Book Review: Pushing the Limits

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry Book Cover

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarrypublished August 2012 by Harlequin Teen.

Read: July 2014
Genre: Young Adult/Romance/Contemporary
Source: Purchased – eBook
#Pages: 392

Add to GoodreadsGoodreads 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.

The Review

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.”

The Review


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.

About Rachel

Avid reader & #bookblogger. Lover of all things business. A fan of drinks & dancing. Ever optimistic. Feminist.

28 Responses

  1. booksforfun1

    I have this in my TBR and just have’t been able to make myself pick it up. Sounds like I should give it a try.


  2. Brandie

    Love your review! I agree about that covers…not a fan. This author is so popular – I’ve been meaning to read the rest of the series. But of course, you know how that goes…

    Glad you enjoyed this one so much. 🙂


      1. Brandie

        Sometimes it’s good to have a break between series books when they are stand alones. I read Pushing the Limits before the rest of the series was released and just haven’t made time to go back and read the rest.

        Honestly, I’ve been in a bit of a reading funk since finishing Ugly Love. I am working on a few books at once, and I started a new book last night – Mean Streak by Sandra Brown. I haven’t read a Brown book in years and used to enjoy her books a lot. Reviewers on Goodreads are calling it a cross between David Baldacci and EL James. I love a good romantic suspense. I’m really loving it so far – it sucked me in and is really good!


      2. Brandie

        Yes. It is fantastic. You liked Maybe Someday, right? I am trying to remember if you read that one. This one rates even with how I felt about Maybe Someday. And I absolutely loved that book, too.

        I don’t understand why different covers for different countries. I love the US cover.

        Yes, I just heard that too about the song!


      3. Brandie

        Totally different feel with Ugly Love. That’s one of the reasons I love CoHo. Her stories are so unique. Never feels repetitive to me, and in a good way.


  3. I’m so, so glad that you loved this. This was a surprise hit for me when I read it back when it came out a few years ago. I did think Echo was such an odd name, too, but by the end, it just felt normal. And I am madly in love with Noah Hutchins. I’ve liked Katie McGarry’s other books a lot, too.


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