ARC REVIEW: Pushing the Limits, by Katie McGarry

Released: July 31, 2012 (Harlequin Teen)
Source: NetGalley & Publisher, for review

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

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“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.

Why I Read This Book

I was starting to feel out of the loop with this book and eventually had to give in and request it on NetGalley. Everyone seemed to be gushing about it and I was seeing the cover everywhere. The story sounded fantastic, and that cover? HOT and AWESOME.

My Thoughts

When I started reading Pushing the Limits, I had no idea what to expect. The only thing I knew was that there was a romance between Echo and Noah and that there as plenty of kissing. But just when I was about to ask (a la The Princess Bride), “Is this a kissing book?” I was thrown into a world of such seriousness and sadness that I realized this book had so much more than just kissing. 

I fell in love with Echo immediately — and with Noah. There’s nothing flakey or silly about them. They have their faces that they put on in public: For Echo, it’s the face of a girl who has to deal with rumours spreading around the school that she tried to commit suicide. She’s embarrassed about her scars, but no one knows that the event they’re so quick to name is one that didn’t happen at all — it was a trauma that Echo went through and is now suffering from PTSD over it, and still can’t remember what happened that night.

For Noah, it’s the face of a boy who prefers to get high and find his latest one-night stand. The one thing that Noah and Echo need in their lives is each other — this is a story about how these two people come together and they just click. They’re the person they both need to get through the hardships of their lives — the person they each need to understand what’s going on, to figure out the secrets and the reality. While I normally don’t go for insta-love in a novel, I felt like this was different — there was an immediate attraction between both of the characters, but it was something that morphed from an instant attraction to a necessity.

There was so much depth to the story that the more I found out about Echo and Noah, the more I loved about them. Their situations were real and scary — real and sad. Their love was also so real — including the fact that Echo seemed to think that after such an event in her life — the event she couldn’t remember — she should try to go back to her old ways, including her old boyfriend. I loved Echo’s friends and how their responses to the “event” were typical, and how Echo realized that going back to her old ways just wasn’t something that could happen.

Full of love, regrets, and secrets, this was a novel that was written so perfectly that I wanted to savour it and make it last as long as I could. I couldn’t get enough of Noah and Echo, and was happy to see that their family was involved in the book and there was an actual adult presence helping to guide them in their journey. The pacing was absolutely perfect and I loved how the chapters alternated between Echo and Noah’s point of view. I also loved that it wasn’t a novel about just one romantic relationship, but about so many relationships — none of them were easy, but all of them were so real.

If you enjoy YA contemporary books that include plenty of romance and lean a little more towards the serious rather than the fluff, this is a book to read. I highly recommend it!

© 2012, Reading In Winter. All rights reserved.


15 thoughts on “ARC REVIEW: Pushing the Limits, by Katie McGarry

  1. I really enjoyed this one too! Glad you liked it. Sometimes I’m afraid to pick up a book that everyone is raving about for fear that it won’t measure up, but this one did deliver!

  2. Fantastic review Kristilyn! I really am the oddball on this one, Noah bothered me quite a bit with his constant possessiveness. Even though I understand that Echo was finally a good thing in his life and he was over protective of that, it just didn’t work for me! I’m happy you enjoyed it!!

  3. Pingback: Clock Rewinders (2) | Reading In Winter

  4. I have heard so many great things about this book. It has certainly gotten my attention. It is right there on top of my wish list. I have been liking contemporaries so much this year.

    Thanks for the great review 🙂 and I just saw that you passed your goal of 150 books already! That’s so awesome. You are a reading rock star haha

  5. I really liked this one! It made my heart melt a little and there were many tears shed. I can’t help but feel awful for the two of them, so was glad they found each other!

    I’m glad you enjoyed this one. I also liked that it was more serious oriented!
    Great review!

  6. I’m the same as you – I felt ‘left out’ for not reading it, and everyone keeps saying how amazing it is. I finally got a copy last week so I can’t wait to read it. I love contemporary novels so I hope I’ll enjoy this one. 🙂

    Great review hun!

My home is where my books are. - Ellen Thompson

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