL!

  3. Mind Blowing pretty much covers it :)
    I get what you're saying about the cover but it's so much better than the UK one that I don't really care! The UK one is a disaster

    Krazyyme @ Young Readers