Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Review of 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.


 Echo's lack of memory is a pretty good indicator of exactly how traumatic her attack was. The author never made any secret of who did it and from the bits of history we are provided with, you can pretty much form an accurate picture of why it happened. I was appalled at the high school dramatics surrounding Echo, the fact that the people who were supposed to care so much about her--her friends and her boyfriend--were all talk, with the exception of one. Basically, when the going got tough, they hit the road and left her to deal with her issues alone. Her ex boyfriend played some game where he wanted her back, but he didn't. When Echo played the game right, it was worth his while to be with her again, but when he saw her scars, he couldn't handle it.

Noah Hutchins has his own drama to deal with since his parents died in a terrible fire and left him and his brothers to fend for themselves in foster care. Separated by the state, Noah has experienced nothing but abuse and poverty, and so he can't wait to turn eighteen so he can rescue his brothers, but he has a long way to go himself. Seeing the same school counselor as Echo, he finds himself dropped into her lap as she is hired to tutor him. Their connection pretty much fails right off the bat, but when Noah realizes their friendship can benefit them both if they work together, they form a loose connection.

I was pleased to see how these two came together. It was slow and methodical, neither one wanting to become too involved with the other and yet it crept up on them anyway. Both holding onto their secrets, Noah doesn't really think past the moment when it comes to Echo, he just focused on his brothers and one day becoming a family again, while Echo is struggling to keep herself from falling apart mentally as she is subjected to counseling sessions that threaten to break her last shred of sanity. If anyone was pushing the limits here, it was definitely Echo. Noah was the glue that held her together. The story was perfect for a teen romance. It was the definition of how far people will go to protect those they love, and how blind a person can be when that love it reflected back at them.

I really enjoyed this story, and the high praise reviews pretty much say it all.

 Pushing the Limits is rated 4.6/5 and is available on Amazon.

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