Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
384 Pages (Hardcover)
July 31, 2012
Source: Teen Author Carnival
"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.
Holy wow is this novel filled with emotions. From steamy sexy times, to painful therapy trying to uncover an event too traumatic to remember, Katie McGarry's debut, Pushing the Limits, really covers the full spectrum of emotions. This novel is a must read for any contemporary lover.
This is going to be a short review because I honestly cannot think of a single thing that I didn't like in this novel. Everything aspect that makes up a great contemporary story is here and the level of emotional depth is consuming. The main characters, Echo and Noah are each trying to recover from their perspective trauma, the only difference is Noah remembers and Echo does not. Little do they know that to get through their past, they need to do it together.
Noah and Echo have such a perfect and realistic relationship because their relationship is not perfect. Echo is having a hard time dealing with change. She wants normal, but she doesn't really even know what that is now. The closer she gets to Noah, the more she resents him for both making her move on and changing her perspective of normal. It takes a lot for these two to accept each other and accept the new versions of themselves. Their relationship is rocky, yet incredibly sweet. I loved Noah because he is definitely a boy (because so many YA heroes don't resemble real teenage boys) and in no way is he perfect.
Although this seems somewhat inconsequential, I really loved the structure of the novel. Each chapter switches between Noah and Echo's point of views, which really worked in this instance. In addition, the chapters are not titled or numbered, something that adds a surprising amount to the story for being something so little and easily looked over. It makes the story seem continuous; less of a story and more of the truth.
Overall? You'd be crazy if you skip over this one. Read it. Enough said.