Thursday, July 26, 2012

ARC Book Review: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Author: Katie McGarry
Series or Stand-alone: 
How I got it:
             Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley!
Pages: 386
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult / Contemporary/ Romance
First Published: July 31, 2012
Buy it from: Amazon
                  Barnes & Noble
Add to Goodreads
Book Trailer: 

FIRST LINE(S): "My father is a control freak, I hate my step-mother, my brother is dead and my mother has...well...issues. How do you think I'm doing?"

The GIST (From Goodreads):

"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.


I don’t remember the last contemporary novel I read but after hearing all the hype for this book, I had to give it a try. I mean can you beat a girl with scars hiding emotional baggage and a bad boy who is sensitive on the inside? Sounds good to me.

Basically, this novel is told in alternating chapters by Noah and Echo. Echo is trying to remember the incident that caused the scars that marred her arms. Ever since that day, she’s been having nightmares, lost the majority of her friends and has not seen her mother. Noah is a foster kid who is forced away from his brothers after an incident with a previous foster parent. All he wants is his family put back together again. Can Noah and Echo try to find the solution to their problems in each other?

Now, I’ve always liked the alternating boy/ girl chapters. It’s refreshing to get a male’s perspective but sometimes you just know there is a woman behind that POV. So it’s not surprising that I felt like Noah’s voice was forced. He said and thought things that I couldn’t believe a boy his age would. He was constantly calling Echo his siren or his Goddess which was beyond corny. He would also call her his world and his everything which, again, was a little gag worthy. Now I know boys say things like that to girls when they think no one is listening, but the way he kept calling her his in front of his guy friend? I just don't see that happening in real life.

As for Echo, I felt she was inconsistent. She would say what a pushover she was, how she felt like she had to follow authority figures but then she would stand up for herself and get in your face. It didn’t seem to make sense. Noah was constantly pointing out how she could match him wit for wit but I really didn’t see that either. It felt more like the author was trying to tell you what he sees in her, instead of showing you.

I did love Echo’s relationship with her brother, father, mother and stepmother. It felt authentic to me. As did Noah’s relationship with his foster parents, brothers and friends. The relationship that felt forced and faked was Noah’s and Echo’s. Although I felt his lust and his basic attraction to her, I didn’t see how they got attached so quickly. There is one overly sexual scene in the whole book and I had no idea what even happened. I re-read it five times but still couldn't understand.

The other thing that annoyed me was the stereotypical representation of high school. Let me tell you that seniors in their last semester of high school don’t give a crap about anything, least of all their standing on the popular scale in high school. The way people threw around the word popular sounded like it was a power or something. I felt like the author isn’t too much in sync with what high school is really like. For example, if the popular person even spoke to someone who wasn’t popular, it would ruin their whole reputation. I don’t think people are as cut and dry as the author made them out to be.

I do have to say that the plot was interesting and entertaining. I was never bored by what was going on in the story. I really did want to know what happened to Noah and Echo. The way the author spliced the knowledge throughout the story was very well done. You never got too many answers at one time.

I expected this to be very emotional read. I did get all teary-eyed up at one point with Noah but I didn’t feel too many overwhelming emotions towards the characters. I felt like this was suppose to be edgy and emotional but it fell flat for me. Maybe it was the hype or maybe I just don't get as sensitive as others. Who can say?


This story lacked luster for me. Although the plot was interesting, I didn't come to care about the characters or their relationship. I felt like it didn't even get near the limits, let alone push them.---5.0 out of 10