Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry
Reading level: Young Adult
ARC: 384 pages
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release date: July 31, 2012
Reviewed by: Lili
"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.
Have you ever found yourself aching for the characters while you read their story? Literally, fighting back tears for them at times? I rarely find myself in such a position, but this is one of those books that put me in that position. I went into this book knowing that it would make me feelbecause of how powerful the plot is. I was clueless as to what it would truly make me feel, but I was not expecting to experience such intense emotions for the characters. I ached, I soared, I wallowed right alongside them in this one, and I’ll even admit that McGarry was successful in making me shed a tear or two as I flipped pages at a lightning fast speed. Because of this, you’ll have to excuse me if my review isn’t entirely comprehensible because it’s rare that I’m truly rendered speechless.
This story alternates between both Echo and Noah’s perspectives. This is their story of falling in love while they hunt for lives that they deem normal. Both are going through the toughest times of their lives, both elicit strong emotions in their readers, and both are two of the most honest, vulnerable, and lovable characters I have come across in a long time. Both teens are pushed to their limits because of their personal problems. When they find each other, they find solace in the others embrace, only to realize that they both push each other even further. Their love is both a hope and a hindrance until they begin to truly open up and allow their love to conquer every negative thing the world has thrown at them and more. Their love story is most certainly a powerful one that will leave you breathless. Full of so much passion, this emotional ride of a romance can only be described as raw.
The descriptiveness and focus on emotional detail in this novel is what makes it so unique. You truly connect with Noah and Echo from the very beginning, and you find yourself loving the supporting characters as well, despite those that aren’t meant to be loved. Every face that makes an appearance in this novel will elicit some type of emotion from you, and that is a really important positive aspect of a book in my mind. Among the cast of supporting characters, Mrs. Collins really stuck out to me. I know, I know, their social worker isn’t one of those characters that you think you’ll immediately like, but aside from their love, she was like a ray of sunshine in what Noah and Echo considered to be their bleak world. The color only started to seep through when they accepted that Mrs. Collins was doing everything in her power to help them with their problems, enabling them to further their relationship and be more open with each other. Our world would be a much better place if we had a real Mrs. Collins out here somewhere.
Though I am primarily a paranormal reader, this is one contemporary read that will forever have a place on my favorites shelf. Tackling huge subjects like family trouble, divorce and re-marrying, death, abuse, drugs, sex, violence, love, the future, and letting go of the past, this is truly a bright and shining gem among young adult contemporary literature. I urge anyone of any age level with any type of preferred reading to try to find the time to sit down and read this amazing story for him or herself. You won’t regret it.