Girls*Heart* Books: 'Pushing the Limits' by Katie McGarry: Review

Thursday, August 2, 2012

'Pushing the Limits' by Katie McGarry: Review

Published by Mira Ink 
Available on August 3rd, 2012

"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.
(from Goodreads)

Pushing the Limits is the brilliant debut of author, Katie McGarry. I received this book for review from Mira Ink and I have to admit I did a little happy dance when it arrived. The synopsis hooked me from the moment I read it. I was eager to see if it would live up to my expectations.

Set in Kentucky, the story spans the course of several months as it follows the lives of the two main characters; Echo Emerson and Noah Hutchins. Thrown together by their new school guidance counselor, these two couldn't be more different to the casual observer.  However, appearances very rarely tell the real story and thankfully, this is no exception. 

The story is teeming with conflict of varying forms. Both the main characters are struggling to overcome gargantuan personal traumas while dealing with the normal (and some abnormal) high school and family issues. Almost nothing is easy for either of one of these teens. All they really want is to find their way back to 'normal' whatever that entailed for them in the past.  It makes for a turbulent read from start to finish.

We see the story unfold from both main characters' perspectives and it adds even more intensity to the tale. It also helps to fill in gaps, unravel mysteries and move the plot forward towards its shattering climax. There was literally not a single dull moment in the entire book. My husband definitely noticed, merely from watching me read; mostly due to my outbursts of laughter and tears (which sometimes happened simultaneously). Eventually he stopped trying to get my attention. 

The characters are what make this story shine, in my opinion. They are beautifully crafted; flawed and authentic in their depth. Even though Echo and Noah are our main focus, the secondary players are just as well portrayed. Whether you loved or hated them, you really felt connected to them. It made reading this book a pleasure for me. 

This book was an emotional powder keg and you could never be sure which end of the spectrum would be ignited. Fast paced with twists that keep you guessing, it was simply breathtaking to behold. Powerful and poignant; this tale will break your heart all while proving that being yourself is as good as it gets. 
My Rating: 

You can find Pushing the Limits:

About the Author: 

KATIE MCGARRY was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, and reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Follow Katie McGarry:

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