Review–Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits #1)
by Katie McGarry
Summary: "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.

Source: I purchased a copy of this book for Kindle.

 Pushing the Limits was great! It fit my mood perfectly and was quite a surprising contemporary YA read. It was grittier and deeper than what I expected and lot more mature, despite the ages of the characters. It had a very New Adult feel in terms of maturity without the steaminess that contemporary NA is starting to becoming known for. I feel like the whole girl/boy with issues  finds someone who loves her/him in spite of them theme can be really cliché, but Pushing the Limits had a wonderful execution and wasn’t predictable or cookie-cutter by any means.

I loved the characters. At first, with a name like Echo, I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about the characters. But Katie McGarry did such an amazing job developing the characters and their backstories. Their stories made sense, their personalities were shaped by their circumstances, and their behavior reflected it. Noah was such a likeable guy, too. They had friends who had their own distinct personalities and no one in the book felt like a placeholder.

A plus for any YA novel in my eyes is parental involvement. Pushing the Limits not only had parental involvement, but it also had other authority figures, too. Echo and Noah weren’t off gallivanting through the town at all hours of the night. They were home in their beds and at school every morning and when they weren’t at school, there was a reason or some sort of consequence. In short, it was like real life. I absolutely loved this aspect of the story. I always feel like not having a schedule like that makes a contemporary YA seem ridiculous and unreal when a contemporary should feel real and relateable. Pushing the Limits didn’t have any plot holes where the characters are off having their own conflicts without adhering to standards that real life teenagers are held to.

Falling in love and finding love in the midst of pasts, baggage, issues, etc, if done correctly, is one of those plots that can be done a million times but it’s still worth reading/watching/enjoying over and over again. Pushing the Limits was one of those stories that really resonated with me for various reasons, some having to do with my own life and some having to do with the book itself and how well it was executed. It was enjoyable and completely relateable, meaning that I didn’t feel like I had to suffer from the exact same circumstances as the characters in order to understand them.

I highly recommend Pushing the Limits for anyone in the mood for a good contemporary YA romance. The characters had issues and conflicts, but it doesn’t involve anything over the top (such as terminal and heart breaking diseases) like a lot of satisfying contemporaries (Yeah, I’m looking at you, Nicholas Sparks.) No, it doesn’t have that quirkiness that comes with a John Green contemporary. But it is totally and completely satisfying in its own right.

I will definitely read more from Katie McGarry!

*picks up Dare You To immediately*



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