Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Release Date: July 31st, 2012
Harlequin Teen, 403 Pages
Source: Advance Reader Copy
Age Group: Young Adult
Series: Pushing the Limits #1
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.
It happened again. I read a YA Contemporary book! *gasp!*
I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical to read a steamy, YA Contemp about young love and tough topics. I don’t regret it one bit. Pushing the Limits is a book that really touched my heart and stirred my emotions. I really felt for the characters…I wanted Noah and Echo to make everything work.
Echo experienced an absolutely horrifying trauma that no one should ever have to go through, especially at the hands of their own mother. Echo struggles daily with not being able to remember what happened to her…she tried once and almost lost her mind completely. She’s terrified of trying again, so scared that she might crack…and end up just like her mom.
Then she meets Noah. Introducing mister bad attitude and captain chip on his shoulder all rolled into one. Getting to know Noah was such an intimate thing, getting to know him on a deeper level than his bad boy persona and anger issues made me want to fix him so badly. What Noah wanted to accomplish was so pure and his emotions so raw that you can’t help but want him to succeed. I was wanting Echo and Noah to fix each other and themselves so badly, and the emotional roller coasters were so intense, that I had to put the book down often and take a break.
I never missed any supernatural, paranormal, dystopian aspects of the usual books that I read. I appreciated the depth that the author gave to her characters. The storyline was frustrating at some points, but it was an accurate portrayal (from a psychological standpoint) of how traumatic experiences affect victims. It takes a long time to heal and the road to emotional recovery is draining and difficult. Watching how Noah and Echo both evolved throughout the book was refreshing and beautiful, their relationship not just skin deep (even though they obviously wanted that, the book didn’t go there, thankfully).
I really loved this book and I am so happy that I gave it a shot. If YA Contemp is your thing, this will be right up your alley if you’re looking for some young romance. Even if this isn’t your usual cup of tea, I would still encourage you to pick it up and try!