Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Pushing the Limits ~ Katie McGarry earc review

Pushing the Limits
July 31, 2012
384 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from TBD/or Amazon

Noah Hutchins and Echo Emerson each have their own personal struggles. Noah's been in foster care since his parents died and is determined to gain custody of his younger brothers. Known around school for the different girls hes been with, his all-around, leather jacket wearing hotness, Noah isn't making class his top priority.

Echo went from being an it girl: on the dance team, popular boyfriend, the right friends . . . to the talked about girl with the scars on her arms, always wearing long sleeves so no one will see. And she doesn't remember the incident that brought her those scars.

It wouldn't seem that they have much in common - Echo plays by the rules while Noah skips class and gets high - but one person will put them on the same path. Their attraction and the things they bring out in each other may keep them on it.

It's been a long, long time since I have read a debut that has was as engrossing, as compelling as McGarry's Pushing the Limits was right from the start.  Both narrators, Echo and Noah, are equally unique and great characters. Each of them has more than a little something making them different from the typical YA character.

They both have their issues, but they aren't predictable issues, either. Yes, Noah is the rebel outsider in a leather jacket that girls find irresistible who actually is caring. But his why's and his background make him very much different from any other character I've yet to read about. While he presents, outwardly, with a devil-may-care attitude he's keeping secrets, that there's something deeper is only one of them.

With Echo having her own secrets, as well, some even secret from herself - the things she can't remember - it makes for a compelling read. You want to find out all of Echo's story and all of Noah's story, how things work together and, definitely, where and how everything will end up.

The characters have great chemistry - both the romantic chemistry as well as the chemistry present between completely platonic characters that just makes for great interactions and relationships. It was nice that lesser relationships didn't seem forgotten or skipped over in lieu of the bigger relationships getting the attention and others getting passing mention.

The beginning of Pushing the Limits was absolutely brilliant, the middle did get a bit slower. It didn't quite drag but it wasn't quite as amazing, but the ending definitely picked right back up!

Aside from the slowing in the middle, I think the only negative I have for Pushing the Limits - and this may partially be a carry over from another book, paired with this one - is how little Echo's constant lack of sleep seemed to affect her.  I may have read things differently than the author intended but it seemed chronic sleep deprivation (over that time period) would have had more of an effect on Echo. It would, though, have made the plot all funk-y and my noticing/wondering is based on more than PTL, so . . . take from it what you will.

Pushing the Limits was released yesterday, if you somehow have not yet gotten it or decided to read it, you absolutely should!

Rating: 9/10

Other books you might also enjoy: Take Me There by Carolee Dean and Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

thank you to Harlequin and NetGalley for my egalley

Interested in starting Pushing the Limits? There's a read-a-thon hosted by Candace Book Blog, Natalia at Dazzling Reads, The Page Turners, Mary at The Book Swarm and The Bewitched Bookworms. Click the button below to go to the post on Candace's Book Blog detailing everything (includes some giveaways!).


  1. I couldn't help but think of PERFECT CHEMISTRY when I first read the synopsis of this book. That being said, I have read other books that equaled itself to PERFECT CHEMISTRY and didn't even come close to being as good (were actually pretty bad in my opinion). But I'm actually currently reading PUSHING THE LIMITS right now - finally came up on my Kindle, and I am loving it so far. While it does remind me of PERFECT CHEMISTRY so far, I know there is a different and darker twist.

    I also find that novels such as this (two people from different worlds coming together for a romance) work best when they are told from both points of views.... what do you think?

    1. There's definitely a touch of Perfect Chemistry to it (and your comment reminded me that I forgot to include me 'you might also enjoy' section in this review - thanks!).

      I do think that the dual perspectives help novels where the main characters seem so disparate, at least at first. You get the perspective of both of them - including things they're hiding from everyone, possibly even themselves.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!


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