Friday, August 17, 2012

Review: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Pushing the Limits
by Katie McGarry
Publication Date:  July 31, 2012
Publisher:  Harlequin Teen

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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.

My Thoughts:  I just want to confirm that all the wonderful reviews that I've been reading and seeing all over the internet about this book are definitely well deserved.  It is so good.  That being said, what can I write or say that hasn't already been said, other than reiterate the fact that this is one book you really need to read.  

Two teens, Echo Emerson and Noah Hutchins, are living the typical normal teenage life, at least the one most teenagers dream of, that is until tragedy strikes both of their lives leaving them scarred both physically and emotionally, those scars that are unseen sometimes much worse than those that are.  Echo doesn't remember the events behind the tragedy that left her scarred.  They tell her that it is her mind's way of protecting her until she is ready to handle the truth.  Noah, however, remembers every detail of what happened to his family.  He lives with it every day, especially when he thinks about his little brothers, Jacob and Tyler.  All three brothers are in foster care now, but Noah's experience has not been pleasant, and he fears his brothers' may not be either.  Noah has become the bad boy that every girl is dying to love.  He doesn't do relationships, just hook-ups.  He is totally smoking hot, and definitely someone Echo would normally  never get involved with.  Echo has isolated herself from her friends since the incident.  Now she is the freak that everyone seems to make fun of and gossip about.  The catalyst that brings these two together is Ms. Collins, guidance counselor/therapist/social worker, that neither Noah or Echo are happy about having to see.  Ms. Collins asks Echo to tutor someone for her, and Echo wants to make some money to fix her brother's car, so she agrees.  Ms. Collins wants Noah to get some tutoring so he can pass  his classes and possibly go to college.  Though he doesn't want to, Noah agrees.  Neither realize that the other will be the one they are paired with, and little do they know that this will bring them together in a way that will transform both of their lives.

This is not your typical love story, the emotions are intense and raw, they go from high to low, and leave you reeling.  You can't help but fall in love with both Echo and Noah.  The chemistry between these two is off the charts.  I felt like I experienced every emotion they did.  Katie McGarry has done an excellent job in writing these characters in a way that enables you to become part of them, and I haven't even touched on the secondary characters in the book, which are equally well portrayed.  As they each fight to find the truth in the midst of the overwhelming darkness and situations that consume them, they find each other.  The hot bad boy helps brings healing to the brokenhearted and beautiful popular girl, and she in turn cracks the hardness in his heart, a heart that has forgotten what it is like to feel, to be happy, and to love.  Despite their dysfunctional families and their emotional issues and trials, they become determined to find the normal in their abnormal, and through it all, despite the ups and the downs, despite the hurt and the pain, they find love, real love, the kind that is patient and kind and never ends.  Pushing the Limits is an emotional roller coaster, but it's so good you just want to ride it again.  I was completely consumed with this book and devoured it, unable to put it down.  This is one contemporary romance you won't want to miss.  

Favorite Quotes from Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry.  

“Her shoulders never shook. No tears streamed down her face. The worst type of crying wasn't the kind everyone could see--the wailing on street corners, the tearing at clothes. No, the worst kind happened when your soul wept and no matter what you did, there was no way to comfort it. A section withered and became a scar on the part of your soul that survived. For people like me and Echo, our souls contained more scar tissue than life.” 

"Luke used to give me butterflies. Noah spawned mutant pterodactyls." 

His lips curved into a sexy smile and I became lost in him. “I love you, Echo Emerson.”

“Wrapping my arms around her, I walked her backward into the brick. “Tell me you chose me, Echo.”
She licked her lips. Those green eyes smoldered, calling me to her. “I chose you.” 

“If you’re scared, tell me. If you need to cry and scream, then do it. And you sure as hell don’t walk away from us because you think it would be better for me. Here’s the reality, Echo: I want to be by your side. If you want to go to the mall stark naked so you can show the world your scars, then let me hold your hand. If you want to see your mom, then tell me that too. I may not always understand, but damn, baby, I’ll try.” 

“She gave me the same smile I'd seen on Saturday night. That type of smile caused men to write those pussy-ass songs that Isaiah and I made fun of. I'd sit in Mrs. Collins' office for hours and wake my ass up early to go to calculus in order to see that smile again.” 

“Normal. She wanted normal and so did I. "You know what's normal?"
"What?" She wiped away her remaining tears. "Calculus.” 


  1. What an awesome review! I love emotional highs and lows in the chemistry between characters. It sucks me further into the story than when characters just fall in love everything is perfect the end.

  2. Isn't it impossible to write a review for the book everyone has already reviewed?! You did a great job, Ellen. I can't wait to break open my copy of PtL.

    1. Thanks Andrea. I can't wait to see what you think about it.

  3. The first quote is my favorite! Sums up the book perfectly. I freaking LOVED this book!

    1. That is so true Nereyda. I loved it so much.

  4. I loved this book so so much!! And the quotes you've chose? WOW. I love them too :) :) Great review! ;)

  5. I have read this book five times now and it literally just touched my soul!! I really felt like I knew the they were part of my family...LOVE IT!! :)


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