AUTHOR Katie McGarry
PUBLICATION July 31, 2012 by Harlequin Teen
READ July 11 - 13, 2012
"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.
"An edgy romance that pulls you in and never lets go. I was hooked!"-Gena Showalter, New York Times bestselling author of the Intertwined series.
A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Pushing The Limits was a strange beast for me. I've seen people raving about it which of course sparked my interest immediately. Did I see the charm? Yes, it's a heavy novel and through Noah and Echo's terrible situations they have a very deep connection that at times gave me butterflies. Did it work for me as well as it did for the ravers? No, it didn't.
Echo was the popular girl at school until one day she woke up with a restraining order against her mother and scars all up and down her arms. She goes back to school a recluse who wears long sleeved shirts and gloves at all times and is deemed a "cutter." I felt terrible for Echo, something so terrible happened to her that she actually repressed an entire day of her life to block out the incident. Waking up with a gaping hole in your brain where your actions of an entire day should be is unimaginable, not to mention that the one person who should love you unconditionally put her in this situation. Her father was much more interested in his new, young girlfriend than he was in her and when he did show some interest he was more of a drill sergeant dictating her every move. Through the new school councilor Echo is pushed together with the schools hottie stoner Noah Hutchins.
Noah also had a rough go, his parent died in a house fire and he was thrown into foster care and separated from his little brothers. He was once a promising student and athlete but the system just wore him down to the point where he gave up and became a cliché. Watching Noah start to change and realize that his life was heading down the wrong path was refreshing and definitely interesting. The unbelievably sweet and selfless things that Noah did for Echo were exactly what any girl could hope for. He gave her his jacket when she was cold and went without, he gave her his food when she was hungry and didn't have money on her, and he pushed her to realize that she was being treated terrible by her friends. What really worked for me in this novel was Noah and Echo's councilor Mrs. Collins. She was an awesome, flake of a lady who was always there with advice but never pushed the kids. She took the approach of planting the seed but letting it grow on its own.
What didn't work for me in this novel were the relationships. Echo's friends were TERRIBLE and it's not like they were even secretive about it. Grace straight up refused to talk to Echo in public because it would bring her social status down, and yet Echo was all about trying to be her friend and I just didn't buy it. Another relationship that bothered me at times was Echo and Noah's, the thoughts that ran through his head when they were together were very unsettling. There's a scene where Noah takes Echo to a party at his house and when Echo sees one of his friends they realize that they used to have art classes together and were pretty close, they hug they catch up and Noah has a mini freak out in his mind. Noah actually puts his arm around Echo to show she is his property, his girl. I did not like that at all, it wasn't endearing and it was definitely not hot. There were so many instances where he laid claim to Echo and I'm not sure if it was just the thoughts that he had while doing it, or the actual act but it rubbed me the wrong way every time.
While I did appreciate the heavy tone and subject matter in Pushing The Limits, the majority of the relationships just didn't work for me. It really sucks too because Noah was the perfect bad boy that I would generally fall head over heels for, I just did not like how he constantly felt the need to mark his territory and his thought pattern was a total turn off. I can definitely see the allure of this one and I think a lot of people will love it, unfortunately just not me.