Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Published: July 31, 2012 by Harlequin Teen
Received: ARC for review
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. [goodreads]
The one thing I've heard repeatedly about Pushing the Limits is: HOT! I love when a contemporary takes a broken story between two opposing characters and brings them together in a fiery passion. This was my thought process as I dove head first into this book, but as I continued to read, my thoughts started to shift. Yes, there was definitely some hot fiery passion, but there was also this deeper story which had the potential to spark real flames.
I always enjoy a story that is told in alternating voices. As the reader, you get to experience it through the eyes of Echo, the damaged girl; as well as Noah, the hard-edged boy. Though the concept is nothing new, it's still a story I enjoy to follow. Girl meets Boy. Boy wants girl. Girl is hesitant of boy. And so on. In this particular story though, I had a difficult time really grasping both Echo and Noah's voices. Their individual pains were obvious, I could see why they felt damaged and closed-off, but I never truly felt it for myself.
There were many aspects of this story which reminded me of Simone Elkeles's young adult novels. The heavy pull between two teenagers from different worlds, and the steamy passion that evokes their want to be together. Though in this novel, it went beyond just the physical pull and dug a little deeper into emotional issues with both Echo and Noah.
Though I enjoyed their steamy one on one moments, there seemed to be something lacking. The concept was there, but I just didn't feel connected to it. The internal dialogue, mainly from Noah's point of view, did not please me. I have a hard time with pet names, period. This is by no means a negative reflection on McGarry's writing, I feel this way about any writer who uses terms of endearment instead of the character's name. It's little details such as this one which held me back from truly losing myself within the story.
This is the type of story that has potential to hook you, but unfortunately for me I lost a bit of interest along the way due to the internal dialogue. If you're a fan of stories which provoke deeper issues, but mask it with a lighter feel, then I think Pushing the Limits is for you.