Monday, 30 July 2012

Review: Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry

(image and summary from goodreads, eARC courtesy of NetGalley)

"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.

My thoughts:
I know this book is supposed to centre around Echo's story, but somehow I ended up being more vested in Noah's. Reminiscent of Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles, we see the story through two perspectives, Echo's and Noah's. 

Echo is a shadow of her former popular self due to several reasons - she misses her brother who died in Afghanistan, she doesn't get along with her father's new wife (her former babysitter whom she used to adore) and she feels like that she's about to be replaced by her new stepbrother/sister. But more importantly, her confusion and loneliness stems from an incident that she doesn't remember at all; one that ended with her in a hospital covered in blood.

Enter Noah. With a reputation for being a bad boy who uses girls, he is the quite possibly the last thing Echo wants or needs. But it turns out that behind his attitude lies a lonely boy who lost his parents and had to endure the splitting up of his family. After being bounced from one foster family to another, he is determined that his brothers will not end up victims of a horrendous system.

Being thrown together by their school counsellor would seem like the worst possible situation, but Echo and Noah soon realise that there is more to one another, and more importantly, this 'arrangement' may just work in both their favours.

As I said, I looked forward to Noah's story more than I did Echo's, though I did understand her frustration at not being able to remember or move on. I couldn't stand some of Echo's friends who were 'using' her for their own purposes. I also wanted to shake Echo at times, for being so idiotic in her determination to be 'normal'.

While not my favourite, I do see myself reading it again at some point, just as a guilty pleasure.

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