Review: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Book:  Pushing the Limits

Author:  Katie McGarry

Published: July 2012

My Rating: 4/5

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Book Description:

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.

My Review:

I had to give this book a thought or two after I finished reading it, and while thinking about the rating I had to in fact sleep on it. I don’t tend to overanalyze a book, any book really, but I felt I had to with Pushing the Limits. I’d been waiting for this book for quite some time, and considering all the excitement there was over it, my expectations were rather high.

I wouldn’t say I was disappointed, not at all. In fact not even close, but it did not meet all the great things I was expecting from it. I’m afraid this is what happens when you set your expectations too high. Nonetheless it was a really good book, and still highly recommended on my part.

Pushing the Limits tells the story of Echo and Noah.

Echo Emerson is a strong girl, despite all her thinking of herself as weak and pathetic. It takes strength to overcome a situation as distressing as what she went through, even more so when you don’t remember exactly what happened and everyone around you is intent on not telling you. And all you have left are scars, scars to remember everyday what you had, and never will get again. Echo was a popular girl, she was sweet and liked by everyone, she had a popular and loving boyfriend, she had friends. But after one night at the end of her sophomore year everything changed, and when school starts again Echo is is not the same, she’s changed forever. No longer her social self, she is now an outcast and the ever long-sleeves wearing girl.

Noah Hutchins is not far behind, having gone through some traumatic experiences himself. After losing both his parents in a house fire, he’s thrown from foster home to foster home. The only thing he wants is to get what’s left of his family back together, which means fighting with everything he has to get this two little brothers back: Jacob and Tyler. But he’s reputation precedes him, and after punching one of his foster dad’s in the face, his future doesn’t look too good, he’s labeled as emotionally unstable and not a good influence to his brothers.

Noah’s relationship with his brother’s pulled at my heartstrings. It brought tears to my eyes. It broke my heart. He may appear to be the perfect bad boy, smoking weed and drinking with his friends, he may have an attitude and not care about anything, but those are just ways to protect himself. After experiencing first-hand what can happen when one gets emotionally attached to someone, he is determined to not let that happen again. The way he always thought he didn’t deserve better hurt, because he did, everyone does. There was a particular scene when he was talking with Mrs. Collins (the school’s clinical social worker) that just brought tears to my eyes:

“…Aren’t you tired of being miserable? Don’t you want to know what it feels like to be happy again?”

Yes, but the world didn’t work that way –not for me.

Echo’s own relationship with her brother was just as heartbreaking, though for very different reasons. Her brother was her safe place, and after his death her family fell apart. But still I had a bit of a harder time relating to Echo than I did with Noah, I couldn’t fully connect with her the way I did with him and his brothers. Though what she went through was hard enough and I did feel for her, it wasn’t to the extent of heartache. There were moments where she seemed to be overly emotional (even though it is completely understandable), and it just didn’t endear me to her.

Now, how can this two emotionally scarred people find piece within themselves and move on? Together.

I’m a sucker for romance and that is no secret, so it’s no surprise to find me madly rooting for this two to find their happily ever after. They didn’t immediately hit it off, which was fine by me. But when they bond over a mutual goal, and start to understand each other their chemistry starts being evident and it was intense. They shared a couple of rather steamy scenes, what with Noah’s sexiness and all. I swear the boy was sexy as hell! Their moments together where both sweet and sexy.

But not all is roses here, their scars ran deeper than they let on and they needed to find themselves before they could fully commit to each other. My heart was aching when they weren’t together, when I could see they needed one another, but they wouldn’t back down.

“I love you enough to never make you choose.”

Romantic. Passionate. Sexy. Intense. Raw. Those are just a few words to describe Pushing the Limits. It will play with your heart, it will have you dying to know what really happened to Echo, it will make you cry and smile, and it will make you hope for a happy ending for this lovely couple who deserve everything and more.

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11 Comments

Filed under 4 stars, Review, Romance, YA

11 responses to “Review: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

  1. Livvy @Nerdy Book Reviews

    I loved this book and I think you really summed everything up for the book! A shame it didn’t quite live up to all your expectations, but I think there is a lot of hype that surrounds this book. Lovely review! 🙂

  2. I’ve been waiting for this book forever too! I keep seeing it around. I hope my own expectations don’t get in the way as yours did. Great review, though! I’m glad to see it’s still a solid read.

    C.J.
    cjlistro.blogspot.com

  3. Great review, Elle! I need to read this SOON. Especially since I have a copy now! Glad you liked it. 🙂

  4. I won a copy of Pushing the Limits, but haven’t had the chance to read it yet. It looks like I really need to!

  5. Cordelia Fitzgerald

    Thanks for the honest review!
    I’m waiting on this book and my expectations are just as sky high as yours were!!!
    The fact that it didn’t blow you away, but it was still awesome is enough for me! I’ll try to ground my expectations just a little and take it for what it is!

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