Series: Pushing the Limits #1
Published by Harlequin Teen on July 31st 2012
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.
I have heard a lot about this book. Which is why I was a little hesitant towards reading it. I can honestly punch myself in the face for being hesitant to reading it. As the quote says, fuck me and the rest of the world, because I am in love with this book!
This story was real and confronting. The main characters, Echo and Noah, both have a past that have left them scared. Echo has survived a heart-breaking tragedy that left her suffering from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), through bits and pieces we find out what has happened to her. When her school counsellor provides her with a tutoring job she comes face to face with Noah -aka the bad boy, whom we like very much. His past is just as dark and troubled as hers, though we don’t know that until later in the book.
Katie McGarry uses alternating narration between the main characters. Which, in my opinion, works best for a book like this. It offers insight into both Echo and Noah. You can relate to both characters to the point that you understand their actions. Even if you don’t agree with their actions. Because you have insight into what they’re thinking you understand what moved them to make the decision.
The main characters, but the side characters as well all have depth and they all have their own story. Characters like Beth and Isaiah. Their story is the subplot, and not surprisingly they are the main characters in the sequel to Pushing the Limits.
The romance in this book was nothing but perfectly constructed. There was no insta-love. Echo and Noah’s relationship grows as they do throughout the story. It builds slowly, which makes it so realistic and believable. Even though the developing relationship is very present all through the story, it is the personal journeys of the main characters that matter the most. Their personal stories are part of what have them end up together. They are both physically and emotionally scared by life. Reading about how they slowly learnt to trust each other was super sweet.
“If you’re scared, tell me. If you need to cry and scream, then do it. And you sure as hell don’t walk away from us because you think it would be better for me. Here’s the reality, Echo: I want to be by your side. If you want to go to the mall stark naked so you can show the world your scars, then let me hold your hand. If you want to see your mom, then tell me that too. I may not always understand, but damn, baby, I’ll try.”
This book deals with quite some though subjects, that in some cases hit a little close to home for me. I can imagine that it is an emotional read for almost anybody, but even more so for me.
In the end this is a story about two people with a dark past that have to let their guards down in order to find their way back. A beautiful read, that I’d recommend to any fan of Simone Elkeles’ Perfect Chemistry series!