Thursday, August 16, 2012

Review: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Goodreads Summary:
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.

I received this book from the publisher (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.

My Review: 
First, some theme music:

Echo's mom could probably win Worst Mom award in YA fiction. And her dad is a serious contender for Worst Dad. Which when written out like this, seems implausible and contrived. But in the book, it is very realistically written and Echo's mom and dad are believable in their roles. Which is a writing achievement because Echo's mom is rarely in the pages, yet her presence looms and is felt throughout the book. Perhaps even enhanced by her absence.     

The theme music from the Indigo Girls, "Closer to Fine"...the answers to life's questions don't always give us peace. Sometimes knowing the truth doesn't bring comfort, it's just brings more questions and heartache. Which brings us back to Pushing the Limits. That these are the types of truths Echo and Noah are looking for. Which is my major problem with the book- that the ending wraps things up a little too nicely. But it's a relatively minor complaint because the rest of the book was so wonderful- realistic characters, plausible character development, the relationship between Noah and Echo developed nicely, etc.  

What can I say about this book that hasn't already been said? I mean, like everyone, I love the characters of Echo and Noah. Maybe because I have kids and am older, what really stuck with me is how much I hated Echo's dad. Which is not a knock against the book, it's actually a good thing because her dad was a complex character with his own issues. His need for perfection- especially surface perfection. The kind of dad that cares about the image his family presents- because they are a reflection on and of him- rather than the reality of their lives. I remember someone asking my mom what she wanted me to be when I grew up. My mother's response: HAPPY. That's it. When I grew up, she wanted me to have a life filled with happiness. I think I hated Echo's dad, because he would be one of those people who just wouldn't get that.
Overall Rating: 3 1/2 stars  
Genre Rating: 4 school lockers  

Katie McGarry's Website     
Katie McGarry's Twitter
Pushing the Limits

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