Laura Graves's Reviews > Pushing the Limits

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
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Jul 27, 12

bookshelves: year-2012, ages-young-adult
Read from July 25 to 27, 2012

http://www.owltellyouaboutit.com/posts/pushing-the-limits/

Pushing the Limits was getting buzz long before it came out, and I jumped on the NetGalley train with this one. It just sounded so great. And that cover? Perfect. I was extremely excited about finally getting to it, and it really exceeded my expectations. I could not put this book down. I read it in a span of about 36 hours. I wasn’t even that sad upon finishing because I know I’ll see these characters again when the companion novel comes out.

This book is reminiscent of Perfect Chemistry on a few counts. First of all, the point of view alternates between Echo and Noah. First up is Echo, who’s had a very rough two years. I was really impressed with Echo because despite all her problems, she gets up and keeps going. I think most people would have had a really hard time picking up the pieces, and it certainly hasn’t been easy for Echo. I just think she come across really strong. Noah was a little more frustrating because of his complete distrust in adults. It’s always hard to see someone shut everyone out like that, but Noah is still a really great guy. He loves his brothers so much and he also watches out for Beth and Isaiah like they’re family. The way he is with Echo is what really makes him lovable. He’s not disgusted by her scars and he understands her loss. They’re so beautiful together.

Some other similarities to Perfect Chemistry are that Echo and Noah hang out in different crowds, he has a fierce protectiveness for his brothers, and they pretend to hate each other in the beginning. That’s about where the similarities end. The issues they’re both dealing with are fresh. I’ve never read a YA book about repressed memories or foster care, though I’m sure they’re out there. I loved the way those topics were dealt with in this book though. I loved every second of it and I can’t wait for more from Katie McGarry.

On a side note, I love that McGarry turned up the heat without actually having the characters have sex. I have no real objections to teens having sex as long as they’re well-informed and safe, but it’s refreshing for a couple to wait until they know they’re ready. Noah is so patient with Echo and I think that’s beautiful.

Pushing the Limits is an excellent debut from Katie McGarry. It manages to be both gritty and sweet. I highly recommend this to lovers of contemporary YA.
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