Thursday, August 23, 2012

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: 25th July 2012
Pages: 376
Book Source: Harlequin Teen Australia - thanks Polina


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. 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.

My Thoughts:
Don't let the synopsis fool you this story has substance! Edgy, raw, realistic, bittersweet and above all ... hopeful.

I loved the alternating narration from Echo & Noah; they're messed up, both have a lot of heartache in their young lives but it's believable. I've seen tragedy, sadness and angst attach itself to friends and families like a leech so I really felt Echo and Noah's circumstances and connection was believable. Their stories are emotional, their pain is palpable and it's agonising watching Echo try to reclaim memories lost to a traumatic event; I wanted to give her a hug.

Most of Echo's so called friends abandon her as she struggles to rebuild her shattered life, but Lilah remains true. Noah's friends Isaiah and Beth are really likeable too, despite Beth's obnoxiousness, she's all tough exterior and protective but vulnerable none the less. 

There's typical high school clique melodrama but the only thing that really bugged me - by the end of the story I was totally over Noah calling Echo 'baby' ... maybe it's just an 'age' thing but uggh it drove me mad. That aside they're really sweet together, meant for each other really.

McGarry excels with her exploration of relationships - Echo and Noah's relationship with clinical social worker, Mrs Collins, each other, friends and family members. Complex, multi-layered relationships explored in a way that pulls you in and makes you care. 

A poignant debut that held my attention from start to finish - definitely an author to watch!

Dare You To (Beth's story) will be out in 2013

Check out Katie McGarry's website to find out more.


  1. Replies
    1. the general consensus on this one is very positive, I'm glad I read it

  2. What a gorgeous review! I've kind of been off YA literature these days, but your post has really piqued my interest. Though that "baby" thing would really bug me too. :-)

    1. Thanks Stephanie, I love YA but I still go through phases with it, fortunately I've read quite a few good ones recently :)

  3. I am a bit afraid of that clique drama cos I hate that

    1. There's the typical mean-girl drama but nothing to negatively impact my enjoyment :)

  4. I have this one on my shelf and have been really been wanting to read it. Going to have to move it up in the to read pile. Glad you liked it.

  5. I really loved this book, and you're right there was so much more to it than the blub let on. You are not the only one who commented on the "baby" part of the novel, I don't know why it didn't bother me. I think I was probably too wrapped up in the story to notice. Awesome review!

    Bonnie @

  6. I like my YA to have some grit to the story. This one sounds amazing to me!!!

  7. Great review, i enjoyed this as well

  8. You're way kinder in your review than I was, Teddyree :) And I agree all that 'baby' and 'my siren' comments drove me nuts. I'm kind of curious about getting to know Beth better as well, but I won't be running to the store to get it.

    I felt like the first part of the story was great but the second part a let down.

  9. Great review Teddyree....I think this book sounds perfect for my current yearning to read some more YA. Will add this one to my wish-list.

  10. I can tell it's going to be an edgy and intense read and that appeals to me. I think the dual narration helps add to this and it'll give me a chance to see both Noah and Echo as they are. Looks like a lot of relationships are explored and that's a great thing! Thank you for the review.

  11. I think this sounds really wonderful...


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