Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Release: July 31, 2012
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.
If I had to describe what Pushing the Limits is like, I'd say it's a mix of Anna and the French Kiss romance, with a twist of rawness ala Pretty Amy. For those who haven't read either book, let me explain...
Echo has a lot on her plate to deal with: an overbearing father, a step-mother she hates with a baby on the way, and a suppressed memory of her mother (who tried to kill her). That's just to name a few of the issues that Echo is facing in Pushing the Limits.
And then there's Noah. His parents died in a house fire. Since then, Noah's grades have plummeted and he and his brothers have been put into the foster care system. Unfortunately, an outburst with his first foster parent now negates Noah's right to see his two younger brothers. He is doing all he can to win them back from a supposedly abusive family. He wants to help them remember the life they once hand.
Both characters are so broken and in search of "normalcy"--I couldn't help but love them as individuals and as a couple. Echo thinks the key to finding normal lies with a broken car and lost memories of her mother. Noah thinks that he can find normalcy if he gains custody of his brothers. The counselor ends up putting these two broken teens together and what follows is an intense, roller-coster relationship, that had me smiling, laughing, and crying along with them.
Honestly, this book is phenomenal. Noah and Echo's relationship develops rather quickly, but I found their chemistry so real, that it didn't bother me at all. There's an understandable connection. But I will admit that, at first, Echo does borders along the line of excessive angst. However, Noah's strength and determination helps Echo remember and helps her stand on her own two feet. I also found the mystery behind Echo's mother, and the mental and physical scars she inflicted, to be intriguing. Sometimes, withholding information from me (the reader), turns me off from a book. This wasn't the case with Pushing the Limits. With each breakthrough, my compassion for Echo grew--along with a hatred for Echo's father and stepmother. The ending was sweet, with all the loose ends tied. Simply put, I loved this book and I highly recommend it!
Thank you, HarlequinTeen for the e-ARC
RATING: 5 SLICES