Jul 21, 2012

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry Review

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Release Date: July 31, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen; 384 pages
"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.

So wrong for each other...and yet so right.

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.

I would like to thank Harlequin Teen and netgalley for allowing me the opportunity to review Pushing the Limits in exchange for an honest review.

I don’t read much contemporary fiction. I’m not sure why but I just lean toward the paranormal fiction but every once in awhile reading contemporary is a nice break from fairies, werewolves, vampires, etc. I’m starting to wonder why I don’t read more because I absolutely loved this book. 

Echo is really fucked up. There’s no nice or easy way to put that because it’s the truth. She lives with her dad and her stepmother, who used to be her babysitter/nanny, which is pretty screwed up to begin with. But to add to that, she has a restraining order against her mother because her mother tried to kill her but there’s one problem to that; Echo doesn’t remember it.

Noah is seeing the same therapist as Echo, Mrs. Collins. He’s equally screwed up. He’s in foster care and has been with at least four different families over the past three years. His parents died in a house fire while he managed to escape it with his two younger brothers, Jacob and Tyler (whom are 8 and 5). He’s afraid they’ve been put in to a house similar to what he’s had to deal with and when he turns 18, he wants to adopt them. He just wants his family back together but what he doesn’t realize is he’d go from being their brother, to being their father, is he really ready to accept that huge change?

Echo was part of the popular crowd, and she still sort of is but she just rather would stay to herself. One day she finally decides to eat in the cafeteria instead of the library which is the beginning of her change back to her ‘normal’ crowd. Her ex-boyfriend, Luke, wants her back so they try dating. Problem is, she’s assigned to start tutoring Noah, who is the schools resident stoner (along with his two best friends, Isiah and Beth). Noah is hot, even the popular crowd agrees with that but the fact that he is a stoner, needs tutoring and is only capable of one night stands is a huge turn off. Except she can’t help her growing feelings for him and it seems, he can’t help his. It scares him because he’s never felt anything for any girl before and then all the sudden all he can think about is Echo.

Both of these characters dealing with their horrible issues, while trying to find a balance in the romance department makes for one emotional roller coaster of a read. I will be honest, I cried/teared up many times while reading Pushing the Limits. These situations are just horrible but so real. To imagine these characters as real people, going through what they go through is just heartbreaking. 

I am so glad I was never part of the ‘popular’ crowd while in high school. I can’t even imagine ‘friends’ caring more about their status then the fact that you were once considered a sister to them. By kissing the wrong guy in public can totally take you from one social clique to another is just mind blowing. I know it actually happens to, which is the scary thing. So many time during this book I wanted to shake Echo and just be like, ‘wake up! It’s your life, take control of it. Be who you want to be not who they want you to be.’ Girls, don’t ever treat your friends like this, seriously. It’s just wrong. If they’re happy, you shouldn’t care who they’re spending time with cause I can assure you, they don’t care who you’re spending time with.

As a paranormal reader, I highly recommend this to any YA reader. Contemporary fiction is a great escape from you’re normal genre and it’s quite refreshing. I think you’ll fall in love with the characters just like I have and feel all the emotions and struggles they feel as they try to figure out their future, while remembering their past.

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