Wednesday, September 12, 2012
"Pushing the Limits" by Katie McGarry
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
From 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 muchimpossible.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."
While I oft SQUEE about books, it isn't often that I feel what could be considered legitimate emotions of a book (RE: not superficial emotions- such as "OMG HE IS SO SWOON-WORTHY!"- about a book) and I almost never have a physical reaction to a book (aside from a few teary moments here and there, again, usually superficial teary moments)- however, that was the case whatsoever when it came to this book. I cannot recall ever having been so emotionally involved in one before. At times while reading it I became concerned that I was joining Emerson in her psychotic break and because of all of the continuously changing emotions that I was experiencing while reading it I developed a stomachache. After finishing it I was legitimately emotionally spent- despite it fairly early when I finished this (around 4 PM), all I could do was veg out on the couch for the rest of the night as I was too tired to do anything otherwise.
This isn't your typical YA contemporary, something fun and lighthearted in the vein of Stephanie Perkins. It's raw, emotional, and heavy- I would go so far to say that it is not for the faint of heart (because as mentioned, I, who has quite a strong stomach, even developed a stomachache from some of the scenes- some of which involved blood, others of which involved emotional and mental turmoil like you wouldn't believe).
Echo and Noah are quite literally unlike any characters I have ever read before- like the book both are so raw and emotional, but even more than that they are broken. Being as such they are potentially the most relateable characters I have ever encountered before, Echo who is quite literally trying to figure out where she belongs in life, not to mention piecing together her past, and Noah doing everything in his power to ensure that what little family he has sticks together. Furthermore, the secondary characters were bar none some of the most complex I have ever read of before- from Echo's mom and dad, to her stepmother, to Noah's brothers foster parents.
All in all, this is one of the most stunning debuts I have ever had the pleasure of reading before. I have no doubt that Katie has an amazing career ahead of her- I cannot wait to see what she has in store for us in "Dare You To", a companion novel to this book told from Beth's POV.
I received this book from the publisher to read and honestly review. I was not compensated in any way for said review.