Pushing the Limits
By: Katie McGarry
Published: July 31st 2012 by Harlequin Teen
Obtained: Library - But I'm definitely buying this one!
Rating: 5 Stars
Categories: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Drama, Five Star Rating.
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What the Back of the Book Says: 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.
My Thoughts: I am not the contemporary-romance type, so I was majorly surprised when I realized how much I loved this book. And while there is definitely romance, there is so much more to this novel than I ever expected. It's hard to even summarize Echo and Noah's characters because they are so multi-dimensional and just probably two people who's story I'd love to see in a movie. This book could easily become a movie.
What I love about this book is that the character's are all so real. I mean, they have different backgrounds and different struggles, but they sympathize because they share the same feelings and emotions. When both feel at their lowest and most depressed and feel that they are fighting their toughest battles, they find each other. The relationship between Echo and Noah is unlike most young-adult book relationships. They don't fall instantly in love. They do admit to an attraction, but they don't just jump in and fall in love. They slowly build their love on trust, and friendship. They build the type of relationship that can last the distance.
Echo is not only fighting a battle within herself, but with the fact that something happened to her, at the hands of her mother, and she cannot remember anything. No one will tell her what really happened either. She is living at home with her father and step-mother (who used to be her babysitter until her parents divorced) and dealing with the death of her brother Aires and the birth of her soon-to-be step-brother. She's lost most of her friends at school since she's become very self conscious since the accident, which left nasty scars up her arms. Everyone assumes she cut herself and attempted suicide. They all want her to be "Normal" again, and try forcing Echo back with her ex-boyfriend Luke. Things are starting to get back to normal - somewhat - but things come to blows when Luke and Noah get into a fist fight - and Echo ends up getting knocked down.
Noah is dealing with the death of his parents and the subsequent placement of his little brothers' in foster care. Noah's been deemed "emotionally unstable" since he punched his first foster father for hitting his own son, and his brothers' foster parents are trying very hard to keep him from seeing Jacob and Tyler. Noah's determined to graduate high school and get his own apartment and work full time so that he can get custody of his brothers. Noah's currently living with foster parents Shirley and Dale, their niece Beth, and another foster kid, Isaiah. Noah considers them his brother and sister.
Once Noah and Echo meet and start dating, they begin to support each other, and help get each other through tons of really tough things. They both are devoted to one another, and having someone that you can truly love and trust by their side regardless of whats going on is really endearing. I really believe their story was one of my favorite to read about ever.
For anyone who's ever struggled in life - regardless of what it was with; friends, family, etc - this book is one you can easily find something to relate to and will find yourself unable to put the book down, craving more and more and more. I think the ending was perfect and I am pretty sure that I would read absolutely anything that McGarry writes. Her writing is amazing and wonderful and she is incredible with writing her characters and the situations that she puts them in.
My final words are that you HAVE to read this book. HAVE TO.