Review: Pushing The Limits (Pushing The Limits #1) by Katie McGarry

Book Title: Pushing The Limits (Pushing The Limits #1)
Author: Katie McGarry
Release Date: June 1st, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: YA/Contemporary
Series: Book 1 in Pushing The Limits series
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.

Disclaimer: This was a personal purchase.

I am growing to absolutely love YA Contemporaries. Before recently I was never really into them but since I have read quite a few in the past few weeks, I’ve grown to love the sub-genre.I wanted to read Pushing The Limits and the second book in the series, Dare You To before I read my e-ARC of Crash Into You. Thankfully I snapped up some great e-book deals a few days before Thanksgiving.

Echo appears much stronger than she actually is. She feels like she needs to be strong and she desperately wants to keep up that facade of strength as she struggles to regain some sense of normalcy after the events of one night, 2 years ago. She doesn’t remember anything, but the scars on her arms prove to her that something had happened. Echo chooses to wear long sleeves year round so she doesn’t have to see the scars and so no one else has to see the scars.

Her former nanny is now her stepmother and her stepmother is now heavily pregnant. I felt bad for Ashley. I know that I wasn’t supposed to, but Echo held a lot of resentment towards Ashley. As the story continues, it becomes clear that Echo has held her mother up on a pedestal and that means that Ashley gets ragged on. Unfairly, in my opinion.Echo wants to blame Ashley for the events that happened that night. Initially Echo refuses to acknowledge that her father was responsible for his own actions.

Initially, I thought that Echo’s dad was a total asshole, but then I realized that he was trying to do his absolute best to make sure that Echo didn’t turn into her mother.In his own bizare way, Owen Emerson is trying his hardest to protect his daughter. Protect her like he wasn’t able to protect his son, Aires. 

Aires died in Afghanistan and ever since then, Echo has fought to feel safe. She is terrified to sleep although the reasoning for that was not revealed until the end.All we know is that Aires made her feel safe.

Never in her wildest dreams did Echo expect Noah Hutchins to become her safe place. She knew his reputation. She knew that he preferred to have sex with a girl and then that was it. He never seemed to develop any sort of attachment to anyone. Yet inexplicably he sees something in her. Echo knows she’s broken and she feels beyond repair. Noah doesn’t seem to care.

Several years ago Noah, along with his two younger brothers, lost their parents in a house fire. Ever since then, Noah has worked hard to try and keep his brothers with him. Ever since he punched his first foster father, that goal doesn’t seem to be any closer to achievement. His brothers’ foster parents are trying to adopt them and Noah is convinced that they are unfit parents.

I felt bad for Carrie and Joe. Noah was so desperate to keep his family together that he didn’t realize that his brothers were happy and were living with two great people who loved the boys and could give them things that Noah could not give them.He was convinced that they were unfit parents because he had had some crappy foster parents. He is very distrustful of basically all authority figures.

That’s where Mrs. Collins comes in. I liked her and the dynamic that she had with both Echo and Noah. She was Echo’s “safe space” and she was also the first adult that Noah realized he could trust.

I loved Isaiah and Beth in this one and I cannot wait to see more of them as the series continues. Echo really only had one best friend. Lila was a perfect best friend. I was so glad that Echo had her. Natalie was okay, but Grace was beyond redemption. Luke was a total asshole. I was relieved when she dumped him.

The end of the book brought Echo a lot of healing which I’ll be honest, I pretty much sobbed while reading about. It was beautifully done.The bits with her mother and then with her father and Ashley. I think Echo realized a lot of things. Things that she may not have been willing or ready to admit.

Honestly I was not expecting to love this book as much as I did, but I loved it. Wonderfully real characters. All of them had their own journey to take and while some journey’s were small, others were big journey’s filled with a lot of self-discovery. I will be giving this book 5 stars. I don’t know how Dare You To and Crash Into You will measure up to this one, but I cannot wait to find out.

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