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Review | Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

 [amazon_image id=”0373210493″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”large” ]Pushing the Limits (Harlequin Teen)[/amazon_image]

[amazon_link id=”0373210493″ target=”_blank” ]Pushing the Limits[/amazon_link] by Katie McGarry

Harlequin Teen | July 31, 2012 | 416 pages


eARC from publisher via NetGalley.

My Grade

Plot: 5

Setting: 4

Writing: 4

Originality: 4

Characters: 5

Romance: 5

Overall: 27/30! 90%

Title/Cover Bonus: 5


A powerful contemporary set around two struggling teens looking for someone to accept them as they are; flaws, scars and all.

Summary (Goodreads)

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.


This is a GREAT trailer!!!


First Line

“My father is a control freak, I hate my stepmother, my brother is dead and my mother has…well…issues. How do you think I’m doing?”

Most Memorable Scene

When Noah meets Echo’s dad and stepmom. Her stepmom’s overreaction and Noah’s calm demeanor are pure gold. Also, there’s a scene when the counselor takes Noah to see his brother win a writing award. Can someone say pass the Kleenex please?!?!


This was a toughie. A true contemporary with a lot of teen angst and overall true life crap dished out to two pretty amazing teens. The fact that they find each other to work through the issues together is what makes this book so easy to love. Noah and Echo fit together like ham and cheese.

Other than the awesomeness that was Noah and Echo I really enjoyed walking through the phase of Echo remembering her memories. I think everything unfolded very nicely. I also enjoyed seeing Echo’s love for art and Noah’s non-badassness side emerge.


Mostly set in their high school, Echo’s house and garage and occasionally at Noah’s work. A few major scenes were set in Noah’s room. Nothing specatucular really stood out.


You know how much I love alternating point of views! This one is no different. Perfectly balanced and I didn’t once want to switch to the others point of view instead. Therefore, Katie did an amazing job of picking who’s POV each scene should be from.


This was reminicent of Simone Elkeles’ amazing works of art. It might not have been as intense as Simone’s books but I think it made up with the individual aspects of each character. Not to say Simone’s characters are lacking but only that Noah and Echo really stand out amoung other characters too.


Echo is having one heck of a high school year. She’s been through a lot that I can’t even imagine where to begin. I can only say that I can’t blame her for how she reacted and how she cooped in the beginning. I commend her best friend, Lila, for being awesome. Her other friends though? Those are the kind of people you spend all of high school trying to please and then upon graduation realize what the heck was the point?  And how about that name?! Echo is a very cool name and I enjoyed seeing it in this book.

Noah on the other hand has done a lot to get himself where he is at the beginning of this book. I didn’t quite get him at first and it takes a while to really get to know him and completely understand what happened. But once you get it, you get him. His brothers were characters I enjoyed seeing through out the story.

Mrs. Collins is the high school counselor set to help both Noah and Echo. I enjoyed her adult character and thought she was an added asset to the story. She wasn’t overbearing and she didn’t eclipse any issue as unimportant or unrelated.


Of course you see it coming but they don’t! I can say that while I liked Echo’s reaction to Noah, Noah’s reaction to Echo was lovely. I enjoyed witnessing Noah’s fall to love. Very intense in some scenes, nothing too intense if you follow me, but it was true to character and lovely.

Title/Cover Bonus

A gorgeous cover. Depicts Noah and Echo spot on and set in a high school hallway to boot.


A great ending. I was excited to see there will be a follow up book featuring one of Noah’s friends!


Dare You To will feature Noah’s friend Beth! Expected to be published in 2013.


Debut author KATIE McGARRY was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings and reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie would love to hear from her readers. Contact her via her website,, follow her on
Twitter @KatieMcGarry, or become a fan on Facebook and Goodreads.

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