Jul 10, 2012

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry review

Pushing the Limits cover
--"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.--

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.

From Goodreads

Echo used to be as vibrant as her red hair is wild, until that fateful night. Now, almost two years later, she still can't remember what happened or why she is covered in hideous scars. What scares her more though is that she knows it involves her imbalanced mother & Echo is afraid she is becoming just like the woman she fears. Add on top of that her social outcast status & you've got a recipe for a miserable senior year of high school.

That is until the new social worker/counselor at school assigns her to tutor another student struggling with personal issues. Noah is the strong & silent type for the most part. After losing his parents, he also lost his little brothers to the same system that swallowed him up. With a string of nasty foster homes in his recent past Noah is determined to put his family back together by gaining custody of his brothers. In order to do that he needs to resemble a responsible adult, so excelling in school is on his to-do list.

The pair reluctantly circle one another & through several attempts and hits & misses they finally come together, but not at all how either of them pictured it.

This book absolutely stole my breath away. I found myself tearing through page after page in this story because I couldn't get enough of the characters. Katie McGarry has created such wonderful people & such a realistic world that I truly felt like I was living out the book myself. The humor was right on & the dialogue was very engaging. This was definitely a laugh out loud & cry alongside the characters kind of book.

While the basic plot isn't much new (you can't really create much new when you strip these things down to their bare bones) the layers of story that she creates around it are what make the book well worth reading. Echo & Noah are so dynamic & multifaceted that they continued to surprise me with their actions & motivations. You don't go into this story knowing everything. You have to earn your stripes for the appropriate knowledge right alongside each character. Even more entrancing was the situations in which we find the characters. Love & loss are two intertwined emotions in this book & both Echo & Noah do a fabulous job working their way through them.

Wit, humor & humility are such wonderful components of this story that I cannot convey through words. Even better though, these two main characters (along with their supporting cast) give a face to the difficult decisions that many people face. Some of these are mega decisions & some of them are more passive decisions, but all of them affect how the character is shaped.

Easily one of the best books of 2012, I strongly recommend you read Pushing the Limits. Simone Elkeles, Jennifer Echols & even Sarah Dessen fans can totally relate to this book & I hope you all enjoy it as much as  I did. I leave you with 2 quotes from the book.

"Noah had muscles, looks and trouble stalking him. Somehow, he made jeans and a T-shirt look dangerous."

"Luke used to give me butterflies. Noah spawned mutant Pterodactyls."

-Both quotes are from the ARC which was graciously provided by Around the World Tours


Bookworm1858 said...

I'm very excited for this-I love YA contemp a lot and this book has received so many rave reviews :)

Brandileigh2003 (Blkosiners Book Blog) said...

They were most def well crafted characters. Thanks for review.
Love the quote about Luke compared to Noah.
Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog