Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Series: Pushing the Limits, #1
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: July 31st 2012
Goodreads Summary: 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.
I have a thing for books about good girl meets bad guy. I’ve read my fair share of these books, and I think that I already know everything about them. But this book… well this book definitely surprised me.
Echo Emerson is the school freak. She used to be popular, until the day she disappeared from school and returned as a different person. A person who hides the scars on her arms and can’t remember much of what happened and how she got them. Suddenly, Noah Hutchins, the girl using bad boy, comes crashing into her life with his sexy smiles and irresistible looks. She doesn’t want to fall for him and become another one of his plays, but he acts different with her. He understands and protects her and makes her feel normal. Too bad that Noah has problems of his own, and neither of them can fully love each other without risking important things from their lives…
Pushing the Limits isn’t only about what happens to the good girl when she falls for the bad guy, no. This book is about so much more than that. It deals with real problems and gives us real solutions. It’s about love, family, and most of all trust.
This story is told from both Echo and Noah’s points of view. They both were really nice narrators, but I found I loved Noah’s chapters more just because I wanted to know what was under his “tough guy” shell… and because of his crude honesty.
I didn’t know much about Echo Emerson, other than she kept to herself, she was smart, a redhead and she had big tits.
“Echo, you look…” he let his eyes wander down my body and then slowly back up. A wicked grin spread across his face. “Appetizing.”
Now Echo for me was a different story. Echo broke my heart in every chapter, because I hated seeing her so sad.
I just wanted to pick her up and hug her until she stopped being sad. Echo was the best friend I’d love to have.
Also, the romance in this book was beautiful. I loved seeing how Noah and Echo’s relationship developed into a wonderful wonderful thing. Noah has reached the top of my book boyfriend list, and will definitely stay there sharing the spot with another Noah I love as well…
It was nice to see that not only did Echo need Noah, but Noah needed Echo. They needed each other to keep sane. Echo was basically Noah’s first girlfriend, and although he was terrified, he took the plunge because he genuinely felt something for her.
“Echo, I can’t tell you what’s going to happen because I don’t know. I don’t hold hands in the hallway or sit at anyone else’s lunch table. But I swear… that you will never be a joke to me and you’ll be much more than a girl in the backseat of my car.”
Those words right there made me melt. Those words made me completely forget about how Noah was the biggest player in the world, and made me want to yell at Echo “WHAT ARE YOU DOING STANDING THERE! HURRY UP AND FALL IN LOVE!”.
Other than the romance, I loved how family was touched in this book. In most YA novels, the family basically doesn’t exist, if only to be a placemat in the story. Here, family is a very important aspect. Echo’s family is practically in tatters, and we get to see how they develop and mature around this. We see tons of character development, not only from Echo, but also from her dad and even her stepmom.
Noah’s family doesn’t stay behind either. Noah jumps from foster home to foster home, but now he’s finally stayed in a home long enough to actually form a bond with their parents. Problem with this is that he’s separated from his two brothers, 8 and 5 years old. His brothers are the world for him, and it hurts him to be separated from them. It actually hurt me that Noah felt as much pain as he did.
Also, this book has amazing secondary characters. Mrs. Collins is definitely my favorite one. She basically saved Echo and Noah. Without Mrs. Collins and her therapy sessions and her overall understanding of teenagers, I’m pretty sure this romance would not have ocurred. I loved Mrs. Collins because she was the superhero of this story.
Katie McGarry is one of these authors who I’d love to meet and give a big hug. She created a wonderful story with wonderful characters and wonderful situations that just steals your heart. I borrowed this from the library, but I’ll be sure to buy this book (and it’s sequels) so I can read (and cry into, and yell at, and laugh with) as many times as I want.
Rating: Without a doubt, 5 stars.