Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Published by: Harlequin Teen
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon
This book has an incredibly clichéd blurb that doesn’t do the story justice. The blurb on the edition I own seems like it was created to attract the Twilight audience, so I was a little apprehensive to pick it up. I bought Pushing the Limits almost a year ago, and decided that it had been gathering dust for long enough, and it was time to give it a chance.
The story alternates between the perspectives of Echo and Noah. Echo had a troubled past, because her mother is mentally ill and her dad has replaced her mum with Echo’s old babysitter who is expecting a baby. Echo’s brother Ares dies in Afghanistan, leaving Echo with no one. Her boyfriend tried to pressure her into sex, and her friends seem too obsessed with ‘normal’ to care about Echo’s problems. Noah is a rebel, with a reputation that speaks for itself. He’s a foster kid who is trying to gain custody of his brothers after his parents died. He, like Echo, has a problem with loving others – except for his two younger brothers. The two meet because of their counsellor, who asks Echo to tutor Noah.
The first thing that I loved about this novel is how hard hitting it is. It deals with incredibly serious topics in an engaging way. I was also surprised at the shear amount of swearing, drug and sexual content considering it’s written for a primarily young adult audience. However, I think that is exactly why I enjoyed this book so much, because it was just so different from everything else I have read before.
Throughout the novel Echo is trying to work out her past, because she has supressed the memory of the night that she got her scars and this was extremely intriguing to read. As Echo learnt more and more about her past so did we. The same went for Noah and his life. Both reveals were quite slow, but not slow enough that you would get bored and put the book down. In fact, once I actually got started I found it hard to stop! I just wished that there was a bit more closure, an development on Echo’s side of the story, because I feel like her family have a lot left to work for, but I do believe that there is a sequel novella that I will have to get my hands on to fill in some of the gaps. I wanted Echo to be more forgiving; I felt like she changed a lot when she got together with Noah, I’m not necessarily saying that this was a bad thing, but I feel that we’ve only just scratched the surface of Echo’s personality and I would definitely be interested in reading more about what happens to her in the future. Noah, on the other hand, had quite a lot of closure, but again there was a shocking reveal at the end of the novel that could change everything, so I need more more more.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I cried at least three times whilst reading, and it was always Noah’s adorable brothers, and his relationship with them, that got the tears streaming down my face. It’s supposed to be a light contemporary, but oh no! It’s so much more than that, and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in reading something a little bit different.
Another main point is the fact that all of the secondary characters seemed relevant to the story. They weren’t forgotten. Granted, we don’t know everything about their lives, but it was still satisfying enough to make me want to read the sequel which is from Beth’s point of view – one of Noah’s best friends – and I do believe that the third book is Isaiah’s story. Heck, I’d probably even read Pushing the Limits from Mrs Collins’ perspective and still love it. I’m invested in these characters, I’ll miss Echo and Noah, but they’ve had their sort of happy ending now, so I want to know what happens to the other misfits who deserve as much love as anyone else.
Overall, I have decided never to judge a book by its cover again, otherwise I never would have read this amazing story! I would rate Pushing the Limits four out of five stars.
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