Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Published: July 25th, 2012 (HarlequinTeen)
Source: for review via NetGalley
Challenge: Debut Author Challenge 2012
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★★★☆ ½
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.
Short version of this review: Pushing the Limits is one of the best contemporary novels I have ever had the pleasure to read.
As for the long version, I stick with what I said before. Pushing the Limits has everything I could ever ask for in a contemporary; great characters who have amazing chemistry, an intense storyline and a lot of tension. I devoured it.
Echo is troubled, yet determined to find out what happened to her in the night she got the horrible scars on her arms. Her memory is foggy, and she’s set on finding out what caused the scars and the memory loss. While she wasn’t as feisty as some of the other female main characters I’ve read about, she felt real. I could feel with her pain, and I understood why she had difficulty with some things like intimacy, even though I’ve never been through such a thing. McGarry really accomplished something there; because of the way it was written, I could identify with Echo even though she’s miles away from who I am as a person.
Noah had his own problems, being thrown from one foster family to another, and he has a mission of his own; get insight in where his brothers are. He’s the typical bad boy – dark, handsome, mysterious -, but he still managed to come across as vulnerable at times. I loved that underneath the hard shell, there was just a guy with his own insecurities. I loved his wit, his humour, his way of handling situations. Like Echo, he felt like a real person, very distinct and he really came alive off the pages.
This is McGarry’s debut novel, and boy did she come to the scene with a bang. The chemistry between Echo and Noah was off the charts and McGarry’s intense way of writing really sucked me into the story, unable to stop reading. If this is what her debut looks like, I cannot wait to see what she will bring on next.