Pushing the Limits
July 31, 2012
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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!
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!).