Pushing the Limits by: Katie McGarry
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.
Contemporaries are not my all-time favorite genre, but this book completely blew me out of the water in every possible way.
Echo has no idea what happened to her the night she acquired all the scars on her arms. After that night, she secluded herself from her family and her friends, going from bubbly Echo to introvert Echo. Noah Hutchins is the boy that Echo should not fall for. He’s mean and rude and definitely does not have the best temper or make the right decisions. When they are forced to hang out, they find out they have more in common than anyone would ever think. They are crazily attracted to each other and they realize they need each other more than anything to be able to face their fears and overcome their obstacles.
Echo, poor girl, has had to deal with one of the worst tragedies, and she doesn’t even remember that night. All she knows is that she has scars on her arms, making her a freak to her classmates. Beyond her scars, she is a girl who is very alone. Even though she has dealt with so much, she is so strong. She really tries to handle things on her own, and that’s why it was so hard to let Noah in. I admired her tenacity and her struggle to remember what happened that night. She was a wonderful heroine.
Noah is nothing like the way he projects himself. Underneath his exterior, he is such a sweetheart. Like Echo, he was dealt a bad lot in life. His parents died in a house fire, and he was separated from his younger brothers. The extent he cares for his little brothers was really adorable. When Echo needs him the most, Noah is there for her in every single way, and he is like a knight in shining armor for her. To say the least, he definitely became one of my favorite book boyfriends.
Noah’s friends, Isaiah and Beth, were like living in the land of deliquents with Noah. Like him, they had a hard life but were really funny and helped Noah a lot. I loved Mrs. Collins, Noah and Echo’s therapist. She genuinely cared for each of them and actually tried to help them with their issues. At first I hated Echo’s father and stepmother. They had absolutely no idea what to say to her to help her in her life, and Echo’s dad is really controlling.
While I had some inklings of what happened to Echo, I was determined to find out. The plot was really exciting and I couldn’t predict what was going to happen. Having both Echo and Noah’s POV, which alternated each chapter, was really wonderful. I felt I needed both sides of their story, and it made the book even more powerful. The issues in this book are heavy and really important, and I definitely cried a couple times. The romance was pretty much perfect to me. At first, they didn’t want anything to do with each other, but then they realized they needed each other more than anything. In order to overcome their own respective demons, they were essential to one another. They had some especially steamy scenes, during which my eyes were glued to the paper. I loved every aspect of the romance.
This made my top 10 of 2012 list for favorite books, couples, and book boyfriends. Clearly I loved it a ton, and I think everyone else will. I can’t wait for Dare You To, the second book in the series, which focuses on Beth and her story. I’ve already heard great things about it, and I know it won’t disappoint!
Favorite Swoon-worthy Moment: She opened her mouth, her tongue seductively touching mine, almost bringing me to my knees. Flames licked through me as our kiss deepened. Her hands massaged my scalp and neck, only stoking the heat of the fire. Forgetting every rule I’d created for this moment, my hands wandered up her back, twining in her hair, bringing her closer to me. I wanted Echo. I needed Echo.