Thursday, August 16, 2012

Review: Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry

Pushing the LimitsAuthor: Katie McGarry
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 384
Published: July 31st, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Source:  I received a copy for review from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

"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." ~ Goodreads

I have to admit, I had reservations about this book.  The cover and the title made it seem a bit cheesy and the synopsis didn't really grab my attention.  I'm not a huge fan of contemporary romance anyway so initially I decided to pass this one up.  Then I saw some super early reactions from bloggers whose opinions I generally tend to agree with and I decided to go ahead and give it a shot.  For being a book I wasn't even interested in trying at first I was really blown away.  The story was not cheesy in the least, the characters were dynamic and interesting and the drama sucked me right in.  I fell in love with Echo and Noah and found myself devouring this story.  Best of all, the book had real depth and the romance was not the least bit one dimensional.  I loved this book!


Story is told from both Noah's and Echo's perspectives:  I really love it when stories are told from multiple perspectives.  It really adds to the reader's understanding of a story and makes it feel more dynamic.  Echo and Noah each had their own unique voice and their own story to tell and it was really great to be able to understand Noah's view on the evolution of their relationship and not just Echo's.  I think this writing style makes you more attached to the secondary characters as well and therefore more invested in the story as a whole.

McGarry shows the humanity of all characters, even the "villains":  I was a little worried when I first started this book that the author would focus on the short-comings of Echo's parents and ignore the fact that their life experiences and concern for their children influenced their parenting decisions (this is a common pitfall in a good portion of YA literature).  McGarry left me pleasantly surprised when she really delved into why Echo's dad (along with other secondary characters) acted the way he did and why he made the, sometimes wrong, decisions that he made.
Realistic romance, not star-crossed lovers: Echo and Noah are from different worlds and they certainly don't seem like they are meant for each other at the beginning of the book.  Their relationship is tumultuous and they have completely different personalities.  I was very happy that instead of a perfect, simplistic "bad boy falls in love with good girl" romance they had a real connection and realistic arguments about their relationship.  I didn't feel like their love story was over-idealized.  Their issues and fights were all the more heart-wrenching because of this realism and it allowed for an even bigger pay-off.


An abundance of f-bombs:  If I've said it once, I've said it a hundred times:  don't overuse the f-bomb. Whenever you use a word over and over it takes away its meaning and impact.  This is especially true with "shocking language".  After awhile it just gets old reading "eff this, eff that" constantly.  For me, it isn't a matter of offensiveness, it's a matter of creativity.

Not enough closure:  I felt like there wasn't quite enough resolution with Echo's mother.  I would have liked to see that explored and settled more.  Then again, I suppose that was on purpose.

I am so happy I gave this one a shot.  There is enough suspense and drama to keep everyone interested but the romance is realistic and sweet.  Even if you don't love contemporary romance I would definitely pick this book up.  You won't regret it.


  1. I have this one towards the top of my TBR pile. I am now thinking of pushing it to the top of the pile. Great review!
    Tammy @

  2. I'm more of a YA fantasy/historical girl myself, but I've been curious about this one. Between the dual perspectives and multilayered plot you've described. I think I'll give this one a try. :)

    1. I felt the same way Julie. It's definitely worth a shot though :D