Emily (Book Jems)'s Reviews > Pushing the Limits

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
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As seen on Ed and Em's Reviews!



Once again, I must state that I do not like writing bad reviews. I hate it, most of the time… But this book really upset me. I'm about to rant a bit, so look away if you must.

Okay. So I'm not completely unbiased as I judge this book. I was diagnosed with Bi-Polar II Depression Disorder when I was eighteen and since then, I've done a lot of studying on it, had therapy over it, been to counselors and psychiatrists. I'd say I know the mental illness better than the back of my hand and this book made me livid. Bi-Polar Disorder does not make you a monster, that may not have been how the author tried to portray the illness, but that's what it read like to me. It does not mean you are crazy. (view spoiler) Even if the author is writing about Bi-Polar I, the disorder causes mania meaning you basically have no control of your emotions, but let them control you. Bi-Polar I usually goes through months at a time of a high or low. Mania can involve spending all of your money, or having copious amounts of sex, or trying to kill yourself (sometimes succeeding), but homicide is a very, very, very, very, very rarely linked to the disorder. As this story unfolded, I wanted to cry over the misconstruction of it.

I get what the author was trying to do, really, I do. I'm not saying that everyone with Bi-Polar disorder is a good person, but not everybody you see on the street is good either. What bothers me is not that the woman with Bi-Polar disorder was the bad guy, but the fact that everyone thought she was toxic. Echo linked the disease as being crazy, instead of placing the blame on her mother. I get that you are somewhat in denial, Echo, but your mother is not evil. She is mentally unstable. She needs medical treatment and an outlet for grief.

This book felt unreal to me. The romance, Noah's crude point-of-view, the family situations, the counseling, the high school experience. Everything about this book was awkward.

This is how I read it: "Oh yeah, you've been going to my school for quite some time, we've even had classes together, but after I made fun of you one time and we met in the counselor's office, I think we are meant to be and I'll never sleep with anyone else. Luv u." This is not real life. I'm sorry, but I expected so much more from this book. This is one fat cliche. Seriously, bad boy, that secretly wants to be good, with the good, misunderstood girl. Somehow they fall in love, but it's forbidden and against all odds.They fight through barriers that are only there because of a lack of communication and try to find happiness.

It was like a train-wreck. I couldn't stop reading. I LOVED the idea of the story. I'm even okay with the fact that the "bad guy" is Bi-Polar, but nothing in this book adds up for me. Why did it take so long for Echo to remember something that took me seconds to clue into? I mean, she has all the pieces in front of her. She didn't seem like the smart girl she was said to be to me. How do poor foster kids afford tattoos? This has been a question of mine in every book with a situation like this. Why are you friends with jerks, Echo? Seriously. You have one good friend, yet you hang around the rest of these losers and practically hang on their coattails. Maybe I'm just tired of weak women, but really… This girl frustrated me beyond belief.

I didn't like the characters. At all. Echo was three different people at one time - that's not Bi-Polar Disorder, dear, that's Dissociative Identity Disorder, better known as Multiple Personality Disorder. Plus she has absolutely no backbone. Come on! Stand up for yourself. Your family has hurt you constantly, you are unhappy with your life, but you are doing nothing about it! The entire book, I waited for Echo to resolve her relationships with her family members. I was sorely disappointed when it just settled. Noah was disgusting. I'm all for bad boys. I love them… Most of them. But the cliche in his sexist, fake holier-than-thou attitude just annoyed me. As I reread through all of my notes, I'm laughing so hard, because honestly, I'm funny and I make some excellent points, if I do say so myself. I wish I could give you all of the excerpts of my hilarity, but there are too many to type. So I'll leave you with this:

"Come on, my little siren. Come to me." - 37%, Noah POV

My written response: "holy john travolta, this boy is terrifying. what a creepy little sh*t. who thinks like that besides pedophiles? really. this is real life. i feel the need to slap myself in the face with a desk and alert the cops in this story."


So, as much as I hate writing bad reviews, by the end of them, I've had fun. I've got a lot of unresolved anger and I take it out on unsuspecting books that I can't stand. But that's my opinion and...

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Reading Progress

54.0% "If this continues in the direction it's in right now, my review will make me a hated human being."
100.0% "Dear God. I need to read something awesome to make up for that."

Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Wendy Darling I really didn't like any of the characters either. And you're right, the person with bipolar was pretty demonized.

Emily (Book Jems) I'm glad I'm not alone on this one. It has seriously surprised me how many people have liked it. I think the author handled the bi-polar "situation" very crudely and I'm still frustrated by it.

Wendy Darling I wasn't really a fan of the way the book was written at all. It wasn't terrible, but as you say, many things were handled rather crudely and simplistically. I'm surprised it is so popular too, or at least loved by so many people.

I should probably write a couple more lines for a short review at some point. *sigh*

Emily (Book Jems) Can't wait to read that review! I'd love to read your full opinion on it. You always are insightful. ;)

And the writing makes it obvious that this is a debut. The author has a potential, but her research was sloppy and the book lacked a real climax, if I remember correctly.

Stephanie EVERYTHING you said! I raged with all the cries! <33

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