Review: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Author: Katie McGarry
Title: Pushing the Limits
Release: July 31st 2012
Reviewer: Mona Leigh
Source: Publisher (NetGalley)
Purchase: | Book Depository
“I won’t tell anyone, Echo. I promise.” Noah tucked a curl behind my ear. It had been so long since someone touched me like he did. Why did it have to be Noah Hutchins? His dark brown eyes shifted to my covered arms. “You didn’t do that-did you? It was done to you?” No one ever asked that question. They stared. They whispered. They laughed. But they never asked.
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.
This is one of those books that depending upon your frame of mind either grabs you or it doesn’t. It definitely grabbed me.
Fate has dealt both Echo and Noah lousy hands, and neither of them is doing a very good job of coping. Echo has scars on her arms and stomach, but no memory of how she got them. Rumors run rampant that either she’s a cutter or tried to commit suicide. Since she can’t remember anything to disprove the rumors, she can’t defend herself. Most of her former friends shun her, her parents divorced, her father married her former nanny, and her mom’s in a psych ward. Echo’s a gifted artist and good student, but now she’s so self-conscious she refuses to put herself out there.
Noah came from a happy, healthy family only to get separated from his younger brothers and lost in the system after his parents died in a house fire. Shuffled from one cruel foster family to another, he learns how to work the system and survive, but the price of survival is high, and he hides behind an arrogant, tough guy façade.
Echo and Noah are brought together by a therapist determined to help them. Seeing the potential in Noah, she asks Echo to tutor him. They clash, but because they each have their own private hell, they come to know and accept the other. Then they do the unthinkable … they make their relationship public. While it could be the kiss of death, it turns out to be a lifeline, something they can hold on to when the world gets to be too much.
Written in a gritty, contemporary style, the plight of the characters had me empathizing with them. I hated that Echo became so self-conscious that she withdrew into her own small world. And Noah lived in a hell not of his own making, almost blowing his chance at a better life. Anyone who has raised teenagers, or has been a teenager, will hurt right along with the two protagonists, but also rejoice with them in the end.