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Sunday, 10 May 2015

10194514

Book: Pushing the Limits, Katie McGarry
Series: Pushing the Limits Series, #1
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: July 31st, 2012

Rating: 5 stars

Echo used to be part of the popular crowd until something horrible happened to her and she ended up with scars up and down her arms. She can't remember what happened to her that fateful night and in turn, it has made her a loner at school. She no longer hangs out with the "cool" group and doesn't date the star basketball player anymore. All Echo wants to do is find out what happened to her that night so she could try and become normal again.
Noah used to be the popular kid in school; star of the basketball team, part of the popular crowd. But when his parents die in an ill-fated house fire, Noah loses everything. He's thrown into foster care and is unable to see his younger brothers. He has a reputation of being a bad boy at school; girl-user, drug-taker etc. But all he wants is to graduate, adopt his brothers and be a family again.

Noah and Echo end up meeting when their clinical social worker suggests that Echo start tutoring him. At first, Echo only tutors him so she can earn money, and Noah only accepts the tutoring because he needs good grades so he would be eligible to adopt his brothers. However, they are undeniably attracted to each other despite the fact that Echo is trying to regain her old life back and hanging out with Noah would be social suicide.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I loved the way it was mixed POV's between Noah and Echo, so we got to see how each one saw the other. It's a lot better than the girl swooning over the boy but not truly knowing how the guy interest actually felt about her. 

I loved Echo's character; learning about her troubled past and how she's got such low self-esteem due to her scars and her overbearing, controlling father who decided her every move.

“My father was a strange combination of drill instructor and Alice’s white rabbit: he always had someplace important to go and enjoyed bossing everyone else around.”

I really enjoyed putting the puzzle pieces together to try and work out exactly what happened to her the night she got her scars, however finding out the truth was downright heartbreaking.

Noah's character seems very stereotypical; a bad boy who has tattoos, does drugs, doesn't work at school and doesn't get emotionally attached. But I think this is all an exterior front he puts on at school. You can see throughout the course of the book just what a caring, selfless and generous man he really is. He desperately misses his parents and the life he used to have. All he wants is to do is gain custody of his little brothers, who you can easily see are his entire world.

At first you wouldn't think Noah and Echo would work as a couple but they were literally on fire! They had such good chemistry between them; they actually made the book what it is. They may have completely different backgrounds but they want the same thing in the end: normalcy.


"She wanted normal. So did I."
“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.” 


Due to the changing POVs, we actually get three different plot points instead of one. We have Echo trying to find out what happened to her, Noah trying to gain custody of his little brothers, and we have the plot Noah and Echo create together (which I will not spoil). However I will say that the way the three plots tie up together at the end is just beautiful.

I really liked the minor characters in this book too. Normally you see when a main character has a life-changing thing happen to her, she loses all her best friends and has only the guy interest as a friend (eg Just Listen by Sarah Dessen). However Echo had a really good best friend who stuck by her the entire time, which I really respected. Noah had also two friends whom he met through his foster family, and he considers them his family; ie brother and sister. I found that adorable especially in the way he wanted to stand up for his best friend/sister Beth when she has a rough time.

I was in love with this book from beginning to end. It was heart-warming and heart-breaking at the same time. If I had any complaints (which I don't, besides this one), it's that pet names are completely overused by Noah. He calls her "baby" to her face more often than her name, and when he describes he always refers to her as his "nymph", "siren" or the fact that she smells like cinnamon. After about the fiftieth time he mentions her odour, I just wanted to shake him and say: "Get over it already! She smells like cinnamon, that's great, now stop obsessing over it!"

Anyway... if you are a fan of Young Adult fiction or haven't already read it already, then I would definitely recommend it. Even if you don't normally read YA I would still recommend reading it and it will definitely get you into that entire genre. I can't wait to read Dare You To, the sequel which follows Beth, Noah's non-biological sister.

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