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.
Pushing the Limits alternates between Echo and Noah’s point-of-view, which works perfectly for this premise and these characters. Since both have their own set of complicated problems and difficult pasts, it felt important that both characters had an opportunity to share their POV regarding both the issues they’re currently facing and the growing feelings between them. I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t end up preferring one narrator over the other; they complimented each other well and I found myself excited to hear the other’s take on situations and conversations.
It’s been quite some time since I’ve read a novel that focused on romance. I was feeling a bit burnt out and uninspired by those that I’d been reading; I wanted a romance with depth but all I felt like I was really getting was fluff and bad matches. Pushing the Limits reawakened by love of romance. Echo and Noah – and their story – made me want to fall in love again. McGarry’s story evoked the excitement of first real, deep, complicated love that we all inevitably feel… and as horrible and distracting as it can be when you’re going through it (as Echo and Noah clearly illustrate), there is something epic and wonderful about it as well!
I highly recommend this first Pushing the Limits book from McGarry. The second book, Dare You To, has just released and I’m super excited to see if McGarry achieves the same level of emotion with her sophomore offering as with her first.
Harlequin Teen, July 2012, Hardcover, ISBN: 9780373210497, 392 pgs.