Tuesday, 15 January 2013

REVIEW: Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits #1)

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.


Thank you to Harlequin UK for being kind enough for letting me review this when I requested it on netgalley. :D

Pushing the Limits tells the story of Echo Emerson (I'm sorry but I absolutely despise the name Echo, I always think of thirteen year old scene girls whenever I see that name. ANYWAY...), a formerly popular cheerleader who suddenly vanished off the face of the earth at the end of her sophomore. She returns for her junior year and rumours are flying around the school about her disappearance. Echo quickly goes from the girl with the jock boyfriend who makes honour roll on a regular basis to that freaky loner with weird scars on her arms and repressed memories about what happened on that particular night.

Noah Hutchins is a foster kid with a toughened and hardened shell who is a girl-using, one-night-stand having, underachieving stoner and is branded so by practically everyone he meets, even Echo initially. Nobody bothers to know Noah for who he is though, preferring to ignore the depths of his pain and the tragic events that shape the way he is.

This novel is told in both Echo and Noah's point of view which serves to highlight the different worlds they come from. Both characters have depth and it's always awesome when you see people overcome their inner demons together and rediscover themselves again. I liked that this book highlighted one of the key aspects in one's life: Family. We see Echo's struggles with her overbearing, controlling businessman father and her mentally ill mother, her young babysitter-turned-stepmother and we see her grief over her dead brother. We also see how Noah struggles to cope with the death of his parents in an accident a few years earlier and his feelings towards his brothers putting put in the foster system and the obstacles he faces to reunite his family once again.

I docked a star off this book because I felt as if Echo and Noah's romance was based on physical sex appeal rather than an actual emotional connection. Yes, there were scenes where they connected on an emotional level but overall, I felt like as if they were only into each other because she had a great rack and that he looked nice in a leather jacket. I also felt like it was repetitive in some areas when Noah kept describing Echo as being a 'nymph' (who the hell describes their girlfriend as a nymph?) or a 'goddess' and kept alluding to the fact that she smelled like cinnamon. Yes, she resembles a donut and she's hot. We get it. 

Despite the corniness and cheesiness in certain parts, I liked this book. A Lot. I loved Echo and Noah's witty banter and the fact that there was no insta-love; they were both emotionally damaged people who had serious problems to work out than just obsess over each other and I liked their sessions with the school counsellor and how she slowly helped them rebuild their lives on their journey of discovering themselves again, even though they hated seeing her at first. 

I really wish I could talk about the content of the book in a more eloquent manner about Echo's 'friendship' with Grace and Noah's friends Isaiah and Beth but I can't seem to quite put into words. But this has everything; romance, sadness, sweetness and a hopeful end.

I can't wait for Katie McGarry's next book Dare You To which is basically a sequel of this book but about Beth, Noah's friend, instead. CANNOT WAIT. June seems so far away!

RATING: 4/5 stars

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