Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits #1) by Katie McGarry
Publication Date: July 31st 2012 by Harlequin Teen
Rating: 4 Stars
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance.
Find: Goodreads | Amazon | Waterstones
“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.
Pushing the Limits is a book you simply cannot put down. The mystery, tension and romance makes for an addictive read. This is the kind of book that will break your heart and then provide just enough hope to slowly put the pieces back together.
This book embraces the benefits of a dual narrative. I’m a big fan of this narrative style mainly because I like getting to see things from both perspectives. The dual narrative is especially effective in ‘Pushing the Limits’ because we essentially have three different plotlines threaded throughout the book; Echo’s search for the truth, Noah’s fight to be a presence in his brother’s lives and the budding romance between Noah and Echo. I loved that this book wasn’t solely focused on the romance because when it came down to it, it was their individual journeys that provided the brunt of the character growth. Both Noah and Echo have experienced some horrific tragedies so naturally the after effects are a continuous presence in their lives. These tragedies plucked Noah and Echo from a life of calm normality and forced them to face their issues head on and try and establish a new normal. The main consequence of the events is the lack of trust Noah and Echo now have towards the people in their lives. I loved that throughout the book we see both of them slowly realise that they are not alone in their journey and see how taking a chance by letting someone in can help relieve the burdens they’ve carried alone for so long.
The romance is exactly what I expected it to be; passionate, sexy and full of tension. I really loved the dynamic between Noah and Echo because when it comes down to it they understand how isolating the consequences of the tragedies they face can be. Together they help one another seek out the truth they’ve longed to find and also learn to let go of the demons that haunt them. Noah himself is the typical bad boy with a heart of gold and sometimes the melodrama was a bit too much for me and the overuse of “baby” was annoying at times but overall the relationship between these two is beautifully developed.
This book deals with a lot of heavy and dark issues. It emphasises the way a traumatic event can drastically change someone’s life. However, Pushing the Limits also emphasises how sometimes people need to face those demons head on and find the truth in order to move on. At the heart of this book are Noah and Echo’s journeys as individuals and as a couple to learn how to hope, trust and love after enduring such horrifying tragedies.