Thursday, July 19, 2012

Review and Giveaway: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Published: July 31st, 2012 by Harlequin Teen
Source: ARC received at BEA 2012
Format: Paperback
Grade rate: A+

“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.

My Review

Pushing the Limits is an astounding debut for author Katie McGarry.  I have to warn you though, that this book is indented for older teens as there is some strong language and sexual and drug references.

Echo and Noah are one- of- a- kind characters.  They have gone through so much; people that were supposed to take care of them betrayed them, and left them damaged.  Each one of them devised their own coping mechanisms, even if it was the wrong approach.  Echo and Noah were, in essence, two parts of a whole. 

Echo is a brilliant student and artist, that tries to seek acceptance by never saying ‘no’.  She tries to be the best daughter, the best student, the best friend, but in turn forgets what makes her really happy.  Noah is lost, and has technically given up on the world and his only goal is to get his family back together.  This unlikely pair meets and almost instantly connects with each other.  What ensues is one of the most beautiful and real love stories I’ve had the privilege of reading.

What makes this story amazing are the characters.  Besides Echo and Noah, we meet Isaiah, Noah’s friend and foster brother.  Beth is not a likable character, but we have to admire her spunk and most of all her loyalty to her friends.  Lila is a really loyal friend, Grace is not.  Luke is a creep.  I adored Ms. Collins; it was about time that someone was really willing to help Noah and Echo.  The selfishness of Echo’s mom, the impotence and dejection of her dad; it all makes an amazing story.

The story line reminded me of Perfect Chemistry, down to the alternating point of views, and also the fact that there is a ‘bad boy’ and ‘good girl’ falling for each other.  However, the story is unique in its own way, and as I mentioned before, the characterization is incredible.  The writing is amazing.  Ms. McGarry has the gift of now not creating amazing characters, but infusing them with reality.  In her words, we can feel the pain, the angst, the hope, and most of all, the love.  I cannot not say enough good things about Pushing the Limits, but I encourage you to read it as soon as it comes out (I’m serious, pre-order it right now!).

Ms. McGarry’s next book, Dare You To, is Beth’s story and it will be published next year.  I’m not too crazy about Beth, but I will give it a chance for two reasons: one – I will read anything Ms. McGarry writes, and second – I hope that Noah and Echo make an appearance in Beth’s story.

About the cover:  This is very appropriate cover.  We see Echo (red curly hair) and Noah (talk, dark and handsome), almost kissing.  We can see the setting is a school hallway and I love the shadows and that the light seems to only illuminate Echo.  The title is actually silver and shiny.

About the author: Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and she remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings and reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Writing has given Katie an excuse to pursue her passions. Research for her books has provided her with the amazing opportunity to train with baseball players, ride along in a drag car at ninety-six miles per hour     and experience boxing and mixed martial arts. Katie loves to visit schools and talk to teenagers about her research, writing and the truth that no dream is out of reach.

Now for the giveaway!  A lucky winner will receive a copy of Pushing the Limits.  This giveaway is limited to US and Canada only.  Please enter the form below and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I freaking LOVED this book so much! One of my all-time favorites. I'm glad you liked it too!

  2. Hey! Thanks for the review. I pre-ordered it and I cant wait for July 31st... Lucky you...

  3. I'm seeing this book EVERYWHERE and I seriously can't wait to read it. Great review, and thanks for a chance to win a copy of the book!


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