Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry

Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry
Release Date - July 31, 2012
Publisher Website - Harlequin Teen
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 392 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received in exchange for an honest review from the publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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.
There are some books that you can't get away from. Those books that constantly pop up on your radar, and it seems like everyone is talking about them. Often, if I am being honest, those books scare me. Especially if I am late to the party. What if I am the odd person out? What if I simply don't love it the way everyone else seems to?  My hesitation before starting Pushing The Limits could easily fall into this scenario. Luckily, after finally succumbing to it's unavoidable presence, I ended up seeing exactly what everyone loves about this novel so much.

Echo is the type of character that grows on you. She, and every single one of her emotions, linger with you. She's broken, and damaged, and yet is trying so hard to hold herself together. You want her to succeed, and even want to protect her if you could. It's easy to see where Noah would feel the same, and that's when the story clicks. The characters and their motivations, and the chemistry between them all combine to create an addictive read. I would put the characters as the element that surpassed everything else. As easy as it would have been, they never come across as cliche, instead they seem all too real.

The secondary characters, particularly Isaiah and Beth, are fascinating. They make you want to know THEIR story, and get inside their heads. They both have issues of their own, and seeing them unravel, albeit briefly, made me anticipate the sparks that could result from their stories. It's immediately clear why their stories continued; the characters demanded it.

The unflinching truth that some events change you forever is seared within these pages. Echo will never be that girl she was before. No matter how desperately she tries. Noah, too, can never go back to the life he had before. It's this stark, clawing realization that these characters struggle with. The brushstrokes of hope that are throughout the story are just as powerful a message, and ultimately you see that even if you can't go back, you can move forward.

Katie McGarry's approach to the topic of teens and sex was a refreshing, and needed change from the usual. Kudos to her for presenting an actual safe sex talk between the characters, and making it seem authentic. This aspect is often glossed over, and sexual health is something teens need to discuss. It's a choice that I applaud her for making, and respect that it was organic to the story.

A story of two broken people coming together in a beautiful way to help each other heal. A sexy, heart crushing, but ultimately hopeful read that definitely made me see what the hype was all about it. To say that I am looking forward to continuing this series would be an understatement.

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