Author: Katie McGarry
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: July 31, 2012
Page Count: 392
Source: The Library
Read Between: October 26 - October 29, 2012
Buy It: Amazon / B&N / The Book Depository
Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry was a truly enjoyable read for me. It has cemented my current craze to read more YA Contemporary books like it. While I enjoyed reading this book, it was also at the same time not completely what I was expecting.
It is obvious that Echo is an outsider, but not really because of what happened to her. When I first started this book I was thinking that Echo's horrific incident would have been the cause from something teen or peer pressure related. Something that would have made her friends and boyfriend turn from her, that would have made the popular girl the talked about girl in High School. Yet that wasn't the case at all. Yes, Echo isn't the popular girl any more, but that is all because of her own choice not because of the incident. Granted I won't say that her friends were perfect or even all that supporting, because they weren't. In fact all of her "friends" except for one of them were pretty horrible to her and they only wanted to her figure out about that incident and make things normal again for their own benefits. But Echo was the one who initially turned away from everyone because she couldn't deal with what had happened to her on that night she can't remember. And granted she has every right to feel this way, because once you do find out what truly happened (almost at the very end of the book) it is obviously a very hard thing to deal with. I myself don't know how I would of dealt with it. But at the same time, I found Echo's character to be kind of... weak. She didn't have a lot of back bone to stand up for herself and to just say, "Yes something horrific happened to me, but I am not going to let it define me who I am as a person. I will rise above this incident and still be strong". No Echo did the complete opposite of that, she folded in on herself and let her own weakness and fear take over her life for a good 2 years. That is how we are introduced to Echo before we even meet Noah. As this weak shell of the girl she used to be.
Then we have Noah. The cocky, rule-breaking, bad boy who only wants to put his destroyed family back together. He has been bounced around from foster house to foster house after his parents died and he is desperately trying to just make it through High School and get custody of his two younger brothers so that he can have his family back together. But things are never that simple. He has been put into some bad foster families and because of some incidents that have occurred he has been labelled as mentally unstable and barely even gets to see (or have visitation rights) with his little brothers. He has turned to smoking pot, getting drunk and being known as the girl user as his defiance to cover up the vulnerable guy he has become after the lose of his family. Yet despite this attitude, he still seems like the stronger character to me. Because at the end of the day, he doesn't care what anybody thinks of him. He knows he has been dealt a shitty hand by life, but he is still strong for himself and 100% devoted to what he feels he needs to do to get custody of his little brothers after High School.
But then these two already damaged individuals are thrown together and some how they learn how to become strong by standing by each other's side. They find mutual ground and hack a plan, where they will both get something they both desperately need. But the question is... will it be what they want at the end of the story?
Together they learn how to over come their pasts. They learn how to let themselves be loved again and feel like they are worth somebody else's love. They learn that no matter how hard life gets you still have to push ahead and not let it drag you down. But above all, they learn that there is more to life then just existing.
While this story wasn't perfect, there were a few plot holes in my opinion. Like the fact that the people who adopted Noah's brothers were willing to take in the 2 younger boys, why didn't they just take in Noah as well? They obviously had the money and the room for him. That was easy to see when Noah visits their home. It really made it seem like Noah was only put through the hell of the foster homes he had for 2 years, so that he could eventually meet up with Echo as a damaged individual and they could save each other. Thusly creating this story. This was definitely my biggest issue with Pushing the Limits because it is never explained why they didn't just simply adopt all 3 boys. If they were willing to take in the 2 younger ones, why didn't they just take all 3 and keep a family together. However, besides this issue, I didn't really have to many other complaints, and if I did, they aren't big enough to be mentioned in my review.
Pushing the Limits was a great story. I really look forward to reading Dare You To the companion novel which feature's Beth's story. Beth was a riot in this book and I can only imagine her story will be just as good if not better.