Review: Pushing The Limits (by Katie McGarry)

Title: Pushing The Limits
Series: Pushing The Limits #1
Author: Katie McGarry
Published: July 31st 2012
Genre: New Adult Romance

“I watched you battle against the worst memory of your life and I watched you win. Make no mistake, Echo. I battled right beside you.” - Noah

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.

***Mild spoilers***


The story:
This story is not a simple high school romance. It's not even just a troubled boy meets troubled girl romance. It's so much more. Echo & Noah do have issues to deal with, but it's not as simple as they fall in love and it fixes everything. Throughout the story they both have to work through their own problems - Echo learns how to forgive her father & step mother, and Noah learns that sometimes what's best for him, may not be what's best for his brothers. They support each other through their issues, but ultimately it's up to them to make their own breakthroughs.

The romance:
I really loved seeing the romance develop between Echo & Noah - they both had pre conceived ideas of what each other where like, and as they spent more time together, they realised they were wrong. Their romance was sweet but also very passionate and I loved how Noah fought for her, when he could have easily let her go - it made there relationship all the more amazing! Not only did they tell us they were in love with each other, but they showed it by their actions towards each other.

The characters:
It's funny, I don't normally like bad boy characters, and Noah is labeled a bad boy - he skips class, smokes pot & sleeps around with girls he has little interest in. This would normally turn me off completely, however there is something deeper about his character that drew me in and by the end of the story I absolutely loved him. Towards the end he actually made me cry (and I'm not much of a cryer!)

Echo begins the story as a very fragile & closed off character. She shuts everybody out for fear of being judged by what happened to her. She's also very lost because she can't remember the night that gave her the scars on her arms. She's actually much stronger than she realises, and it's with the love and support of Noah & her best friend Lila that give her the courage to do that.

The Writing:
McGarry's writing was very effective, especially her use of dual POV. I always love this technique because it allows us to understand what both character are feeling & makes it much easier to connect with them. This is an emotionally driven story, but not just Echo & Noah's romance, but also between Echo & her family, Noah & his brothers, their friends at school etc. McGarry has cleverly woven many different emotions into this book which is what makes it so strong.

I suppose the only think I don't like is that this is kind of the end of Echo & Noah's story, as the next book in the series follows Beth. I'm just not ready to let go of Echo & Noah yet, I love them too much!

This is an emotionally charged story with relatable characters. I felt every emotion the characters experienced and have been thinking about them ever since I finished the book. This is one of those stories that just stays with you. I can't wait to read Beth's story next! 

Sexuality: medium / several discussions of sex, heavy kissing (no actual sex scenes)
Violence: medium / some domestic violence (not overly descriptive)
Language: medium / several f**k
Drugs & alcohol: medium-strong / main characters drink at parties, Noah & friends smoke pot


  1. I tried to read this but I couldn't get into it. Maybe I'll try again next time. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, great review :)

    Christie @ The Shadower's Shelf

    1. Thanks Christie. I think you really have to be in the mood for this one. I'd just read a light and fluffy chick lit before this one, so I was up for something a bit heavier.

      Hopefully you'll end up enjoying it more if you give it another try :)


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