Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Review: Pushing the Limits ( Pushing the Limits #1 ) by Katie McGarry

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

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.




A beautiful YA story that reminds me so much of Easy by Tammara Webber. Both not only gave us a truly amazing story about young love, but also had much to say in regards to current society values and teenage struggles.

Echo Emerson, a high school senior who used to be with the right crowd and dated the cool guy. She was Little Miss Perfect who was discipline and excel in studies. However, she had been a social outcast upon returning to school with a scarred arm that she constantly hide from prying eyes. A tragedy that happened within her family resulted in her suppressing the memory of the day of the incident and Echo had no idea what happened to her beside it involves her bipolar mum. Currently living with her control freak of a dad and her stepmother, Ashley who used to be her babysitter, Echo craves normalcy.

Noah Hutchins is a student who hangs out with the wrong crowd and love smoking pot. After the death of his parents, he was separated from his two younger brothers and now living in his fourth foster home with his best pal, Isaiah and occasionally, Beth. His dreams of playing baseball and college was tattered when his sole mission now is to graduate, get a job and secure a custody to his brothers.

Although both Echo and Noah were classmates, they didn't get into each other radar until she was assigned to be his tutor upon request from Mrs. Collin, their school's therapist. Noah plainly dislike the idea of wasting his time, but upon seeing Echo's scarred arm, something makes him wants to know her better. They even hashed out a plan to help steal information from each other files at Mrs. Collin's office.

Echo desperately wanted her memory back and every therapy session with Mrs Collin brought her closer to the truth. But at the same time, Echo is worried of her mental breakdown and whether will she suffered the same disease as her mother. Being with Noah brought back a sense of normalcy she craved. She wants to be cherish, be lovable and able to date a guy she like despite having an ugly scarred on her arm. Noah gave her that.

Noah listened to me. He made me laugh and he made me feel special. He was strong and warm and caring and ... everything.

Echo makes Noah wants to be a better person for her and for his brothers. If he has any hope of gaining custody on his brothers, he needs to show that he is an upstanding citizen. Noah busied his life with juggling between studies, flipping burgers, fighting for his brothers and trying to get it on with Echo. The guy had his plate so damn full. Noah is a total swoon worthy teenage, it seems like everything he say or do will either had me grinning, melt in a puddle of mush or sigh in deep contentment.

Echo felt like a heavy drug. The kind I avoided on purpose - crack, heroine, meth. The ones that screwed with your mind, crept into your blood and left you powerless, helpless.

"Tell me you chose me, Echo."
"I chose you."
"You will never regret it. I promise."

I love seeing Echo and Noah together and thank God it didn't take long for them to come around to admit their feelings for each other. They just clicked together so well and both understand each other lives problem. Every little tidbits of secrets they shared with each other bring them closer together.

For one moment, we escaped hell. No teachers, no therapist, no well-meaning friends, no nightmares - just the two of us, dancing.

There is a ongoing mystery regarding how Echo got her arm injured but I kind of figured it out since the beginning and mind you there is no presence of major twist. Echo and Noah relationship was tested and they question whether will they ever be good enough for each other. Noah also faces some tough decisions to make in regards with his brothers and he would give up everything to have them back in his life.

This is such a great YA read that had me hooked from start to finish. Both the main characters were instantly likable, their interaction and relationship was realistic without over the top drama or immature decision. The story gave us a glimpse into the ugliness of high school politics and Echo's pressure to fit in, the imperfection of the state system and Noah's constant battle against it. I always thought being an adult sucks, but being a teenager sucks even worst. Seriously, I had no idea how things will work out in the end because there is so much roadblock everywhere. But finally everything fall into place and for once, Noah and Echo can live their dreams.

"Because growing up means making tough choices, and doing the right thing doesn't necessarily mean doing the thing that feels good."

Rating 5/5