Author: Katie McGarry
Published: July 31, 2012 (Harlequin Teen)
Format: Egalley from publisher via NetGalley (Thanks!)
Summary: 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.
My Review: I wanted to read Pushing the Limits the second I stumbled across it on Goodreads, and thanks to NetGalley and HarlequinTeen, I even got to read it early. This is one book I am happy to promote. From the intriguing synopsis to the steamy cover, it elicited high expectations on my end, and it did not disappoint!
I knew when I was going into this book that there were going to be "issues." What I did not expect was how much these two really were going through. Echo with her amnesia regarding an event that led to the scars on her arms, her insecurities, and her family; Noah with his brothers and the foster system. This book is told in alternating points of view, and it works very well for the story. I got nearly equal parts Noah and Echo's story (though there was a little more of Echo's, I think). There was also an unexpected side story with Noah's friends Isaiah and Beth, and I'm so excited that Beth is going to get her own book (Dare You To, coming sometime in 2013)! I definitely want to know the whole story there.
I loved the romance between these two. They were not looking for real romance at this point in their lives, and they especially did not expect it of each other. Yet they both found how much they needed each other, especially in the middle of the chaos of their respective lives. The chemistry between the two was spectacular, and the relationship that developed was believable and beautiful (despite the annoying number of times they called each other "baby").
One thing I appreciated about this book was the true emphasis it placed on family. Noah's love, devotion, and sacrifice for his brothers brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion. Echo also had to learn how to deal with everything that was happening with her family, and to realize that maybe things were not how they had seemed to her. Both Noah and Echo had even more growing up to do than they already had in their difficult lives, and I rooted for them, watching them progress every step of the way.
Pushing the Limits was a realistic, but ultimately encouraging, read. Even though there was a lot of heavy stuff going on, the book was never difficult to read as a result. Katie McGarry kept up a great balance of reality, romance, and, on occasion, humor, which made the book immensely readable despite the heavy subject matter being addressed. It also had a more grown-up feel to it than a lot of YA, so I would recommend it to readers of YA as well as adult fiction.
My father spoke with the air of a deity. He might as well have added the phrase so let it be written, so let it be done.
Trust. Why not ask me to do something easier, like prove the existence of God?
Sometimes when you see the line, you think it’s a good idea to cross it – until you do.
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