Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Pushing the LimitsPushing the Limits by Katie McGarry


  • ISBN-13: 9780373210497
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 7/31/2012
  • Pages: 416
  • Source: Netgalley
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:

Pushing the Limits is a book that I won’t soon forget.  It is filled with dark memories, many secrets and new relationships.  Echo Emerson’s whole life has changed in a short amount of time leaving her alone.  She is hiding who she is after her mother attacked and almost killer her, her brother died in the military and her father married the girl who used to be her babysitter and they are expecting a new baby.  Echo is just lost in the world.  Noah Hutchins is all alone as well.  He was one the good kid, but after a fire left him and his younger brothers parentless, and he was labeled as trouble after hitting a foster parent standing up for the man’s biological son, he has no hope of gaining custody of his brothers but wants nothing less.  It would have been unlikely for these two ever cross paths until Ms. Collins, the new social worker, pairs them together so that Echo can earn money to repair her brother’s car and Noah can catch up to take the ACTs and apply for late admission to college.

What made this book so great for me was first and foremost the characters.  They are just so real.  The pain and loss.  The love and numbness.  The struggle and development.  It was all so well done.  The characters were full developed and not just the surface characters but how they interacted and what drove them deep down.  For me it was also that there were up and downs just like in real life.  So many stories out there only show one side of a character usually what is most crucial to story development but leave them feeling flat and one sided.  Not so with the characters of  Pushing the Limits.  Pretty even to this is the mystery that surrounds what happened to Echo.  It is what she is fighting to remember in order to put herself back together but wow as the little bits get exposed, I thought I would figure something out but I was always wrong.  I love an author that can keep me on my toes.  

The romance, okay I will be honest, the sexual relations, in this book as well done and much closer to adult romance books.  There is talk of the black lace that Echo owns and honest adjustments that Noah needs to make as his jean get a bit too tight.  I think that this was a very gutsy take in a YA book but for this particular story I think that it was a good choice.  Anything less would not have matched the characters and the world that had been built.  

Taking on the topic of a teen dealing with a bi-polar parent was not an easy one but Katie McGarry made it look easy.  This is going to be one story that will help a lot of teen who do not know how to deal with their own situations.  While Echo felt that she was alone, there were friends and people, like Ms. Collins who were there for her even if she didn’t realize it.  I am looking forward to more from this author and I hope for more about some of the other troubled teens from Pushing the Limits.

My Rating:

A big 5 penguins – I picked this up and could not put it down!

2 thoughts on “Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

  1. Awesome review and so glad you enjoyed it, I need to read ASAP.

  2. I’m reading this one right now and I only have 100 pages left of it. I have to say during the first half of the book I was wondering why everyone raves about this book. The beginning half of the book was good but it didn’t hold the magic that I was expecting from the story. Luckily the second half of the book is certainly bringing me that magic that the first half didn’t have. I do love that these teens are dealing with real life issues and the book seems in a tone that is more in line with real life. Many times books will glorify things but I like that Katie doesn’t do that with her characters. Plus it doesn’t matter if a person in real life is dealing with a house fire, death in the family, or something completely different, everyone has problems and this book is a good way to show how people face those problems. I personally love that this book is honest about their sexual chemistry and that this is more of a mature YA read. I love those mature reads 🙂

    Thanks for the great review, I can’t wait to finish this book.

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