Monday, September 24, 2012

Review: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Book Description via Goodreads:

Hardcover, 384 pages
July 31, 2012, Harlequin Teen

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.

Source: Karen, MM Publicity & Harlequin Teen (Thank you!)

My Thoughts:

Echo was another case of popular-girl-went-social-outcast. Of course, this is a trend in YA contemporary. I liked Echo. She was messed up and flawed on the inside and on the outside but all of that made her realistic and believable to me. Her struggle with her repressed memory reminded me of London from Forgotten by Cat Patrick. To be in Echo’s shoes was scary and emotionally draining. Her dad married her ex-babysitter, her brother was dad and her mom was crazy. At first, it seemed too heavy a family drama to be going on in one character’s life but I accepted that there are real people out there whose lives were far more complicated than Echo’s. It was devastatingly problematic and realistic.

Noah, the stoner and badboy of the novel, reminded me a lot of Patch from Hush, Hush. He had a tough side and a soft side. I enjoyed seeing both sides. It made him seem whole to me. His own weakness – his brothers – made him strong, pushed him to keep fighting against the odds. What I really liked about Noah was how he strived to change for the better. He has thrown away his future and drowned himself in drugs and girls. But Echo seemed to be a good influence on him. She fueled him to take a step towards getting his act together. Noah’s voice was distinct. I like it. It’s a mixture of musings, curses and praises, as well as a balance of positive and negative. It’s impressive how McGarry made Noah sound genuinely male.

What’s different about Pushing the Limits? McGarry wrote this novel in such a way that all the complications of the characters, along with the twists and turns of the story, would result to an interwoven genius. I really liked the alternate narration by Echo and Noah. Getting into both of their minds helped me catch their thoughts and feelings. Plus, I could the story happening from two points of views. How they interpreted actions and decisions varied, so I could really see the difference in their way of thinking.

I liked the development of Echo and Noah’s relationship. It started with annoyance and even distrust. As the two were drawn together because of their proximity, they learned to accept one another and distrust gave way to trust. The emotional and sexual tension between Echo and Noah was intense. McGarry wrote sensual scenes that made my heart throb and turned my knees to jelly. 

What really stood out for me was how the author made me react. I smiled, laughed, cried, ached and I even felt butterflies in my stomach! This really is an emotional roller coaster - with the ups and highs, as well as the downs, of life. 
Pushing the Limits is heartbreakingly beautiful with its complicated plot, sizzling romance and well-developed and entertaining characters. Suspense, romantic and crazy, this book appealed to my book taste! I savored every page of it. I highly recommend this to contemporary and romance readers! Don’t miss out on this!


5 Cupids = Eternal book love. 
I will never, ever, ever forget this book. I highly recommend this!


  1. Fab review as always! I agree 100% with you regarding this book. It was brilliant! Can't wait for the companion book!

  2. so glad you loved this novel. It sounds fabulous, I really need to pick it up!!
    I love such a progression in a relationship like the one you described between Echo and Noah!

    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

  3. oooh, this sounds really good. Thanks for the review.

  4. Great review! I'm glad you enjoyed this book as much as I did! =)

    - Ellie @ The Selkie Reads Stories

  5. I looove dual POV's of the lead male and female characters. Plus more awesome if the author makes the male POV sound realistic. So glad you like this, though I've read more negative reviews than positive so I have to read more before I decide. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Precious!