|Cover Rating: ★★☆☆☆|
Series: Pushing the Limits, #1
Author: Katie McGarry
Pages: 392 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: July 31, 2012
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 one of those books that was receiving a lot of hype, and that made me a little reluctant to read it. However, I love "issue" books and I've really been enjoying the more mature YA books coming out, so I gave it a try. I'm really glad that I did! It's an extremely heavy read, but it pulled me in and I couldn't put it down.
Echo is an amazingly multi-dimensional character. Even though I can't relate to her struggles, I did find myself completely invested in her story. She's utterly broken, but she is trying to put herself back together and return to "normal." She's gone through something outrageously horrific, but can't remember a moment of it. The events of that day are slowly revealed as Echo meets with a therapist, but if only she can get her hands on her file to speed up the process.
Noah is fiercely loyal, but to a fault. Yes, it's possible to love someone too much, if it blinds you to everything else around you. He just wants his little brothers back after the foster care system separated them. He's seeing the same therapist as Echo, and wants to see his file to find out more about his brothers' foster parents. Of course, this forces them to work together, and their relationship develops into something so much more.
Even though their stories are tough, I really enjoyed getting to know Echo and Noah. Their pasts are heartbreaking, and I really wanted them to find some peace and happiness. Thankfully, they find each other. Their relationship isn't easy, since they both have their own personal issues to work through, and high school is an unforgiving place. I was expecting more romance though. The focus is mainly on their emotional baggage with their families, but that's okay. I just would have liked more steaminess!
This was a very emotional and enjoyable read. I'm definitely glad that I have it a chance, and didn't let the hype scare me off. It was a little on the long side and some scenes seemed to drag the pacing down a bit, but it still kept me engaged from page one.
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