Title: Pushing The Limits
Author: Katie McGarry
Published: 25 July 2012
Source: HarlequinTEEN Australia
SapphiredDragon Rating: *****
Synopsis (via Goodreads): "I won't tell anyone, Echo. I promise." Noah tucked a curl behind my ear. It had been so long since someone touched me like he did. Why did it have to be Noah Hutchins? His dark brown eyes shifted to my covered arms. "You didn't do that-did you? It was done to you?" No one ever asked that question. They stared. They whispered. They laughed. But they never asked.
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.
Review: I don't tend to read too much YA Contemporary as generally it is not one of my preferred genres but I had been hearing good things about Pushing the Limits so when given the opportunity to review it by HarlequinTEEN Australia, I took it curious to see it if it would live up to everything I had heard.
It did! And then some!
Pushing the Limits is easily one of the best reads of 2012. This is due to a combination of the writing, the story itself and the characters.
This novel is written is written in first person tense in alternating chapters by the two main characters Echo and Noah. This helps really get into the heads of the characters and become invested in the story from the first page. The writing itself flows really well, keeping you inside the story and connected to the characters.
The story itself is gritty and current and could easily take place in any high school in any town. Echo is trying to recover the memories of an attack that has scarred her in more ways than one and to recover her place in her life while Noah has his own scars due to the loss of his parents and trying to regain custody of his brothers which have caused him to become the stereotypical bad boy everyone expects of a foster kid. The story of these two finding their place together and back in their lives is riveting. No instalove here. Trust and then love is earned and such a vital part of the story despite all the obstacles and reasons why they shouldn't be together.
However it's the characters I think, that make this novel. Both Echo and Noah are such real, three dimensional characters, you can't help but feel empathy for them and Katie McGarry has really filled out the peripheral characters also such as Lila the best friend and Grace the friend who is only a friend in private. One cannot help but relate to Echo as she struggles with her relationships with her father, stepmother and feel for Noah, whose life seems to be in ashes around him.
I could go on and on about this novel as I really enjoyed it on so many levels and even after I had finished it, I was still thinking about days later.
If you want a current YA Contemporary novel with believable characters and engrossing storyline then I thoroughly recommend Pushing the Limits.
A five star read and most definitely one of the best reads of 2012
Sapphired Dragon xx
Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry is available from 25 July, 2012 at www.harlequinbooks.com.au and in book stores nationally for RRP AU$19.99.