Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry
Series: Pushing The Limits #1
Published On: June 1, 2012
Published By: Harelquin Teen
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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..
The Pushing The Limits series has been getting some serious hype for as long as I can remember reading book blogs and watching booktube. For a while, everyone was talking about these books and I knew I was going to have to get around to reading them some time. Man am I glad I did!
This book is almost 400 pages and it honestly felt like it was only 100. I completely flew through it, and enjoyed every minute of it. I found myself needing to know what happened constantly and I just couldn't put it down. I often find with longer contemporary books that some parts drag or that it didn't need to be so long but definitely not with this book. There was something happening on every page and I didn't feel like it dragged at all, it was very fast paced.
Going into this I was just expecting, as I find to be quite normal in contemporary books, to only get one character's side of the story. It was a nice surprise to have the story from both Noah and Echo's points of view, I really loved that. I found it easier to get to know and connect with both characters when we got to experience situations from both perspectives, and really understand what was going on in the other person's head when a certain event happened. I really enjoyed getting to see both their lives outside of the developing relationship and experience both character's home lives and friendships.
Speaking of Noah and Echo, they were both really great characters. I enjoyed reading about both of them and, as I mentioned, from both points of view. I found it interesting, I don't really think enjoyed is the right word, to read about their personal struggles and see them overcome these throughout the book. I also found their relationship with Miss Collins, the guidance counsellor, very interesting, especially as she discovered how to get them to open up and the way she helped them through their personal issues.
One thing I really appreciated in this book is that the relationship problems weren't trivial. I'm so fed up of reading about couples who could solve all their problems if they just spoke to each other! With Noah and Echo, any problems they had within their relationship were important things that needed to be worked through, and they made an effort to talk to each other about them. That made a nice change.
I really loved the family aspect of this book, and the focus on different types of families. I have mentioned before that I love kids in books so Noah's brothers were absolutely my favourite characters in the whole book and I loved seeing him interact with them and the unusual relationship they had. I also really liked seeing how Echo's relationship with her father and Ashley evolved throughout the story. And then we had the emphasis on the fact that family is not always about blood when we got to see that Noah's family is essentially Beth and Isaiah, I found their relationship interesting as well.
Something a little different about this, that I totally wasn't expecting, was the added mystery element to the story. I really enjoyed trying to work out what happened to Echo and the mystery of how she ended up with the scars. Although I did work out a lot of what happened for myself while reading, I couldn't have worked out the whole story so it was a bit of an added shock factor that I wasn't expecting going into this book. I also liked how we got to see Echo working out what had happened seeing the memories coming back to her.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and loved the romance between Echo and Noah. As much as I loved all of the different dimensions to this story and seeing the many layers of the great characters, there was just something that made this not quite a 5 star read for me. I honestly can't pinpoint why. it just wasn't up there with my other 5 star reads. However, I'm definitely looking forward to continuing in this series.