Thursday, November 8, 2012

Review: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Title: Pushing the Limits 
Series: Pushing the Limits Series
Book #: One
Author: Katie McGarry 
Release Date: July 3, 2012
Source: Local Library  

My Rating: fullfullfullfullBlank
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. (taken from
Pushing the Limits took the blogosphere by storm. Readers everywhere are raving about Noah, Echo, and their passionate romance. I was lucky enough to finally enter this whirlwind of fangirling. As soon as I saw this book on the library shelf, I knew I had to have it. Thankfully, the story didn't let me down. I received a full heaping of deep, broken characters and heart-lifting relationships. 

The story, as with many of the books I've read lately, is told by two narrators. In their points of view, Echo and Noah both reveal just how messed up life has left them. Noah, who lost his parents a few years ago, is struggling between protecting his heart and providing for his two little brothers. Echo is still reeling from a bloody accident involving her bi-polar mother. My heart hurt for the two characters as they balanced their love lives and their impending graduations. 

I couldn't help but fall in love with Noah. Maybe his bad boy persona is a bit cliche, but I couldn't bring myself to care. His fierce devotion to his young brothers and Echo won my heart right away. Despite the hard blows life has swung at him, Noah stands by those he loves, no matter what. His loyalty and protectiveness is completely swoon-worthy. 

Echo has so much on her plate that it's a wonder she even has time to develop a relationship with Noah. Between her relationship with her babysitter-turned-step-mother, her overprotective father, and her fragmented memory, Echo's stress levels are sky high. This is why I loved her relationship with Noah. When she was with Noah, she became something more than she was alone. Unlike in some teen relationships, both partners grew from being with each other. I enjoyed reading about their healthy love. 

Despite the serious issues between Echo and her family, the novel ends with a wonderful feeling of closure and potential. I wish more authors encouraged such honesty and maturity among teens. The last thing teens need to hear is that it's okay for them to hate their parents or run away from their problems. McGarry encourages them to take the higher road, and I love her for that.

Fans of Simone Elkeles' novels will gobble this book up. Noah is amazing. Echo is awesome. So read Pushing the Limits and fall in love, just like I did. (I know guys. I'm just that eloquent. But seriously. Read this book.)

“Her shoulders never shook. No tears streamed down her face. The worst type of crying wasn't the kind everyone could see--the wailing on street corners, the tearing at clothes. No, the worst kind happened when your soul wept and no matter what you did, there was no way to comfort it. A section withered and became a scar on the part of your soul that survived. For people like me and Echo, our souls contained more scar tissue than life.”  - Noah (Pushing the Limits)