Sunday, 29 July 2012

Review of PUSHING THE LIMITS by Katie McGarry


Author: Katie McGarry
Source: Review Copy from MIRAink
Release Date: August 3rd 2012

*I hereby award this book 5 wings!*
(though it deserves far more than the ordinary 'out of 5' rating)

"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"

First of all, I didn't know which cover to put up on this post. I think both are awesome, though I possibly lean more towards the US one personally. But as I am from the UK, I thought I'd put ours up!

This book rocked my socks off and I don't really know what to say about it that would do it any justice. You kinda get this feeling reading it that it could have been you. It could quite easily be you day-dreaming of the hot boy in the hallway of school. It could have been you with the family issues and stuff going on. But could it have been you that's mom did something so bad that you had to have a restraining order put on her? Did your Dad marry the baby-sitter and get her pregnant? Could it have been you? Really....?

Well it all happened to Echo. One day she was a popular girl at high school, the next she became a social pariah. Why? You'll see.....

Echo Emerson really had it all. Luke, the hot boyfriend. The cool friends. She was part of the in-crowd. Everybody knew who she was. At first this was a good thing. A great thing even. But that all changed the day she came back to school after disappearing. That day was going to change her life in more ways than one. 
Everybody whispered behind her back. Grace, the so-called friend no longer spoke to her. Luke and her were no longer together. Everyone in school was calling her a cutter. There was something up with her and nobody wanted to know her anymore. The only person that really truly stuck by her was Lila. She knew that Echo wasn't a cutter. She knew there was more to her scars than that.

But Echo wasn't a cutter. Something had happened and she had ended up in the hospital where she woke up to scars on her arms. So when she went back to school she decided to wear long sleeved tops, gloves, anything that would cover her scars from the world's prying eyes. Whatever had happened to her, she couldn't remember.
The first therapist she saw about her memory loss pushed her so far she snapped and broke. She couldn't remember anything. 

Echo's life right about now couldn't get much worse. Her brother Aires had died in Afghanistan. Her father had married her old baby-sitter and now she was pregnant. There was an injunction out against her birth mother. So she had a step-mother she couldn't stand and a step-brother or sister on it's way into her life. Great. Just how she'd always imagined things would end up. 

When she went back to school, she started seeing another counseller, Mrs Collins. She was more easy going than the previous one. Not so pushy. She didn't push her into remebering or doing anything she wasn't ready for.

It was outside Mrs Collins office one day when she bumped into Noah Hutchins. He was hot but he was just a stoner, smoking weed with his other stoner friends. He wasn't the type to get brilliant grades and care about which college to attend. But Echo, she was excelling in every subject she took. She made better grades than most of her peers, but her father still pushed her harder to achieve better. 
It was because of her grades and the fact that she needed money that she agreed when Mrs Collins asked her to tutor one of her peers. But life threw her a curve ball when it ended up being Noah she had to tutor.
Turns out that he's not all that dumb, the fact that he's a stoner doesn't actually mean that his grades are all that bad. He just needs encouragement to push himself to achieve better standards.

So the lost girl ends up tutoring the bad boy. Needless to say that this bad boy is going to eventually work out as being her love interest. It's just where the story goes from here...? Well that's for you to figure out. I've shared a little bit of what the story is about. Just enough, I believe, to have captured your attention and leave you wanting more.

How did I feel about this story? Well...

I loved the fact that this story was told from two different protagonists POV's. I talked about Echo there, but there's more to the story than what I just told you. The book is split into chapters told from Echo's and Noah's POV's. This is actually probably one of my favourite parts of the book and that is because usually we hear from the protagonist in first person and then the love interest from third person. I liked the fact that Noah got to talk for himself.

What else did I love? Well, I think all my followers should know by now that I am a bit of a fan/ sucker/cheerleader for the bad boy to win the fair maiden's heart and it was no different here. I have to say I hated Luke and his treatment of Echo. I loved Noah from the moment we met him. He might be a stoner, but underneath it all, he's a boy who has been through the foster care system, shunted from home to home after he hit the first foster father. His life has never been good. He's never had anything except his brothers and they were taken into care by a family who only let him have visitation to them. So Noah is bound to have a bit of a chip on his shoulder and I totally understand where he was coming from. 
Anyway, I fell in love with Noah. He is one hell of a guy underneath it all.

I have a bit of a girl-crush on Echo. She's been through the wringer and she's got the scars to prove it, both mentally and physically. But though she is broken, she's still feisty and tough. She knows what she wants and she goes about getting it. 

Overall, this book was about love, loss, betrayal and growing up. I think that Katie McGarry is a wonderful author and she managed to make me feel all of those things right along with Echo and Noah. There were moments when I laughed and moments where I cried. There were also moments when I wanted to rip someone's hair out by the roots (Grace), where I wanted to punch someone in the gut (Luke) where I wanted to slap someone silly (this one was actually someone I won't name, you can just work it out) and I really REALLY wanted to hurt Echo's father and tell her step mother to go to Hell. 
So yes, I would say that Katie McGarry managed to push my buttons and stir up emotions. Job well done!

I thought that the writing was beautiful. Flawless. If there was any author I would aspire to be, it would be Katie McGarry. So right now I am a little bit jealous that she's her and I can't be ;)

Thank you MIRAink for providing me with a copy of this thought-provoking book. Thank you Katie McGarry for 'rocking my socks off' and thank you each and every person who swung by to see what I thought of PUSHING THE LIMITS :)










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