Author: Katie McGarry
Release Date: 31st July 2012
Read In: July 2012
*This is a review of a eARC. Thanks to Harlequin and Netgalley for the review copy.*
"I won't tell anyone, Echo. I promise." Noah tucked a curl behind my ear. It had been so long since someone touched me like he did. Why did it have to be Noah Hutchins? His dark brown eyes shifted to my covered arms. "You didn't do that-did you? It was done to you?" No one ever asked that question. They stared. They whispered. They laughed. But they never asked.
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.
This book is a contemporary. This means lots of character development and not a lot of plot. I usually still enjoy the book if the characters are connectable, real and I develop an attachment to them. While I may not be completely in love with them, I still felt a connection.
‘My father is a control freak. I hate my stepbrother, my brother is dead and my mother has … well … issues. How do you think I’m doing?’
What I enjoyed most about this book is how compatible Echo and Noah are for each other. They are both so similar even if they are in slightly different situations. But they both want the same thing; to be ‘normal’. What is ‘normal’ that is the question?
What I love is that both characters change. In many contemporaries it is just about the one character being changed by the other. Here both characters go on their own journey. They need each other.
Oh Noah, you broke my heart. You cannot blame him for who he is after everything he has been through. I’m such a sucker for a tragic character. Noah has been through so much. He has to cope with death, separation and the care system. My first impression of Noah is he is very laddish. A reference to a particular area of the woman’s body showed that. He was also childish and a bit of a cliché ‘bad boy’. But soon we discover his deeper more emotional side. And you start to fall for him. And his brothers are also adorable.
Not only do we get one tragic character but two. Echo has been through her own turmoil too; mental health, divorce and image. But Echo grows as a person. At the beginning she has strong beliefs on people’s motives and personalities. Her journey is learning to get over those prejudices and discovering the truth. Echo needs to establish her identity. The events that occurred before the book have left Echo scarred. She has lost herself and the person she used to be. While I didn’t connect with Echo as much as I did with Noah she is still a great character to follow.
This book wasn’t all about the romance. That was established relatively quickly. It is a story about how these two characters help each other out in their inner battles. While I absolutely loved them as a couple, the romance did get a little sappy in places and a little cliché. It detracts from the realism, in my opinion, because do people really talk like that? I felt like I had entered a fairy tale some of the time.
Oh and Grace is a cow; just saying.
Pushing the Limits is one of my favourite styles of contemporary; two messed up people helping each other through. So many tough topics are discussed in this book. Don’t expect anything light hearted. Apart from the slightly corny moments, this was a great read that drew me into the characters and their lives. A must read for contemporaries fans.