Monday, 11 August 2014

Review: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Title: Pushing the Limits
Series: Pushing the Limits #1
Author: Katie McGarry
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: June 1, 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance.


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.

To put it simply: I loved this book. Pushing the Limits is an edgy, emotional, genuine and realistic tale of two troubled teens, Echo Emerson and Noah Hutchins. From the alternating points of views we are able to get a glimpse of the serious issues each of them is struggling with and watch as the try to redefine their lives.

I devoured this book. It was riddled with raw emotion and is a heart wrenching romance as well as a poignant tale of family and identity. 

This book worked with me for many reasons, one of them being the complexity of the characters. At a glance, the main characters may seem like cliches. But they are so much more than that. These characters are in no way simple, or even easy to like at first. But as the story progresses, you fall more and more in love with them and their stories. Noah Hutchins and Echo Emerson are two damaged teens with scars, (both physical and emotional scars), but it is their personal demons that bring them together. 

The thing I loved most about this book was that the issues the characters faced were completely real issues and they make for real complications.

Echo Emerson is such a beautifully complex character. She's so much more than a good girl with perfect grades and serious family issues. My heart truly ached for Echo. Echo had lost her beloved brother Aires in Afghanistan. Something happened between Echo and her mother. Something that led to a restraining order. Echo doesn't remember the incident, but upon her arms are constant reminders, scars. Everything in her life has changed since then, and her friends want the old Echo back. The bubbly and popular Echo, not the one who constantly wears longsleeves and is in Child Protective Services mandated therapy. I connected with Echo, I grieved with her over the loss of her brother, understood her confusion, and sympathised with her longing and fear towards the incident.

In many ways Noah Hutchins is your typical bad boy. He's gorgeous but 'dangerous', he doesn't date but disposes of girls like tissues. However, there are also a few things that make him the atypical bad boy. He's been moved from foster home to foster home and is grieving over the loss of his parents while trying to keep a job so he can graduate and gain custody over his two younger brothers. (He was a little bit of a potty-mouth too but that's not the point.) Paired together, these two incredibly genuine characters make for a heart-wrenching romantic relationship.

The romance in the book was not too overbearing, it was a major part of the story but didn't distract too heavily from the plot and the character's struggles. Though they had incredible chemistry, Noah's nicknames for Echo such as "baby", and "my little nymph" were quite overdone and a little bit pretentious in my opinion. 

Katie McGarry delivered a poignant and heart wrenching romance, riddle with raw emotion and angst that saw two troubled teens navigate through very genuine issues and conflicts. I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone in search of a in-depth and emotional contemporary novel that deals with and explores many controversial contemporary issues.

5/5 stars! 


  1. I always forget that I have this baby, tucked away somewhere deep in the back. I've got to go find it and pull it forward on my TBR. Great review!

    1. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! There are really mixed reviews about this one but for the most part the majority of people enjoyed it. Thanks for all the kind words!

  2. Wow, wonderful review Maddie! I'm glad you enjoyed this book and I totally agree that it does deal with real issues which made it all the more powerful and emotional. I kind of found it average though.

    1. Thank you! There are really mixed reviews on this one but for the most part I think the majority of people enjoyed it. It wasn't AMAZING, but I found it to be pretty darn good. :)

  3. Maddie! I've just nominated you for the Liebster Award x.

    For more information on it, just visit my post:


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