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Friday, August 17, 2012

Review: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Title: Pushing the Limits
Author: Katie McGarry
Genre: YA, Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
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.”
Pushing the Limits is Katie McGarry’s debut novel and one I recommend you to read.

Echo Emerson’s life changed one night, a night she can’t remember. After months of therapy and specialists she has almost lost her faith. She is assigned a new clinical social worker, Mrs. Collins. Echo is skeptic about getting any progress made, but having no other option she gives it a try. Mrs. Collins is not as any of her previous therapists, Mrs. Collins’ methods are different from the norm, but slowly Echo becomes more comfortable with her and she starts to see some results. Echo is not only dealing with the events of “that night” but also, with the lost of her only brother in Afghanistan and the overprotectiveness of her father.
Another of Mrs. Collins patients is Noah Hutchins. Noah lost his parents in a tragic fire years ago; he and his little brothers were placed in foster care. He was separated from his brothers and sent to a different foster house, in which he found everything but care; after that house he had jump from one place to another. His experiences with foster care have him worried about the fate of his brothers. His only goal in life is to finish high school to ask for the custody of his brothers. But things are not looking promising for him, he spends his days smoking pot, skipping classes and getting into skirts and trouble.
Echo needs money to fix her bother’s car and Noah needs a tutor to pass his classes to graduate. Even thought they were reluctant Mrs. Collins gets them to work together and little they knew, they were what each other needed in their lives.

Pushing the Limits is a book that weeks later after reading it I haven’t stopped thinking about it. It’s a book of strong emotions that will make you laugh, dream and cry. I don’t remember when was the last time I cried that much with a book (I’m not a crier); don’t let that discourage you, in this case the saying “after every storm the sun will smile” applies perfectly. Echo and Noah will need to hit rock bottom to be able to bloom again, seeing them reach that point is not an easy experience but one with a great reward at the end.
“Her shoulders never shook. No tears streamed down her face. The worst type of crying wasn’t the kind everyone could see–the wailing on street corners, the tearing at clothes. No, the worst kind happened when your soul wept and no matter what you did, there was no way to comfort it. A section withered and became a scar on the part of your soul that survived. For people like me and Echo, our souls contained more scar tissue than life.”
Echo is an amazing character; she doesn’t know how strong she is, but for any person to survive her ordeal she has to be very strong. One of the persons that should have protected her was her assailant, accepting what happened to her is not easy but she does the best she can in her circumstances. I loved how step-by-step she discovered her inner strength and became a force to be reckoned with.

Noah is dreaaaaaamy!! Did I say he was dreamy, ok, he was dreamy, very dreamy!! He was sweet, caring, loving, protective, (add any other qualities you would like your hero to have, he had them all).
Echo had a though life, she had to fight some serious inner demons, but compared to what Noah had to experience her life was easy. Noah’s life changed drastically in a night, his world as he knew it ended and with it all his dreams and expectations. He went from having a caring family and being an excellent student and an athlete with a bright future to a negative statistic in the foster care system. He really made me think of how your life and those around you can change in a second. Noah had to made decisions in his short life that I don’t wish to an adult. To say that his situation broke my heart in thousand shards is an understatement.

I really liked that Noah and Echo didn’t fall for each other immediately, it took sometime for them to get to know each other. It was a process in which they peeled their protective layers one at a time until they found their cores and realized they were what the other needed in his/her live to make their broken selves whole again.

The secondary characters are all interesting and captivating. They are not in the story to fill up the pages, they are an important part of it. Mrs. McGarry writes them in a way that it’s easy to connect with them and leaves us wanting to learn more about their futures. From Mrs. Collins, the therapist who really cared for her patients to Noah’s friends Beth and Isaiah and their crappy lives.

Mrs. McGarry’s writing is vivid, realistic and engaging, so much that you will find yourself lost in the pages, living Echo and Noah experiences page after page without an option of putting down the book. I recommend you to have the pizza or Chinese menu handy, same with a box or two of tissues, you are going to need them.

Don’t let the YA category discouraging you, Pushing the Limits is a mature-YA book, one I recommend to anyone who wants to read an emotional and well-written contemporary romance.
The second book in this series, Dare You To will be Beth’s book and needless to say I’m looking forward to its release in 2013.

My Verdict: 4 ½ Paws

Other reviews Goodreads


  1. PTL broke my tear-free reading streak too! I love Noah and how much he loves his brothers. He is so steadfast and so devoted he is every girl's dream. Where was he when I was in HS?

  2. Very good review Marcela. Still not reading it - I just can't do emotional contemporary books - but your review makes it sound amazing. And who doesn't love dreamy guys? ;)

  3. Maybe maybe. I should try more YA. I just get so disappointed and annoyed at silly drama. But then all YA books is not like that. And this one certainly not


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