Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Pushing the Limits - Katie McGarry

I requested this book on Netgalley, not really intending to read it any time soon. It sounded interesting but I wasn't hooked - I wanted to read the books I am hooked on first.
So, why did I read this book sooner?
The reviews. The magnitude of them that every blogger has posted, sharing their mostly positive reviews. I was simply intrigued to see what all the fuss was about. I entered now expecting much and came out pleasantly surprised.

Synopsis: Something happens a few years ago that changed Echo's live forever. She turned from one of the most popular girls in school with an equally popular jock boyfriend to the 'freak' with scars on her arms? Has she been self-harming, what's wrong with her? But Echo doesn't know as she can't remember the whole truth of that night, the night where she lost her mother and gained these scars. She just wants normal now.
Noah's attitude precedes him, being known for one-night-stands, drinking and drugs, when he enters Echo's life, they should completely opposite. However, both are surprisingly understanding to one another and soon a friendship forms. But with all their issues, can it go further?

Review: I have something to admit. On starting this book, I totally thought this was a Fifty Shades of Grey for teenagers. I know, I know, first impressions, don't judge a book by its cover and all that. But I was totally expecting attraction, a false relationship and some sex (for the record, there is none). Why? Pushing the Limits. The title merely. A 'bad' boy and a good girl. Secrets and their lives being not that fantastic. I was thinking an updated Forever by Judy Blume (from what I can remember of that book *shudders*).
But I was pleasantly surprised. This is not a book filled with a false and forced feeling relationship. Yes, there is sexual attraction but what teenager HASN'T experienced that by the age of 18?!
This was a nice little book to sit down either in the sun on the beach or on a rainy afternoon and just read. It is a pretty intense read so I think if you get into it, it would be hard to stop reading.

Ah, Noah. Just Noah. I found I felt more for him throughout than Echo, not entirely sure why. I think it's because although he has this bad boy attitude on the surface, as we look deeper into his personality he's actually a total softy. It's touching to see how much he cares for both Echo and his brothers and how much he would just go with what Echo wanted. FINALLY there is evidence that not all teenage boys are sex-crazy!
I also liked Echo for the fact she felt very realistic to me, even though her past seemed a little 'out there' to me at times. She was also a completely different type of protagonist and I liked that element of her. The other characters were completely different to one another, which is refreshing to see, and added some laughter and entertainment to a story which I like may have been TOO intense otherwise. My only problem with the minor characters was that they seemed way too cliche for me. This was a book about breaking barriers socially (like the popular girl and the bad stoner boy for instance...) but the other characters could have easily been put into categories. Which kind of defeats the object, if you think about it. Anyway, favourites combos come with Beth/Noah/Isaish and Lila/Echo. Lila, you are my best friend now.

I liked the writing the most I think. Okay, so the writing is hardly Jane Austen or Charles Dickens but I still liked it! McGarry shows their emotions easily without being too dramatic. I also liked the fact that not everything was revealed at the beginning, and for Echo's story, you find out what happened with her and Noah. It made it more interesting to read I think and made me form a judgement before finding out how messed up both their lives are. My only concern really was some of the events seemed too far-fetched or melodramatic for me, but this didn't affect my reading.

Despite my expectations being a little judgemental from the title, I did enjoy this novel and was pleasantly surprised. I wouldn't say it's the best book I've read, but it's a pretty damn good shot at a great contemporary from Katie McGarry. I had few problems with this book and loved the characters she presented, especially Noah. Although when he calls Echo 'baby' on some occasions, I sounded so creepy. Like 'Ah, get away from me you creep', creepy. Meh, just me? Okay then...

I give this a 4 out of 5

Thank you to the publisher for letting me view the e-galley via Netgalley

Author's Website: http://www.katielmcgarry.com/
Pages: 384
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Challenges: None

DARED TO YOU is coming out in 2013, centred around Beth from PUSHING THE LIMITS


  1. I'm so glad you liked this, when you eventually read it! :) I agree with you too, I love how the way characters are presented. And Noah! <33 Lol. Thanks for posting this great review, Rebecca!

  2. Ohmygosh, I remember being in year 7 or 8 and one person took out Forever, then told people what it was about, and the waiting list from our year ws ridiculously long! I think I was one of the only people not to read it! Haha.

    Most people prefer Noah than Echo, but [as much as I adored Noah], I absolutely loved Echo!<3 Ergh, I found Lila a bit annoying at times. Like, benig hard on Echo when Echo has been through so much. I don't know, she seemed a little fake for me.

    Lo, it was creepy when Noah kept calling her baby! :P Lovely review, Rebecca! I'm so glad you enjoyed this. :D I can't wait for Dared to You.<3

    1. Ha, I haven't actually read Forever but in around Year 6 or 7 for me, a girl I was friendly with did and told us all about it. I remember being at a Guide sleepover and the leaders thought we had gone to bed but actually the girl was reading passages out from the book. So that was my first and last dose of Forever!

      Yeah I liked both of them, but Noah is just...adorable!? Yeah I found her fake at times but when she started joining Echo and Noah, I was like 'Aww!'.
      Thank you! I know. If any future boyfriends call me that, they will find themselves single pretty quickly.


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