Friday, August 3, 2012

Review: Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry

 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. 

So, with this I was expecting a smoking hot romance with some seriously dark drama. Well, I got the dark drama at least. A dual POV (one of my faves!) of two seriously screwed up teens. Tragically, when I turned to the last page I was overwhelmed with how much more I wanted from the story. But first there is Noah Hutchins. Slacker and a heartbreaker with a serious heart of gold. If you’ve read any of my reviews, you know that I have a weakness Broken Boys, especially if there is a brother/ best friend in the mix. So to say that Noah’s relationship with his younger brothers killed me would be under exaggerated. It SLAYED me. In a good way.

However, Echo’s story left something to be desired for me. Let’s start with Echo’s “psychotic break”. I’m not going to sit here and pretend I have a PhD in Psychology, but after several classes and nine years of watching CSI, I’m pretty well versed in it. And episodes where someone just doesn’t remember a long string of events have always seemed fishy to me. I can understand small amounts of time and especially a blackout, but there was something about the terminology that made me feel like I was watching a film from the 1950s where they were suddenly going to whip out the term “nervous collapse” any second. But this might be me being incredibly picky. On top of that, I didn’t feel like I really connected with Echo. It might have been the psychology thing tainting it, but she felt flat as a character, interesting arm scars or no.

Then there was this other qualm with the book and I must say, it’s an unusual one. I think I hated almost every single adult in this book. No, really. Echo’s father and Ashley (Echo’s step-mom and ex-babysitter) were completely horrid. He was obnoxiously controlling and a complete ass to Echo while Ashley was amazingly vapid and just plain stupid. I would have loved nothing more than to shove them both off a cliff and be done with it. Noah’s parents are dead (but they seemed nice!) but his brothers’ foster parents? I put them in the vapid category too. I wanted to throttle them. With a large boulder. Infact the only parents I did like were Noah’s foster parents who show up for a grand total of five seconds. The only likeable adult was the counselor, Mrs. Collins, who did make up for all of the crappy parents combined, but yeesh! I felt like I was reading a fairytale where every adult is either evil or dead and there is the one fairy godmother to turn everything around.

I know that there is so much love going around for this book and I was so so excited to dig in, but I was sadly disappointed with it in the end. I’m sure I’ll get plenty of “WHAT?! I LOVED THIS BOOK’ responses, but ah well. I say again, for me this book was not quite all I thought it could be. Even with the romance. Eh, it was okay. Nothing to write home about. It was much more about Echo and Noah’s screwed up lives. All of that being said, there is a companion called Dare To You about Noah’s foster sister, Beth. I could see me checking that out.

If you liked Pushing the Limits, I highly recommend that you read Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles and Want by Stephanie Lawton.


  1. Sorry you didn't care for this. Great honest review. :)

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  2. I'm still trying to find out how Echo got those scars and how things work out between her and Noah. I bet it's far from smooth sailing though. Thanks for the giveaway.

  3. I'm with you Jennifer, this book does leave more to be desired. I think you are right on with the psychology terms feeling outdated.

    I do wish Katie had left the book from Beth's perspective.