Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Title : Pushing the Limits
Author : Katie McGarry
Genre : Contemporary
Published Date : July 31st 2012
Publisher : Harlequin Teen
Pages : 392

From Goodreads :
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 actually didn't think this book was good the first time I saw it on Goodreads. But after a few months of its publication, many people recommended this to me, telling me how good and amazing this book is, and so, I decided to give it a try.

"You ready for a new normal?"

Pushing the Limits told us about Echo Emerson and Noah Hutchins, two people from a very different background, yet with a same broken past. Echo, her body covered with scars made by her own bipolar mother, remembered nothing about the night her mother almost killed her. When she disappeared for a month after the incident, her social standing suddenly took a major turn from the school it-girl into a freak.
Noah Hutchins, your typical bad boy who was jumping from one foster home to another, was trying hard to recreate the family he once had. When his parents died from a fire that destroyed his house a his life, he swore that he would never trust any other adult.
But when fate put Noah and Echo to meet, would they found what they had once lost in each other, or would they broke and became irreparable this time?

The plot of this book was very great. The event alternate between the past and the present, and it was told in the right amount and in the right time it became quite a nice twist to the story. I also love how the flashback that often happened when Echo was having a breakdown, or when Noah was reminiscing his long-lost childhood, it later became a major plot point or a revelation.

The story itself was a hell of emotional roller coaster. One time it was all happy and bright, and then bam, it was all gone. It was written quite nicely, and it was very easy for the readers to became deeply involved with it.

Echo Emerson, as our main character, was very interesting and very believable. Her personality was well-developed, and it was easy to sympathize with her. Although her past was vague and pictured only by a sentence or two, it was unveiled little by little as the story goes, and by the time it became clear what had happened to her, the reader already had some kind of connection to her that made them felt what she felt.

And another thing that made her extra lovable was that she had some flaw as well that made her seemed very human. She was selfish and blaming other for what happened, but also some redeeming traits, and it was very easy to picture Echo as someone who was truly a human and lived in this world.
Noah Hutchins, our other main character as well as Echo's counterpart, was very interesting especially for his gloomy past. I love how he, as a guy, actually had some feeling, and could cry and laugh and feeling heartache and all that. And when he showed his true feeling, that was actually a contrast with his scary appearance, he was very sweet and believable. And it was very refreshing to see that he would always put his family first even when he was totally in love, not becoming all dumb and oh-I'll-do-anything-in-the-name-of-love.
Beth, Noah's foster sister, was interesting and well-developed as well. She was just like Noah, but when she was sober, her personality was very believable, especially when she felt insecure and barked at everyone close enough to Noah or her other foster brother, Isaiah. Her fear of being abandoned was very raw and honest, and even though she was kind of annoying, I couldn't helped but to feel sorry for her when her miserable life was revealed.
Owen Emerson, Echo's father, was one character I found very interesting. He was the one guilty for what had happened at Echo, bot on her past and her current life. He was originally pictured as a cold-hearted and controlling father, but as they story goes, the readers got a glimpse at what he was truly like and what he truly felt deep down on his heart.

One thing I'm just a bit not fond from this book was Echo's mother. She was first introduced as a beautiful, artistic, and unfortunately bipolar. Her personality, when told from Echo's perspective, was actually quite interesting. But when Echo finally met her at the end of the book, her personality didn't quite match Echo's description. And although she was portrayed as a selfish woman, she didn't had any redeeming personality that made her believable enough.

Overall, if you love contemporary story that dealt with broken past, family, friendship, love, and learning to trust other when the world seemed like hell, you should definitely try this one. One of the best contemporary book I've ever read, and you really won't regret trying this book.

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  1. I absolutely loved this book when I read it! I'm so glad there's going to be a spin-off book featuring other characters from PTL.

    Thanks for the review!


  2. Im glad you finally read this book! I really liked it a lot when i read it too! I agree that the reader was able to sympathize with both Echo and Noah, and they both seemed pretty believable as characters!

    Great review
    -Theresa Jones

  3. Loved this book and can't wait for the spin-off! I have it on my kindle but haven't read it yet!

    I also loved Mrs. Collins -- she was such a breath of fresh air and I felt like she really wanted to help!

    My review is here: http://booksconsidered.blogspot.com/2012/12/review-pushing-limits-pushing-limits-1.html

    1. Yeah, I totally agree. Mrs. Collins was not like a typical therapist in many YA book out there. And your review was really lovely :D

      Thanks for your feedback!

  4. I'm so glad you liked this book. I really enjoyed it too. I also appreciate how we get to see so much of Noah's emotions.

    1. Thank you! And yeah, it's really interesting to read about his thought :D

  5. I loved this book too, it's one of my favorite contemporary YA books. Emotional roller coaster is a very apt description; I felt like I was on the ride along with Echo and Noah.

  6. I hesitated to read this book and then fell in love with it. Katie McGarry is just an awesome author. I love how her characters are easy to relate to and how they appeal to readers of all ages.

  7. I've been wanting to read this! I too thought this wasn't that great when I first heard about it, but after reading so many positive reviews I want to read it! I keep forgetting which book is the first in the series though! xD

    1. I actually underestimated this book too when it first came out (Because you know, the over looks kinda.. ehm) But it turns out such an amazing read! Hope you'll ended up loving it too! :)


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