Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
So wrong for each other...and yet so right.Publishes in US: July 25th 2012
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 is one of the best contemporaries that I have read in a long time. Both of the main characters have been through so much and show so much strength and determination to live and press through. It is amazing how Katie McGarry wrote them to both be in so much pain and deal with things differently but still connect on such a deep level.
Echo really came into her own throughout the book, and the journey was hard, emotional and affirming to watch. She was a character that I connected with right away and I rooted for her to stand up to her dad in the right ways, connect with Mrs Collins who is her councelor working through things with her, and to find her own normal. It really does add an element to the story about her brother Aries. He was a Marine and died in service. I feel for her loss, but I feel that through her memories he made such an impression. His sacrifice, and his love for his sister when he was there. This is such an important topic to read about too, I have friends who are serving and I used to be in JROTC, but honestly, I have no idea what it's like to sacrifice so much for our freedom, both the men and women serving, the families back home waiting or the ones who have died and again the families feeling the loss.
Noah personifies bad boy, but we get to see his soft spots, his love for his brothers, and how he slowly lets people in. Like the councelor said to him at the beginning there is so much potential in him, academic and otherwise. I really loved how he admired Echo, and how he treated her with respect. He brings out the best in her, and that is quite a quality in a guy. Sure, he has his moments where he is a jerk, especially before he knows her, but when their friendship really develops, its beautiful to watch. It really melts my heart how he doesn't define her by what happened to her, and how comfortable he is with her scars, where it freaks most others out. He really did it for me, and I loved the hotness going on between them. There were some really swoon worthy moments, hotness and sweetness both were covered.
The layers to Noah really amazed me though. It wasn't only his attitude and actions towards Echo, but his all encompassing love for his brothers. It is such a beautiful relationship drawn out here, and I can't say much without spoiling, but Noah's heart and motivations where they were concerned made me almost cry. Katie McGarry painted some amazing pictures here about family--through Ashley and Echo, how their relationship changed, to Echo and her brother Aries relationship. Also with Noah and his blood brothers that he is seperated from (in different foster homes) to his non-blood brother and sister Isaiah and Beth, how circumstance can really draw people together, closer than family in some ways.
I love the dual perspective of the book, hearing from both Noah and Echo really adds to the story, and it also attributes to the good pacing. We have all of these internal battles going on, but it never feels repetitive, and it plays on my emotions.
Once I picked this book up, I did not want to stop reading it. Their story was like crack and I couldn't get enough.
Do you know anyone that is going through a tough time? Have you been in any situations like Noah or Echo?
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