Review: Pushing the Limits-Katie McGarry

4.5/5 Stars

Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1)-Katie McGarry

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Would one night be enough, even if she gave it to me? Echo already felt like a heavy drug. The kind I avoided on purpose-crack, heroin, meth. The ones that screwed with your mind, crept into your blood and left you powerless, helpless. If she have her body to me, would I be able to let go or would I be sucked into that black veil, hooks embedded into my skin, sentenced to death by the emotion I reserved for my brothers-love? “I want you.”

The worst type of crying wasn’t the kind everyone could see- the wailing on street corners, the tearing at clothes. No, the worst kind happened when your soul wept no matter what you did, there was no way to comfort it. A section withered and became a scar on the part of your soul that survived. For people like me and Echo, our souls contained more scar tissue than life.

Plot:

Echo and Noah couldn’t be more different. At least, on the outside. Echo is a fiery redhead who used to be one of the most popular girls in school, dating a jock, on the dance team, and all with a perfect GPA. At the end of her sophomore year, Echo disappeared. When she returned to school her junior year it was with monstrous scars that had rumors flying and circulating like hungry vultures. Her peers labeled her a cutter, suicidal, a freak…if only they knew the truth. Echo has no memory of her accident, she repressed her trauma so far that when a therapist pushed too hard she lost her mind for two days. There’s only one thing that Echo is sure about, that somehow, her mother was the one who mutilated her, what she doesn’t know is why. Echo’s mother suffers from being bipolar, she has manic episodes that may have something to do with Echo’s accident. Echo doesn’t know how she can move on without knowing the truth, and wants nothing more than to vindicate her mother. Meanwhile, Noah is a foster kid with a reputation. He’s known for sleeping around, starting fights, getting stoned, and cutting class. With a chip on his shoulder, and trust issues, Noah seems like a real jerk. Beneath this façade, Noah lost his parents to a fire, and with his two younger brothers, has been a victim of the foster care system. Teaming up, Echo and Noah devise a plan to steal their files for the school’s clinical therapist, and uncover the answers they’ve been searching for. As Echo and Noah get closer, it’s harder and harder to fight the feelings they have for one another.  Noah and Echo are both scarred by their past,  but like fire and ice, Echo melts away Noah’s cold exterior and icy apprehension, and Noah cools Echo’s anxieties, and works her body into a slow burn of yearning unlike anything she’s ever experienced before.

PROS:

  • Wow. Talk about an emotional roller coaster. Thinking back to all the times I’ve referred to something by those terms I feel like I’ve used them wrong for most of my life. Pushing the Limits is far from what I’m used to. Typically I lean towards paranormal YA/MG but after all the hype I figured I might as well check it out. If you’re apprehensive like I was you owe it to yourself to read this book. In the vein of Kevin Brooks, and even (for those who read adult paranormal romance) Gena Showalter,Pushing the Limits explores and enlightens on a variety of very important issues that are no discussed enough in YA. Issues such as child abuse, battery, mental disorders, the foster care system, severe psychological trauma (this is talked about though not in as much depth as I would have liked in The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, bullying (perhaps the most dealt with in YA), divorce, and death of close family members.
  • My heart broke for Noah and Echo. Every time something went wrong, or either of them felt defeated, my emotions went haywire. Fluctuating from anger, to sadness, but never pity because honestly, these are two of the most strong, inspiring characters I’ve ever encountered.
  • Pushing the Limits is told from the alternating perspectives of Noah and Echo. Each character is remarkably developed with a distinct, colorful personality that creates the illusion of peeking into the character’s diary, diving head first into their most private, intimate thoughts. The shift between characters is seamless, and so expertly done that the flow of the story is consistent, and doesn’t have confusing chopped feeling that often occurs in stories that alternate between characters.
  • The emotion is so unbelievably raw, and real, their confusion, their willpower broken down to its very core so that everything that makes Noah and Echo tick is revealed and examined. This is no simple, emotional baggage, this is a full on whirlwind of passion, depression, compassion, betrayal, and love that scrutinizes and unravels how we deal with our feelings.
  • I’m not a 100% sure why but during my reading of the novel, I envisioned Noah as Channing Tatum in Step Up. He’s damaged, he has a past, and the way he speaks is JUST LIKE CHANNING in Step Up. An odd mix of deep sexiness, slang, and possessiveness that makes you never doubt his authenticity but makes you a little wary. Noah knows what he wants and he uses his sex appeal, and aggressive masculinity to get it, but in his heart of hearts he’s a softie with good intentions, and so much love if only he’d be willing to trust. Noah’s past makes him vulnerable and this vulnerability forces him to put up a tough guy front to protect himself. The descriptions for Noah are killer. Girls get ready to salivate over those abs and those warm eyes.
  • Echo. How Echo transforms through the discovery of her own self-worth and Noah’s love is wonderful in that kind of feel good, hopeful way that leaves you feeling the urge to make changes, and to get out into the world unafraid of what Fate throws at you. Echo’s fear that she is like her mother is a relatable subject, but has a greater weird because of the genetic issue of bipolarity. Her trauma and frustration, and her wishes to live a normal life despite her scars will have you rooting for her.
  • Echo and Noah’s love is made of sacrifice, heat, sadness, anger, and mind-blowing adoration. It’s the kind of love that isn’t simple, or easy but still perfect in its complexity.

CONS:

  • The plot wasn’t as defined as it should have been.

If you enjoyed any of the following, you would like this:

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Side note:I asked the cosmic forces if I’d finally finish a novel this year…

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All signs point to YES. 

Happy reading all,

-BB