Book Review: “Pushing the Limits” by Katie McGarry

September 8, 2015     Holly     Reviews

Book Review: “Pushing the Limits” by Katie McGarryPushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Series: Pushing the Limits #1
Published by Harlequin Teen on July 31, 2012
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 392
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
5 Stars

So wrong for each other …and yet so right.
No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with a 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.

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry is just another book to add to my “Reasons I’m now obsessed with McGarry” list. After finishing Nowhere but Here, I knew I had to pick up a copy of this novel and I was not disappointed in the slightest. Who can turn down a good-girl-meets-bad-boy lovestory, after all?

Maybe I’m the only one who can’t, but either way I found the love story of Echo and Noah to be cute, dramatic, stubborn, and lovely all rolled into one tiny ball of high school. And not just because Pushing the Limits merely told the story about how the two characters fall in love, but because it takes their love story and molds it around the very real problems that each character respectively faces.

Echo is dealing with the loss of not only family, but a piece of herself as she tries to discover chunks of her past that she is missing due to a terrible event. And it’s great to see her character be very strong and driven, while still having obvious vulnerabilities that are expected of a teenager who would be dealing with the same types of issues. Echo’s life isn’t perfect, despite what ever character stereotype says in these genres, and she eventually embraces these imperfections. Her growth as a character makes Pushing the Limits that much more interesting of a read.

But Echo isn’t the only one who grows as a character. Noah,  foster kid whose one goal in life is to reunite his family and leave the system behind, is another character who readers get to watch change dramatically from page to page. As the story progresses, readers eyes are opened to how hardworking and loyal Noah is, attributes that would not be as clear if Pushing the Limits wasn’t written in dual voices. Noah’s chapters are insightful, and sometimes much more heartbreaking than Echo’s. Because while Echo’s chapters are leading up to a last, relieved sigh of “Finally,” Noah’s seem to head in nothing but the direction of “Breakdown.” At least for a while.

And even though the story obviously centers on Noah and Echo, there are other characters in the novel that deserve attention, mainly because they get their own stories later on the series. Beth and Isaiah are two of Noah’s friends, both products of bad homes and even worse situations. But they’re still likable and wonderful and just as amazing as Noah and Echo. (Ok, so maybe I’ve already read the second and third books in the series. Reviews to come.) Echo’s best friend, Lila, is also a breath of fresh air because she is a bit of the stereotypical popular high school girl, but she still managed to surprise me as the story unfolded.

Basically, I just really disappointed when this story had to end, and I think you will be too if you pick up a copy.

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