Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Book Review: Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry

  • Release Date: July 31st 2012
  • Genre: Contemporary/ Coming-of-Age
  • Pages: 384
  • Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Synopsis: 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.
Yay, my first Harlequin (okay, Harlequin Teen ) novel !

Echo Emerson is trying to honor her dead brother, as she recovers from a violent encounter with her bipolar mother that left her with plenty of scars, but no memory.

Noah Hutchins wants nothing more than to be a family again with the brothers he was separated from in the foster care system, but he just can't seem to stop screwing up.

When their paths cross they form a spitfire relationship and find a sense of closure they never knew they were looking for. Slowly, Noah and Echo learn  to accept the things  in life they can and can't control. The characters in the novel grow and mature, which is so important for coming of age teen fiction

Pushing The Limits delves into several contemporary teen issues including; foster care, emotional abuse, mental illness and survivors of fallen soldiers. The fact that these characters deal with these issues makes them feel very real. While I like that McGarry added these "tough stuff" elements I wish she had delved deeper into them. I wanted more detailed and intricate scenes about how the characters combated their obstacles. Towards the end it felt like a lot of the healing was glossed over.

The narration of this novel switches between Noah and Echo's POV.  Overall, I really don't think it benefited Pushing The Limits.The characters exist within the same space most of the time so, it just didn't add a lot. I think if the book was all from Echo's POV it would have added more intrigue and mystery to Noah and created more overall tension.

The strongest part of this novel  is the relationship between Noah and his foster siblings, Isaiah and Beth. In a panel at Teen Author Carnival last month, Katie McGarry said when she was growing up her friends were her family and I think that reflects very well in Noah's relationship with his foster siblings.

Pushing The Limits is a powerful stand out among contemporary YA novels that will leave readers with a renewed since of hope. Katie McGarry has does an excellent job with hee debut novel, and  I look forward to what she comes up with next. In fact, her next novel is called Dare You To and is Noah's foster sister Beth's story. I can't wait for this book because I did feel like Beth was an interesting secondary character with her own story to tell.

*I received this ARC from Harlequin at Book Expo America. Check back for a giveaway !


  1. Great Review! I'm reading this book right now and I'm loving it!

    You've been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award
    Lisa @ Shatterbooks

  2. A lot of people have recommended this book to me, so it's coming up on my TBR pile after Cinder. I'm looking forward to it, since I'm on a bit of a contemporary kick!

  3. I think I'm on a contemporary kick too !

  4. I keep hearing wonderful things about this book! I like that the book deals with such hard issues and situations and I'm a fan of alternating POV's. I'll have to grab this one and read it.


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