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Review - Pushing the Limits

Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Pushing the Limits
by Katie McGarry

Publication: July 31, 2012 (Hardback)
Pages: 384
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Buy it: Amazon | KindleB&N | Book Depository

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.

Noah and Echo are two very real and human characters. Echo cannot remember the day when she got the scars on her arms. Her family is affluent, but her family is broken and she wants to get out of her house. Noah used to be the golden boy until he got stuck in the foster system; for personal reasons, he can't wait until he turns eighteen and graduates high school. Both characters have been assigned to the new school counselor, who is very interested and gets very involved in their lives. While I knew she meant the best for them, I couldn't help but hate her along--and everyone else-- along with Noah and Echo in the beginning. The emotions are so powerful and there.

Noah and Echo help each other to heal from their troubled pasts, I would certainly recommend it based off this premise. The romance is edgy and will appeal to those who love passionate love stories with a slightly forbidden element because of the couple's different social circles. For some reason, it didn't work very well for me, which may be because Noah and Echo don't really commit to each other until towards the end of the book. Mostly, they're using each other in order to resolve their respective conflicts while mostly trying to ignore their strong attraction for each other.

I like Noah's friends much more than Echo's friends. While Noah's friends are stoners, they feel real. Echo's friends are concerned with image and pressure Echo into sitting at the cafeteria and trying to regain her old status in the school when she doesn't want it anymore. They think that she was happy with her old boyfriend and try to set them up with each other, although their relationship was over even before her "accident." I do not approve of friends pressuring friends to do something they don't want to do, much less to have sex. As if sex can fix a broken relationship, especially when that's why a couple broke up. I don't like how Echo allows her friends to push her into doing things that she doesn't want to do, though I understand that she wants life to go back to normal just as much as her friends. And I'm happy about how she grows over the course of the novel and learns how to speak her mind and do what makes her happy.

Pushing the Limits is about letting go of the past and moving towards the future; it is about healing. It is filled with raw emotions and a chemistry that Noah and Echo cannot ignore. It is frustrating. Noah and Echo want things, but they are constantly battered by obstacles: parents, memory loss, social care, the law, youth and inexperience. Much more than a love story, it is about two broken individuals trying to make a place for themselves in the world. The story explores the topics of foster care, memory loss, and bipolar disorder. There is language and suspicion of a suicide attempt. I would not recommend this to a younger teenage audience because of the contemplations of marriage immediately after high school and mentions of sex and drugs.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher. No payment was received in return for a review. The receipt of the book had no influence on the opinions expressed in my review.
8 comments on "Review - Pushing the Limits"
  1. Agree that this is definitely for older readers-there are a lot of intense scenes and the topics would probably be a bit much for most tweens. Still, it's a good read for us adults!

    1. True that! While Echo and Noah are high school students, I can easily see this as a bit of a crossover for the more mature content and the serious topics the two discuss.

  2. I LOVED this book too! It was so good :)

    Krazyyme @ Young Readers

  3. I love characters who feel real and pass on their raw emotions on to me, it makes the whole reading experience so much more interesting! Many people have been raving over Pushing The Limits, and I love how you mention it is "Much more than a love story, it is about two broken individuals trying to make a place for themselves in the world. " I really should make a mad dash for the bookstore RIGHT NOW :D


    1. Thanks Alicia! I hope you enjoy this book as much if not more than I did.

  4. This novel sounds great. I've heard so many outstanding reviews for it on all the other blogs! Thanks so much for your review. :)

    1. Thanks! I hope you enjoy Pushing the Limits!


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