Title: Pushing the Limits
Series: Pushing the Limits, Book 1
Author: Katie McGarry
First published: July 31st 2012, Harlequin Teen
Edition: ebook, 409 pages
Genre: Romance, Drama
Age group: Young Adult
Rating: ★ ★ ★
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.
To be honest, I feel neutral with this story as it didn’t strike much interest for me when I was reading it. The plot wasn’t any complicated and the pace of the story was very slow. I sympathized with the characters though. Echo is a nice and shy girl who appears to be dealing with quite a handful of problems at the same time. First it’s her brother Aires’s death in Afghanistan, than her father’s new and young wife Ashley who also happens to have been Echo and Aires’s babysitter is expecting a child, and the last and most emotional issue is that Echo was attacked by her mother nearly to death, the incident which left Echo with scars all over her body. Crazy, right? So the story on Echo’s part is basically of her dealing with this issue and also her trying to remember anything from the day of the attack. In fact it is said that Echo’s mind is not only blank about that day but the last time she tried to dig dipper in her mind for the answers she turned out at hospital having lost her conscience for several days. Well I can’t not feel sorry for her and wish she would feel better.
Then comes Noah with a lot of issues of his own. He like no one else at school can understand Echo’s pain from losing a relative as both Noah’s parents were killed in fire at their home. Noah’s now living with a foster family, but he is separated from his two younger brothers who were taken by another family, a lovely married couple who can’t have their own children. Noah main goal now is to get custody of his brothers when he turns 18, which I think is crazy. Is it really possible that an 18-year-old barely out of school guy with no good enough job to support 2 kids can be chosen over a well-to-do married couple? And the fact that this mentioned couple is actually really scared they would lose the babies is even more strange. That part of the story didn’t go well with me, though I did understood Noah’s struggles to stay with his brothers as his only family but it doesn’t mean that there’s only this one way out.
Both Noah and Echo desperately want to get back to normal as now they are considered strange loners. And while Noah has accepted that nothing could ever be the same, Echo is still fighting. The things she does for that seemed really childish to me. Well I understand her desire to contact her mother to not only find out the truth but to also reassure herself that her mother still cares about her. But her behavior at school and at home is very illogical. First she tries to get back with her so-called friend and ex-boyfriend who actually kept her side only when she was popular. And at home she always snaps at her dad and Ashley for every little thing. From the way she constantly insults Ashley and then remembers how this same Ashley was her favorite babysitter, the one to play with her and Aries and to care for them more than their own mother, shows that the situation is not what Echo makes it look like, but just like that it’s her way to have somebody to put the blame on for what happened.
The romance between Echo and Noah seemed like a natural progression to me, there were not any moments when I would think: “Hold on! This can’t be happening!” No, it was sweet as a first love can ever be. It was probably the only normal thing happening throughout the whole book. I liked how caring Noah was towards Echo and how she tried to help him with his brothers even if that meant she couldn’t find the answers she was searching for herself.
I also liked the ending a lot. Well, it was probably expected from the beginning that after all these misfortunes the characters had to go through the happy end was a promised thing. It’s great that both Noah and Echo found their answers and most importantly understood that though they would never get back to the past it doesn’t mean that there’s no bright future for them. So going forward is what was necessary for the both of them and it’s great that they did it together.
The whole story was an easy and quick read, no tough moments. But I can’t say that I would ever reread it as I like books with a more exciting plot and this one was quite predictable.