Thursday, October 11, 2012

Review of Pushing the Limits by Kate McGarry

Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1)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’ve wanted to read Pushing the Limits since I first heard about its release. It looked like a steamy romance with page-turning tension.  Pushing the Limits was as fast as I expected, and while I thought learning about Echo’s background was interesting, I wasn’t sold on the romance of this story and kept questioning the research that went into this novel.

In some ways, Echo and Noah are the perfect couple.  Both of them have had a lot of family turmoil and are in need of a stable support system.  The romance definitely had some sweet moments, but I wasn’t a big fan of Noah.  The names he used when he talked about and to Echo were far too sappy for my taste.  His character also raised some red flags for me—I couldn’t help thinking that he struck me as the type of boy who might turn abusive.

Echo and Noah both had intense back stories, and I can imagine that it was hard to write.  Echo’s dealt heavily with psychology, and Noah’s intensely discussed the foster care system in America.  In order to address both of these subjects in a book, I think one needs to be highly knowledgeable about them (which I am not) and be willing to do a lot of research.  I didn’t see any obvious plotholes or anything that looked freakishly unrealistic, but I kept asking myself if the author had done her research or at least had someone with the appropriate knowledge look over this book. Normally this isn’t a question I find myself asking, but I just wasn’t sure where McGarry was getting the knowledge to write Noah’s part of the story.  Then again, perhaps this is an unfair criticism, and there’s information about McGarry’s professional background that I don’t know.

Some readers are going to adore the romance in Pushing the Limits, even if it wasn’t quite to my tastes. A lot of reviews focus most on the love story, so you’ll have to decide for yourselves how you feel about Echo and Noah’s individual stories.  While I think some other readers may agree with me and how overly sweet Noah’s character could be, I can see some teens loving his character and tearing through McGarry's debut.

Disclosure: I received a finished copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.


  1. I wasn't as sold on the romance as much as others because it was all a little too angsty for me-these kids had so many problems in their lives! I prefer stories with a bit more levity.

    Now you have me wondering about McGarry's professional background-maybe she's worked as a counselor with troubled kids?

  2. I've wanted to read this book since I first heard about it too but, I've also become somewhat cautious because of the reviews I've read. I'm not sure how I would feel about the petnames, and the overly sweet romance. I'm pretty sure I'm still going to eventually give it a shot though. :)

    ~Allison @ Good Books & Good Wine



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