Monday 6 August 2012

Book Review: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry.

Product details:
Publisher: Mira Ink
Release date: August 6th 2012.
Paperback, 392 pages.
Rating: 4½ out of 5.
Ages: 14+
Source: Received from publisher for review.

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.


The story of a girl who just wants to be normal, a boy from the wrong side of the tracks, two lives torn apart and a destiny that brings them together, Katie McGarry’s Pushing the Limits is a raw, powerful, emotional and honest read.  An awesome debut novel that made me laugh and cry, McGarry’s debut is one of my top reads of 2012 and is one that will be adored by fans of edgy contemps such as the Perfect Chemistry series by Simone Elkeles.

First off I have to make a confession– I underestimated this book.  Oh, how I underestimated it! I thought, you know, that Pushing the Limits was going to be just another story about a good girl gone wrong and the bad boy with a good heart who saves her from herself. But it’s so much more than that. Pushing the Limits wasn’t just a nice surprise, it wowed me, and I found myself rooting for Echo and Noah at every turn.

Echo’s scars are on the outside, but she’s internally broken too.  In the past few years, her whole life has been torn apart.  Her beloved brother Aires is dead, her mom is out of the picture, and her dad is rebuilding a new life, with his new wife and the baby she’s about to have.  And then there’s the night that Echo can’t remember, the night when she got her scars, the night that saw her go from all round popular girl to social outcast, the night that changed everything for her. All that Echo wants is a return to normal. Lately her ex-boyfriend Luke has been showing a renewed interest in her, and the friends who up to now have shunned her are beginning to thaw. Maybe she can have normal again, but something doesn’t seem quite right.  Echo’s changed a lot, and she can never go back to being the girl she used to be.

Noah’s life hasn’t been easy either.  Introduced to us as a foul-mouthed stoner who uses girls and discards them as soon as he’s done, Noah is the kind of guy that good-girl Echo wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole. Sure, he’s got a banging body, but he’s got a bad attitude to match those great abs. However, when their lives intertwine, and they realize that they can help each other to get what they want, Echo finds out that there’s so much more to Noah than meets the eye, and she also discovers that maybe he’s the only one who really gets what she’s going through, maybe he’s the only one who understands her at all.

Noah, it turns out, is so much more than just another bad boy.  His attitude preserves him from the harsh reality of the foster system he’s now dependent on to give him a home. But really, Noah doesn’t have a home.  His friends are his family, because that’s been taken from him too. Noah and his two little brothers live apart, but though they are separated and may not see a whole lot of each other nothing is more important to Noah than Jacob and Tyler, and he fights fiercely for them. The scenes with Noah and his little brothers just broke my heart, and made me love this guy a whole lot.   As Echo starts to peel back Noah’s bad boy layers, she begins to fall in love with him too. Their romance is one of longing looks, stolen kisses and forbidden passion that just sizzles on the page. I couldn’t get enough! Katie McGarry sure knows how to steam up the pages, that’s for sure!

A perfectly plotted page-turner, Pushing the Limits is a book I would recommend to anyone, and in McGarry I think I’ve found an author to add to my ‘must-read-everything-she-writes’ list.  To that end, I can’t wait to read Dare You To, McGarry’s next book, a companion to this one that tells the story of Noah’s badass friend, Beth. I’ve read the first chapter of this one, which is included in the UK paperback of Pushing the Limits, and I’m already hooked!


  1. I really enjoyed this book as well and am excited to read Beth's story. I think that hers will be an interesting and exciting one:) Great review!
    -Danna (my review of Pushing The Limits below)

  2. A lot of people are loving this book & I'm glad to find out that you enjoyed it too. It does sounds super fun and I can't wait to read it myself. I haven't read Perfect Chemistry, but, everyone seems to love that one too. LOL. Great review. 

  3. Woo hoo!!! I loved this book so much Leanna! I loved how Noah was so much more than the player/bad boy stereotype, and I loved even more how realistically their relationship was portrayed. They're attracted to one another fairly quickly, but the intimacy moves slowly and I thought that was just perfect. McGarry is definitely on my "must read everything she writes" list too! Beautiful review!

  4. schennisbooknook7 August 2012 at 22:26

    Great review! I had this on my TBR list the second after I discovered it, but after reading your review I'll really have to order it. Like, right now! So if you'll excuse me...

  5. daisychainbooks8 August 2012 at 14:46

     I'm really looking forward to reading Beth's story too!

  6. daisychainbooks8 August 2012 at 14:47

     This one is a great edgy contemp. I was really impressed!

  7. daisychainbooks8 August 2012 at 14:48

     Thanks, Jenny! I loved how realistically their relationship was portrayed too. Can't wait to read the next book!

  8. daisychainbooks8 August 2012 at 14:48

     Hope you enjoy it as much as I did! :)

  9. Though you seemed to have enjoyed this book a lot more than I did, I agree - the scenes with Noah and his brothers really broke my heart. So sweet :)

    MisaSkyway Avenue Reads

  10. Ok, you totally had me dying over your review.. Echo and Noah sound like my kind of characters - I have no doubt I'm going to love this one as much as you did. Also, I love books that end up surprising one in a manner that one doesn't expect it to - and from your review, I'm pretty sure I'm going to be rocked in the very same manner. Fantastic review as always.

  11. I LOVED this book and I can't wait for Beth's story! New favourite author for me!

  12.  Me too! Can't wait to read the next book already!

  13. Great review, Leanna! You know this book took me by surprise as well. I really enjoyed it and wasn't expecting it to be so consuming. I agree that McGarry is one of my favorite new-to-me authors and I'm looking forward to her next book!

  14. This is a great boy meets girl story. This takes you on a journey of two
    people how they became friends and fell in love. It teaches lifes
    lessons as well as good memories. The book is well written and has a
    great vibe when you read it. I could not put this book down. It it very
    heartfelt as well compelling. I will be looking forward to read more
    stories from this author, you will be very entertained with this book.

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