Friday, 15 June 2012

Pushing The Limits By Katie McGarry

Pushing The Limits
Release Date: 6th August 2012
Publisher: Mira
Format: Paperback
Pages: 392
Source: Review Copy from the Publisher


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.

Review: I honestly don’t know where to start this review. Pushing the Limits is one of the best debut novels I have had the pleasure of reading. It is so much more than a story, it is a novel about the harsh reality of what life can be and how even when things seem to be the worst, you can make it out in the end. It’s full of tough decisions and life lessons, but what makes them even better is how these characters react to each hard choice they’ve made. The characters were so real; even now they are haunting my thoughts. It pains me to call them characters as they were so much more than that, they were people. People whose lives were hard and they struggled to managed. The raw pain you feel for them, is beyond anything I’ve ever felt while reading a book. I was on many occasions on the verge of tears. This is very rare for me. I couldn’t help it though the stories of each character were so harshly tied together; they clung to each other for support. The way life is reflected in this book, is in a word perfect.

Unlike many other YA books we don’t get the queen bee with boyfriend troubles, we get a girl called Echo whose been scarred for life but can’t remember a thing about how it happened. She’s on the brink of losing her mind but she remains strong and keeps it together. To me this girl’s story was so much more important than thousands of others. We also get Noah’s perspective. Life’s dealt him a bad hand too. His parents died a few years ago, leaving him and his brothers to be shipped to different foster homes. The pain Noah feels is so raw, his life is hard but he still tries to be confident and put on a brave face. But looking strong on the outside doesn’t mean you’re not screaming for help inside. Both of them are damaged goods, both think nobody could ever love them now they are both scarred in different ways. The pair are more alike than they think, they have a chemistry that set’s both their hearts on fire, and leaves the reader flustered and blushing. Their relationship is perfect but also heart-breaking. Their futures are haunted by the past, making it hard to move on.

Echo tried to remain strong even when people stared at her gloved hands. She was stubborn and wanted to get her own way, she was tired of her father pushing her around so she didn’t end up like her mother. Echo is now one of my favourite protagonists. She was strong even when she just wanted to hide. Her life shattered the day her bipolar mother tried to kill her, making things worse Echo doesn’t remember a thing from that whole day, she only knows that she has scars on her arms. Nobody will tell her what happened. Her brain has hidden the memories from her, and she can only find the answers when she’s ready. Shortly before that her life was hanging by a thread when her brother died. Things spiralled downhill from there, leaving Echo an outcast and a freak. My heart went out to her throughout the whole book, her pain was so vividly described it made me wince in horror. Mrs Collins the social worker tries to help Echo, but so many others have tried before, how will this be any different.

Noah is the troubled bad boy. He’s a stoner someone Echo has never spoken to before until he speaks to her outside Mrs Collins office. Noah has just as many problems as Echo. His parents died in a house fire. Noah had to save his brothers from the flames. He was separated from them and placed in a different foster home where he met his new friends Isaiah and Beth, who become his new family. But he will never forget his younger brothers who are too young to remember their parents. He will make sure they have a good life so they don’t turn out like him. He has many hard decisions to make and even when he’s made them the pain still rips at his heart.

Together they made a great couple, their chemistry was intoxicating, leaving the reader flustered just thinking about it. They were the perfect match, and they trusted each other like they’d never trusted anyone else. They are the only two people who know what it feels like to be losing you mind and having life throw everything at you. Their love was the thing that kept them grounded. The reader roots for them all the way, they are just so perfect.

Alas I have rambled enough, if your still reading this now, you need to read this book. So many emotions clawed at me when I read this book, the harsh reality of the world was like a slap in the face. It really makes you think, you never know what a person’s going through so don’t judge them. That could just make things worse. Pushing the Limits is a spectacular debut novel, full of harsh lessons and tough decisions young people have to make in their lives. The book still has its claws stuck into me, I already want to go back and read it. If you only read one book this year make it this one, please? It deserves all the attention it can get. Katie McGarry is an incredible debut author and I will be checking out all of her books. I’m sure she will create a name for herself in the literary world. She is definitely an author to look out for.


  1. Can't wait to read this. It sounds sooo good! And this review just tops it off to read this even sooner. Great review! =D

  2. Ahhhh, I'm even more excited to read this now! :') I'll follow your blog in a second too :)


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