July 31st, 2012
384 pages (hardcover)
Source - Netgalley
"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."
In Pushing the Limits, a girl with a blurry past and a boy with an uncertain future collide. From the first page, Echo's strong voice drew me in and the full truth about her past kept me curious. While I was initially a bit put off with Noah, he proves himself to be a young man with a heart of gold that shines brilliantly when he's with his brothers and when he's with Echo. The alternating point of view could have been difficult to keep consistent, yet McGarry skillfully handled each character and never lost sight of each voice and each distinct personality. Whether it's the tantalizing mystery of Echo's past, the passionate romance, or even the sweet familial moments, this is one story that makes it easy to keep turning the pages. An emotionally charged story, Pushing the Limits is a standout summer debut.
Highlights: Suspense, humor, family, secrets, romance....All nicely done. The cast of characters were all developed with faults, quirks, and everything in between. While I guessed the truth about Echo's past early on, McGarry still kept me hooked by how expertly she handled the tantalizing buildup to the truth behind Echo's mystery. Great character growth, especially with Noah. And the scenes between Echo and Noah? So much chemistry, and their relationship was much more believable than I anticipated.
Lowlights: A little predictable. Also, I can't really put my finger on it, but it felt like something was missing. The story didn't make as big of an impact on me as I hoped it would (I could just be weird, since the story seemed to make an impact on many other readers).