Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Author: Katie McGarry. Website, Twitter
Published: 3 August 2012 (Mira Ink)
Book Depository: paperback
Source: Won in a competition on the Mira Ink Facebook page.
Plot Summary (from Book Depository):
What if the last person you should fall in love with is only one who can save you? 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?
I've had my eye on this book for a while so when I won a copy I was literally giddy. I couldn't wait to read it! Pushing the Limits tells the story of Echo and Noah, two teens with a whole heap of problems who might just be able to help each other on their way to battling their own demons.
I have no idea where to start with my review. There's so much I want to shout about because I absolutely adored this book! Before I read it I had a few reservations, mainly because I'd only heard good things. Could it live up to the hype? And love stories can be either hit of miss with me. But this book totally exceeded my expectations.
The book alternates between Echo and Noah's point of view throughout the story. Getting the story from both character's perspectives was brilliant, because it made me fall in love with both of them. Both Echo and Noah are probably two of the most interesting characters I've ever read. They felt so completely real and had so much depth to them that I felt like they were more than just characters on the page. In fact, all the characters in Pushing the Limits were so well written that they stirred up every emotion possible. It's been a while since I've been this invested in the lives of book characters!
The plot blew me away. Echo and Noah share the same school clinical social worker and both of them are facing problems in their lives. For Echo, this means trying to deal with the fact she has repressed the memory of a traumatic event with her mother. Throughout the book she has to deal with what happened to her, all the time not knowing exactly what that was. I'd heard of repressed memories before but this book brought to light just what a terrifying experience it can be. Of course there's a whole heap of other things associated with Echo's trauma, including problems in her home life and trying to regain and maintain friendships. I loved her story and how it developed. Meanwhile Noah is in foster care and trying to see more of his younger brothers.
I'm going to talk more about Noah because, I'll admit, I wasn't expecting to like him as much as I did. I'm not usually one for the bad boys (shocking, I know) so I was totally surprised when I liked him from his very first appearence. There's so much to his character, and although he has his flaws, deep down he does things for the right reasons and his relationship with Echo only brought out the best in him. I think he's probably one of my new favourite male characters.
One of the words I've read a lot in association with this book is "intense" and I would agree with that. The book deals with some pretty big issues (therapy, drugs, sex, mental health) but it does them well. There's swearing throughout but the good kind that feels real, not forced or unnecessary. Noah and Echo do have an intense relationship with each other but it's one of those relationships that leaves you totally rooting for them.
I couldn't put the book down and ate up the last 200 pages, then went on to dream about the book afterwards. It will stay with me for a long time I reckon. I'm really excited about this author because the writing itself was phenomenal. I look forward to reading more from her! Oh gosh, I've written so much already and I'm sure there's more I wanted to say! I'll let you decide the rest for yourselves because this is definitely a book you won't want to miss.
What to read next: Dare You To by Katie McGarry, a spin-off focusing on Beth, a character from Pushing the Limits.
Books like this: Falling Fast by Sophie McKenzie