Review: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

August 12, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Published: July 31, 2012
Genre: Contemporary, Mature YA
Pages: 384
Companion Novel : Dare You To (coming in 2013)

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
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.


     Pushing the Limits is a debut novel by Katie McGarry, and I loved it. The writing in this book is so clever, and simply brilliant. The author knows exactly how much information to give out to keep the readers on their toes, hence keeping the suspense intact. I kept reading to know the how & why moments throughout the book. It is such an emotionally invested book that either you're in it or not, and I was completely 100% in for the ride.

     The book involves Echo and Noah's journey for a normal life. Both high school seniors are scarred in some way, and meet through a mutual therapist/counselor, Mrs. Collins. Echo is struggling to remember the night her mother put scars on her arms, and Noah is having a tough time dealing to get the custody of his brothers after they were separated when a fire burnt down their house, killing their parents. The book was told from both protagonists' point of view which helped increase their character's depth, and understand their emotions even more. I felt like I was with them through every step of the way.
     I know Echo's story is somehow suppose to be the main focus of the book, but for me, Noah stole the show. I just loved him so much. He did drugs, but he was not a bad boy; just a little misguided. I felt bad for the boy who could have such a great future, but instead his life was ripped apart, he had to go through several foster homes, and the only thing holding him together was a hope/will of getting his remaining family under one roof. His scenes made me cry at times, and I just wanted him to be happy. Mrs. Collins played a huge part in this story. She pushed Echo & Noah through their troubles, and helped them get closure from their past. 

     Both Echo & Noah are the epitome of the perfectly imperfect couples. Their attraction towards each other is not instant, it grows gradually. They knew their relationship would be hard at times, and they worked through it. Noah understands Echo in a way no one has been able to, and Echo knows the importance of family in Noah's life. Both of them supported each other through bad times, and came up happy on the other end. I just loved seeing them grow.

     Pushing the Limits is a wonderful read. The author did really well portraying the story, and made the readers connect to the characters & their emotions. I loved it, and would definitely be reading more of Ms. McGarry's work in future.


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