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Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
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Pushing the Limits (edition 2012)

by Katie McGarry

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53410818,880 (4.26)9
Member:ericaligner
Title:Pushing the Limits
Authors:Katie McGarry
Info:Harlequin Teen (2012), Hardcover, 416 pages
Collections:Dreamspinner Press
Rating:****
Tags:young adult

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Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

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Warning: May contain spoilers

Echo Emerson was the girl in school that everyone wanted to be and every guy wanted to date, but when she up and left for months, only to return with scars on her wrists and arms, she's an outcast. Her father doesn't listen, her step mother (once babysister) is pregnant and her mother is no where to be seen. Why? because she's the one that hurt Echo.
Echos mother suffered with bipolar disorder since she and her brother were a kid, but after coming of her meds to paint one day, Echo wakes up in the hospital with no recollection of how she got there. One thing is certain though, her mother tried to kill her. In the space of 6 months Echo not only lost her mother but her brother too, who died in the army, leaving nothing behind for her but a car.

Noah Hutchins, once a model student and basketball player, is a stoner guy in foster care after he's parents died in a fire leaving him and his 2 brothers orphans. Fleeting from one foster home to the next because of violence, Noah is willing to what ever it takes to get back on the straight and narrow in order to hopefully get his brothers back, who at the moment he only gets to see for an hour of supervised visits fallowing his last fight.

Thrown together by the schools new guidance counselor, Echo starts to tutor Noah, she does it for money to do up her brothers car, and Noah needing to get his grades up. Both have been through hard times in the past two years, but by becoming friends and finally learning to trust someone, they learn to not only deal with it but move on. They find love, friendship, acceptance and Echo slowly gets her memory back while Noah figures out its ok to let people in

My thoughts? it was a very well written book dealing with horrific things. The characters each have a little story of their own and you really get a feel for all of them. (well.. apart from some of Echo's friends. But they aren't really a big issue in the book). One of my favourite characters was Beth, even though she did annoy me at times, and one of the reason's why I haven't said much about her is I know the next book is about her so I'm going to save what I have to say about her till then. ( )
  Staciesnape | Sep 14, 2014 |
Contemporary romance isn't my thing. I like my YA romance with a paranormal or more recently a dystopian plot. However, last year I picked up a contemporary YA (Where The Stars Still Shine) and I loved it. It turned out to be one of the best books I read all last year. I kept seeing Harlequin Teen retweeting things about this series, so I figured what the hell.

I'd give it a shot. And I'm glad I did cause wouldn't you know? I loved it to pieces. Fantastically written, gripping plot. I liked Echo right off though it took me a while to warm up to Noah and I still think he's a bit of an ass, but I did wind up really liking him. The story was amazing, and difficult at times. And I must admit I shed more than a few tears.

There was some wonderful descriptive writing. Engaging characters. Thoroughly engaging and amazing story. Looking forward to the rest of this series. ( )
  sunset_x_cocktail | Aug 20, 2014 |
3.5 stars. There was some good emotion here and a lot to deal with. Dings for all the unneeded swearing. And the whole "bad boy changed for good" thing was kind of annoying. There is not a redeemable person behind every jerk and I don't like it when girls are repeatedly told to go for someone who will probably always be a jerk. And one of my top pet peeves is the pet name baby. Super annoying. ( )
  Mirandalg14 | Aug 18, 2014 |
This book put me through an emotional roller coaster than I'm glad to have been on.

I got so attached to McGarry’s characters of Echo and Noah. Essentially, Echo was involved in a family tragedy her sophomore year of high school. After she returns to school with both mental and physical scars of a tragedy that she cannot fully remember, her old relationships and friendships become either seriously stressed or entirely disintegrate. Echo is desperate to remember the event that her mind was so desperate to forget. At the same time, the character of Noah has been dealing with his own issues. Freshman year his parents were killed in a home fire and, as a result, he and his two younger brothers have been living in foster care. Most significantly, they are in separate foster care and Noah is desperate to reunite the only family he knows. As both Echo and Noah navigate their lives in the aftermath of terrible tragedy, they grow together and learn to rely on each other. Unlike many books in the genre, these two face problems from every angle and it led some realism to the overall relationship. The plot itself was no far stretch from real life and thus made it easier to emotionally connect to these characters that life had so fiercely attempted to break. I am not one to cry easily or frequently and this book made me do exactly that. There are sexual references, some cursing, and other such teenage and life instances, so I would not recommend this book to people who are not mature enough to face those realities.

For a longer review or other reviews, check out: www.mylifeinverse.com ( )
  mylifeinverse | Jul 4, 2014 |
Pushing the Limits is a contemporary YA story about romance and friendship and dealing with loss. Echo was involved in an accident with her mother but the trauma was so strong that her mind has blocked it completely. All she wants to do is remember, but is she strong enough to handle the truth? Noah is still dealing with the loss of his parents in a house fire and is struggling to survive the foster care system. He was separated from his two younger brothers and all he wants to do is obtain custody of them so they can all be a happy family again. Echo and Noah have both suffered in life but are complete opposites of each other, yet they fall for one another just the same.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: YA contemporary is not my go-to genre. This book sat on my shelf for years because lets be honest, that cover screams nothing but high school! romance! angst! drama! to me. I was surprised that while the romance (and yes, all the angst and drama one could ever hope for) is a major part, the story possessed a depth I was not expecting. Echo and Noah were individuals that had been forced into growing up sooner than necessary due to incidents in their life and Pushing the Limits is their coming of age story that treads the line between YA and NA and will be well-liked by fans of both.

Pushing the Limits was entertaining and I read it fairly quickly, however, it didn’t manage to generate much in the way of opinion. I was overall a bit indifferent about Echo and Noah’s story. While I appreciated the complex and separate side stories of both characters, it was all too melodramatic for me in the end. The romance was given some time to develop so instant love wasn’t a real factor, but once the romance started it, the seriousness between the two progressed at the speed of light. There were the obligatory ‘I love you’s’ thrown around and the constant use of ‘babe’. While the characters stories possessed depth I didn’t feel that their romance did. The story suffered in pacing during the second half and would have benefited from a trim in length as it only succeeded in adding more of the already abundant melodramatic flair. Excessively long yet still compulsively readable, it disappointed by ending too predictably. I seem to have nothing but negative things to say, yet I did enjoy the read overall. It’d be worth it to give the author another shot to see how she progresses as a writer. ( )
  bonniemarjorie | Jun 21, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 107 (next | show all)
I never went to bed last night and I just slept for an hour or two this morning but ever since I woke up I was avoiding this moment.
I simply can't do that any longer but I have no idea how to start describing the raw emotions that racked my heart and soul while I was reading the book. I know that these are strong words but if you don't get it then you haven't read the book. This morning after my tears dried up I was trying to sum up something that will make you guys understand how much I loved this book but I'll just improvise now...
If I had to describe the book in a few words they would probably be real, believable, easy to relate to, emotional, heartbreaking! It made me smile, it made me cry and it settled in my heart as my favorite book so far. Definitely the most meaningful book I've read in a while!
It's really and unbelievable read. The way Ketie McGarry has described her characters, the world she's build around Echo Emerson and Noah Hutchins, that it was so easy to slip into their lives and experience everything right along with them (and when I say everything I mean it, the love, the heart-wrecking pain, the anger...).
The two main characters, were so different from each other at the time they met. Before their lives fell apart they were pretty similar but right now they are both living and their own personal hell, going trough it day by day. They were wrong for each other but the connection between them was so strong, due to the fact that they felt that pain I mentioned earlier. The both new loss and the were there for each other liken no one else could be for them.
Echo was the girl everyone new about, everyone talked about, everyone wanted her life and then she lost everything she cared about in just a few months. Her life changed inevitably after her brother's death and the horrible accident she can't remember.
Now her life consists of having very little sleep, doing what her father wants her to do, pretend she's normal at school and hiding her scars from the rest of the world. Simple, but that routine changed very quickly when the gorgeous, incredibly sexy and completely off limits, Noah Hutchins walked into her life teasing and trying to rattle her cage. That's when everything changed again for her, maybe this time for the better...
When you look at Noah, you see the sexy body, you see him as a stunner, a guy who uses girls for sex and that's all. But deep inside he is scarred just as Echo is on the outside. His fate was to lose his parents in a fire and his brothers to the foster system. A system he hated and fight with everyday. His one goal in life is to save money, find a semi-good job and take custody of his brothers. He can't stand the fact that he can't see them and he is hurting but by the way he acted with everyone you wouldn't be able to understand his pain. Only Echo did, she was the only one besides his friends that managed to break through the wall around his heart and she stole it away with her siren smile and guarded actions.

What I loved most about the book was the sincerity of the characters. Noah had a f****d up life and swearing was his a constant part of him. He rebelled and he messed up and he was far from perfect but he was real.
I particularly love one of his lines and here it is:
"It had been so long since I'd let myself fall for someone. I gazed into her beautiful green eyes and her fear melted. A shy smile tugged at her lips and at my heart. Fuck me and the rest of the world. I was in love."

I don't know what is it about bad guys that makes them so appealing. There is something amazing in each of them. In the end they turned out to have the biggest. kindest hearts and maybe that's because they've already been trough hell and the tough demeanor was his way of coping. But they always doubt themselves when it comes to being with the good girls and they always try so hard to prove that they're worthy. That makes them so sweet and gentle and pretty much every girl's dream. They don't even see the goodness inside themselves. Noah was just like that, trying, having doubt, expecting that Echo will snap out of her momentary daze and she'll leave. Little did he know, how much she loved him.
Everything in Noah made me smile from how good he is with Echo, and his brothers, to his love for Beth and Isaiah, to his tattoo as a tribute to his family(oh that tattoo alone made me cry).
And here's the quote that broke my heart:
"I want my mom and dad," I couldn't suck in air. "I just want my family back."

It really is impossible for me to describe just how I feel about this book. It was the best book I've read in a while, so full of love and heart-wrecking pain. It was an emotional roller-coaster and constant struggle but the characters fought their battle and survived! I loved every single second of it! ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!!!!
added by SBBCreviews | editSBBCreviws (Jul 30, 2012)
 
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"My father is a control freak, I hate my stepmother, my brother is dead and my mother has... well ... issues. How do you think I'm doing?" That's how I would have loved to respond to Mrs. Collins' question, but my father placed too much importance on appearance for me to answer honestly. Instead, I blinked three times and said, "Fine."
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Rendered a subject of gossip after a traumatic night that left her with terrible scars on her arms, Echo is dumped by her boyfriend and bonds with bad-boy Noah, whose tough attitude hides an understanding nature and difficult secrets.

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