Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry, published August 2012 by Harlequin Teen.
Read: July 2014
Genre: Young Adult/Romance/Contemporary
Source: Purchased – eBook
Goodreads Synopsis: 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.
First off, I need to say that I’ve seen three cover variations for this series and none of them really appealed to me, the cover I’ve used above is (in my opinion) the best of the three I’ve seen, and it’s likely I wouldn’t have picked this up if Katie McGarry hadn’t been receiving such amazing reviews on the blogosphere. Now that I’ve got that out of the way – on to what I thought…
I was very pleasantly surprised by this book and I really, really enjoyed the story. At times it could be very intense and heart-wrenching and I genuinely cared about a lot of the characters (though there were also a couple I really wanted to slap in the face – looking at you, Grace). This book made me think, it made me question my perceptions and possible reactions to certain situations, and at the end, I’m not ashamed to say that I almost cried. That’s big.
I’ve mentioned this before, but I really enjoy books that are told from multiple perspectives, and Katie McGarry does it very well in Pushing the Limits. I loved getting the chance to be inside both Echo and Noah’s (very different) heads as their stories and struggles unfold and as their feelings for each other develop. This may not have been the best pick for #sexmeup week – I had thought this was a New Adult book and was expecting a bit more steam, but there was still plenty of sexual tension and tummy-flutters throughout.
I’d heard this book was a little long, and I agree that at times it felt that way, but I was so in love with the story that I just didn’t care and I actually stayed up to finish it (I was at 90%, I had to finish it!). A lot of the emotions, reactions and scenarios in this book felt real, which is always refreshing, and I “bonded” with quite a few characters, not just the two protagonists. There are a lot of “issues” and “dysfunctions” in this book, maybe too many for some fans of teenage contemporaries, but I loved it all the more for them. I did have a slight problem with character names from the get-go, “Echo”? Why “Echo”??! But by the end of the story it didn’t annoy me quite as much, probably because there was a semi-reasonable explanation…
I don’t want to give too much away about this story, I hate spoilers, so I can’t really go into a very detailed review that includes parts that I loved without ruining it for others. Oh, but I will say I defy anyone to not adore Mrs Collins.
“I’d tried normal, and I’d failed at it.”
“I gazed into her beautiful green eyes and her fear melted. A shy smile tugged at her lips and at my heart. Fuck me and the rest of the world, I was in love.”
Put simply, I’ll be reading the rest of this series and hoping the other stories are on par with this one. I think there are currently four books released and I’m not sure if more are planned.
I read and reviewed this book as part of the #sexmeup readathon. To find out more click here.