Author: Katie McGarry
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
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
Normally I do not read contemporary books, like at all! The amount of contemporary books I have read can be counted on one hand. So when my friends on Starbooks all raved about this book for weeks on end I decided to put my scepticisms aside and give it a whirl. And by George am I glad I did. Pushing The Limits is hands down one of the absolute best contemporaries I have ever read. I do not give this praise lightly because most books of this particular genre end up being so predictable and a tad boring.
This is so far from the truth when describing Pushing The Limits. The story is dark and gut-wrenching, breath-taking and a beautiful show of strength and determination. The characters in this story have gone, and go through extreme situations that honestly is worthy of the title of the book. During most of the story i had constant tears in my eyes because I cannot imagine how Echo and Noah can go through everything and still actually have enough strength left to get up in the morning. PTL is not for people who love happy stories.
The story starts off where Echo meets her new school counsellor and they are having a family meeting about what can be discussed and what cannot be. Her father comes across as controlling and overbearing and her stepmother as a complete self absorbed idiot. Echo feels the same way. She is in therapy because her mother tried to kill her a few months back and she has no memory of that entire day whatsoever. She needs to remember in order to understand what happened and how to deal with it.
Noah sees the same school counsellor for his apparent anger management issues, the death of both of his parents and so that he can gain custody of his two small brothers when he graduates high school. You also see that this particular school counsellor actually truly cares about Noah and Echo and she forms a strong bond with Noah even though he doesn’t want to admit it. She also brings the element of humour to the story especially regarding her driving; Noah’s reactions to her driving left me laughing so hard.
Echo and Noah are forced together when Echo is asked to tutor Noah to give him the proper motivation that he needs. They end up automatically not liking each other. Echo thinks he is a mean jerk and a man-whore(which technically he is and honestly I would go all Katniss on their asses and scream I VOLUNTEER!!!! When having to tutor him, just saying) and Noah thinks Echo is a complete snob who thinks she is better than him because she rarely acknowledges his presence, even though she doesn’t really acknowledge anyone.
Eventually they become sort of friends, they fight more than anything and not cutesy-cutesy fighting, and help each other find the answers that they seek. For Echo it is what she can’t remember and for Noah it is the foster house his brothers are living in. This seems easy right? Just go get the files and your home free! Not at all! They face so many obstacles that you just feel their despair. During this process they fall in love and start dating, once again not easy. But you do feel how desperately they need each other.
Whether or not this story has a happy ending you will have to find out yourselves, I must admit that most of the time I was certain that it was going to be a depressing ending. This is not a story of happiness and laughter and frolicking-in-the-fields love. It is a true test of how far you are able to push the limits and Katie McGarry exceeds expectations.