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Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

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Showing 1-5 of 112 (next | show all)
Pushing the Limits More reviews can be seen on my shared blog, Boricuan Bookworms
 
I have a thing for books about good girl meets bad guy. I’ve read my fair share of these books, and I think that I already know everything about them. But this book… well this book definitely surprised me.
 
Echo Emerson is the school freak. She used to be popular, until the day she disappeared from school and returned as a different person. A person who hides the scars on her arms and can’t remember much of what happened and how she got them. Suddenly, Noah Hutchins, the girl using bad boy, comes crashing into her life with his sexy smiles and irresistible looks.  She doesn’t want to fall for him and become another one of his plays, but he acts different with her. He understands and protects her and makes her feel normal. Too bad that Noah has problems of his own, and neither of them can fully love each other without risking important things from their lives…
 
Pushing the Limits isn’t only about what happens to the good girl when she falls for the bad guy, no. This book is about so much more than that. It deals with real problems and gives us real solutions. It’s about love, family, and most of all trust.
 
This story is told from both Echo and Noah’s points of view. They both were really nice narrators, but I found I loved Noah’s chapters more just because I wanted to know what was under his “tough guy” shell… and because of his crude honesty.
 
I didn’t know much about Echo Emerson, other than she kept to herself, she was smart, a redhead and she had big tits.
“Echo, you look…” he let his eyes wander down my body and then slowly back up. A wicked grin spread across his face. “Appetizing.”
 
Now Echo for me was a different story. Echo broke my heart in every chapter, because I hated seeing her so sad.
 

 
I just wanted to pick her up and hug her until she stopped being sad. Echo was the best friend I’d love to have.
 
Also, the romance in this book was beautiful. I loved seeing how Noah and Echo’s relationship developed into a wonderful wonderful thing. Noah has reached the top of my book boyfriend list, and will definitely stay there sharing the spot with another Noah I love as well…
 
It was nice to see that not only did Echo need Noah, but Noah needed Echo. They needed each other to keep sane. Echo was basically Noah’s first girlfriend, and although he was terrified, he took the plunge because he genuinely felt something for her.
“Echo, I can’t tell you what’s going to happen because I don’t know. I don’t hold hands in the hallway or sit at anyone else’s lunch table. But I swear… that you will never be a joke to me and you’ll be much more than a girl in the backseat of my car.”
 
Those words right there made me melt. Those words made me completely forget about how Noah was the biggest player in the world, and made me want to yell at Echo “WHAT ARE YOU DOING STANDING THERE! HURRY UP AND FALL IN LOVE!”.

 
Other than the romance, I loved how family was touched in this book. In most YA novels, the family basically doesn’t exist, if only to be a placemat in the story. Here, family is a very important aspect. Echo’s family is practically in tatters, and we get to see how they develop and mature around this. We see tons of character development, not only from Echo, but also from her dad and even her stepmom.
 
Noah’s family doesn’t stay behind either. Noah jumps from foster home to foster home, but now he’s finally stayed in a home long enough to actually form a bond with their parents. Problem with this is that he’s separated from his two brothers, 8 and 5 years old.  His brothers are the world for him, and it hurts him to be separated from them. It actually hurt me that Noah felt as much pain as he did.
 

 
Also, this book has amazing secondary characters. Mrs. Collins is definitely my favorite one. She basically saved Echo and Noah. Without Mrs. Collins and her therapy sessions and her overall understanding of teenagers, I'm pretty sure this romance would not have ocurred. I loved Mrs. Collins because she was the superhero of this story.
 
Katie McGarry is one of these authors who I’d love to meet and give a big hug. She created a wonderful story with wonderful characters and wonderful situations that just steals your heart. I borrowed this from the library, but I’ll be sure to buy this book (and it’s sequels) so I can read (and cry into, and yell at, and laugh with) as many times as I want.
 
Rating: Without a doubt, 5 stars. ( )
  mariannelee_0902 | Jul 1, 2015 |
Noah Hutchins and Echo Emerson each have their own personal struggles. Noah's been in foster care since his parents died and is determined to gain custody of his younger brothers. Known around school for the different girls hes been with, his all-around, leather jacket wearing hotness, Noah isn't making class his top priority.

Echo went from being an it girl: on the dance team, popular boyfriend, the right friends . . . to the talked about girl with the scars on her arms, always wearing long sleeves so no one will see. And she doesn't remember the incident that brought her those scars.

It wouldn't seem that they have much in common - Echo plays by the rules while Noah skips class and gets high - but one person will put them on the same path. Their attraction and the things they bring out in each other may keep them on it.


It's been a long, long time since I have read a debut that has was as engrossing, as compelling as McGarry's Pushing the Limits was right from the start. Both narrators, Echo and Noah, are equally unique and great characters. Each of them has more than a little something making them different from the typical YA character.

They both have their issues, but they aren't predictable issues, either. Yes, Noah is the rebel outsider in a leather jacket that girls find irresistible who actually is caring. But his why's and his background make him very much different from any other character I've yet to read about. While he presents, outwardly, with a devil-may-care attitude he's keeping secrets, that there's something deeper is only one of them.

With Echo having her own secrets, as well, some even secret from herself - the things she can't remember - it makes for a compelling read. You want to find out all of Echo's story and all of Noah's story, how things work together and, definitely, where and how everything will end up.

The characters have great chemistry - both the romantic chemistry as well as the chemistry present between completely platonic characters that just makes for great interactions and relationships. It was nice that lesser relationships didn't seem forgotten or skipped over in lieu of the bigger relationships getting the attention and others getting passing mention.

The beginning of Pushing the Limits was absolutely brilliant, the middle did get a bit slower. It didn't quite drag but it wasn't quite as amazing, but the ending definitely picked right back up!

Aside from the slowing in the middle, I think the only negative I have for Pushing the Limits - and this may partially be a carry over from another book, paired with this one - is how little Echo's constant lack of sleep seemed to affect her. I may have read things differently than the author intended but it seemed chronic sleep deprivation (over that time period) would have had more of an effect on Echo. It would, though, have made the plot all funk-y and my noticing/wondering is based on more than PTL, so . . . take from it what you will.

Pushing the Limits was released yesterday, if you somehow have not yet gotten it or decided to read it, you absolutely should!

9/1-
  BookSpot | May 18, 2015 |
Wow. So I was a bonehead and had requested the later books in this series without having read this one. So, when this one popped up as 31 cents on Kindle, I jumped right on that.

To give you a bit of perspective... This was about 400 pages, I finished this in less than 24 hours. I cannot believe I did that, but I also couldn't put this book down no matter how hard I tried. I stayed up until 4 in the morning reading. Then I read when I should have been doing, um, other things. Granted, it is Bout of Books week, and I have a goal in mind for a number of pages to finish this week, but I am certain the result would have been the same regardless of what time it was.

Echo and Noah's stories are both heartbreaking and awe-inspiring. The amount of heartbreak in this book brought tears to my eyes on so many occasions, I have no idea how I have tissues left in my house.

The character development in this story was spot on, and I could imagine being a part of the story, sitting down and having coffee with the characters and being a part of their lives. I could imagine living through the experiences, both the beautiful and the horrifying. It felt so real to me, I imagine the story and the characters and the events will disturb my sleep for at least a night or two.

Want to know what happens and how the story ends? Get the book. Seriously, you really need to read this one. I don't care who you are, this book is a must read for everyone. There is a bit of language, but the story wouldn't have worked without it. It needed to be there. I don't say things like that often, but in this case, it's true.

Read the book, then come back and tell me what you think. I love hearing from people about stuff I have read. ( )
  destinyisntfree | Feb 28, 2015 |
Wow. So I was a bonehead and had requested the later books in this series without having read this one. So, when this one popped up as 31 cents on Kindle, I jumped right on that.

To give you a bit of perspective... This was about 400 pages, I finished this in less than 24 hours. I cannot believe I did that, but I also couldn't put this book down no matter how hard I tried. I stayed up until 4 in the morning reading. Then I read when I should have been doing, um, other things. Granted, it is Bout of Books week, and I have a goal in mind for a number of pages to finish this week, but I am certain the result would have been the same regardless of what time it was.

Echo and Noah's stories are both heartbreaking and awe-inspiring. The amount of heartbreak in this book brought tears to my eyes on so many occasions, I have no idea how I have tissues left in my house.

The character development in this story was spot on, and I could imagine being a part of the story, sitting down and having coffee with the characters and being a part of their lives. I could imagine living through the experiences, both the beautiful and the horrifying. It felt so real to me, I imagine the story and the characters and the events will disturb my sleep for at least a night or two.

Want to know what happens and how the story ends? Get the book. Seriously, you really need to read this one. I don't care who you are, this book is a must read for everyone. There is a bit of language, but the story wouldn't have worked without it. It needed to be there. I don't say things like that often, but in this case, it's true.

Read the book, then come back and tell me what you think. I love hearing from people about stuff I have read. ( )
  destinyisntfree | Feb 28, 2015 |
Katie McGarry has done an extraordinary job creating a riveting journey for her readers with the story of Echo and Noah. I found myself gripping the edge of my seat while reading this book. Both Echo & Noah have extremely heart wrenching pasts, which, allows the reader to explore the hardships both characters have had to face throughout their lives. McGarry takes the reader on an emotional rollercoaster as we experience the thrilling highs and devastating lows Echo and Noah must face if they wish to be together and overcome the odds. I would highly recommend this novel to anyone who loves a good emotional journey, within an amazing romantic novel.
  ReviewsbyPaige | Feb 23, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 112 (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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