Publication Date: 25th July 2012
Book Source: Harlequin Teen Australia - thanks Polina
Synopsis: 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. 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.
Don't let the synopsis fool you this story has substance! Edgy, raw, realistic, bittersweet and above all ... hopeful.
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.
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.
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.