Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry
Rating: 4 stars
So, I've been putting this review off for a while due to exams, and now that they're finally over (well, the first set of them anyway), I can get on with it! I hope you all enjoyed the Q&A with the author Katie McGarry and if you live in US/Canada, I hope you've also entered the giveaway. It'll be closed in a few days so good luck to everyone who has entered!
Like I've said before, contemporary novels aren't really my cup of tea, but the few contemporary novels that I actually liked have all touched me deeply inside. Pushing The Limits is one of such novel. I think a reason I don't seem to like contemporary as much is because for some reason, I've always picked up dark contemporaries. So instead of some light relief I wanted, I get something heavy and painful. However, there is a kind of depth to the darker stories that the cheesy puffs can't compare.
Pushing the Limits was intense, thrilling and unique. As soon as I started reading it, I got sucked into the book completely. The experience of both main characters could be painful and heartbreaking at times, but it made the reader feel with with them and stay with them. It was quite a classic example of characters finding themselves through an emotional journey. I felt their pain and heaviness. It took me on a journey too. This was not something easily accomplished. Aside from the darker parts, I also felt the joy of their love and happiness. It made me appreciate the sweet moments in life a lot more. The romance was intense and heart-warming. I really liked the way Noah treated Echo. He was caring, careful and supportive.
Once again, the main characters were very different from who I am. Noah was honestly a kind of character I was totally unfamiliar with in real life, but I could somehow still connect with him. Noah was determined and protective. Although he was treated unfairly in life, he tried to hid himself behind a made-up tough persona, but eventually he realised he was allowed to have a good life too. He cared for his brothers and wanted to protect them to avoid bad experiences he had. He love Echo and was willing to fight whatever in his way for people he loved.
I could relate to Echo a lot more. Even though I didn't have her horrible experiences, her position in life was something I could understand. She needed to achieve the best possible grades in school and also obey every single command from adults because she wanted a good life back. Echo was brave yet fearful. She wasn't one of the kickass heroines, rather she was cautious and learned from her mistakes and experiences. She grew up in the book and learned to trust people who loved her.
Both charaters transformed through the book, but perhaps Echo more so than Noah. She started off as a petite and weak characters whom I would look past without a second glance, changed to someone who could make her own decision and stands up for herself and others. Bit by bit, Echo was able to push past her pain and fear to find what she wants and to look for her own path. Although she might not be the Echo she was at the beginning of the book, she stayed true to herself through the whole thing. I admire her courage. Noah also had terrible encounters in life during his earlier years. I really admire how he was able to stay determined, be able to love and stand up for the right inspite of the bullies he came across, the lack of love and family tragedy. He had a huge capacity for tolerance and compassion. Noah changed from a hot-headed (angry) and single-minded boy to a grown young man capable of seeing reason clearly and willing to make a sacrifice for people he loved. He learned to be willing to give in a little for a brighter future for everyone.
Both of these characters went on a 'journey' to find who they are and what they will be. Me, as the reader, also went on this breath-taking road with them. I really enjoyed 'growing up' alongside the characters, learning more about humanity and the harsh reality of life. At the end, I understood and liked the characters, as well as felt content with the ending.
The writing style was unique and narrated in both Noah and Echo's perspectives. It alternated so that Echo would narrate one or two chapters and then Noah will continue on and then Echo will come back and so on. It provided more insight to each of these main characters and helped me to understand them better.
Overall, this was a great read. It's a book I really enjoyed and would definitely recommend it to all contemporary fans.
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.