Review: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Author: Katie McGarry
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: July 31, 2012
Format/Source: ARC/BEA via Steph @ The Fake Steph Dot Com (Thanks, Steph!)
Age Group/Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary, Romance
“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. (From Goodreads)
An Unsure Start…
I had seen Pushing the Limits going around everyone’s blogs–WoW posts and BEA book haul posts gushed about how bloggers were really excited to read this book. I’m not sure why, but the book never really appealed to me. But then the actual reviews started flowing in, and they were all rave reviews, a few of those reviews by my blogger friends.
Then my friend Kim @ On the Wings of Books mentioned that she really loved it and she thought I should give it a try. So we made a deal. I’d read Pushing the Limits if she’d give Cinder by Marissa Meyer a chance, since she really didn’t have any plans to read that one and it still remains my favorite read of the year. I’m really glad I made that deal with Kim because, as it turns out, our mutual friend Steph @ The Fake Steph Dot Com had picked up an ARC of Pushing the Limits for me at BEA. So between that time and when I got it in the mail, I started getting pretty excited about this book. Everyone was raving about it! I got it on Saturday and after finishing up the book I was reading at the time, I settled into Pushing the Limits, hoping to finish it soon so that my review would be up ASAP, since the book came out Tuesday.
A Bit of Background…
I am a total YA Science Fiction/Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic lover. That’s what I love to read. I love the action, I love the suspense, I love the twists and turns and gadgets and space and ruined countries and everything that comes with those kinds of books. But I do like lots of other types of books as well, and YA Contemporaries are quickly growing in my estimation. However, I’m not a huge fan of books that focus a lot on romance. Sure, I love there to be a love story and I want the couple to end up together, but if there are more than a couple paragraphs about the couple making out, I start rolling my eyes and waving my hand at the book and saying out loud, “Let’s move it along…” It’s just not my thing. (And this is one of the major reasons that I have thus far stayed away from reading 50 Shades of Grey.)
So why am I saying all this, you ask? Because Pushing the Limits, while being very much about two characters who have these horrible hardships that they must overcome, is, at its core, a romance. At least, it is to me. And like I said before, I root for the couple, I want them to get together, but I need a lot more story and a lot less coupley stuff in the books I enjoy. Yes, there was a huge storyline other than the romance between Echo and Noah. And it was intriguing. But I personally would have enjoyed more of that stuff and less of the romance. And, of course, that’s just me.
A Few Other Issues…
I had a couple other annoyances with Pushing the Limits, and again, these are really very subjective points. One thing that bothered me was how Echo reacted when Noah cursed. Seriously, he’s a teenage guy, and you’re surprised at his language? You’re a teenager too, you should be used to people your age speaking that way.
Another thing that bothered me was some of what Noah thought when it was from his point of view. I understand that his thoughts were probably very realistic, and he was probably more tame than most teenage boys. But I really don’t care to read about what he wants to do to Echo. If I wanted to read that, I’d read Adult Romance or Adult Erotica. Again, that’s just me.
The Good Stuff…
I did enjoy this book, though. I didn’t love it, but there were some parts that I really enjoyed. I was very intrigued with Echo’s whole storyline. I wanted to know what happened to her. And when we finally found it all out, it was a bit of a letdown, but it was still a nice mystery.
I also enjoyed Echo’s sarcasm and the banter between Echo and Noah. And Katie McGarry got major bonus points for making Echo good at pool. I play pool myself and I love how Noah assumed she wasn’t any good. That happens all the time!
Here are a few of my favorite quotes*:
Disclaimer: I received this ARC as a gift from a friend, who got it free of charge at BEA. I was not compensated in any way for this review.
*All quotes are from the ARC. They may be different in the finalized version.