Book Review: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

pushing the limits cover

View from the window seat:
Echo Emerson went from a popular and perfect life to being a freak after an incident she can’t even remember left her scarred. Noah Hutchins has bounced from foster home to foster home, labeled unstable and separated from his brothers after their parents died in a fire. Both want a normal life. When they finally connect, sparks fly.

I’ve been craving a contemporary teen novel and boy, did Katie McGarry deliver. I loved Echo and Noah’s struggles throughout the novel and I loved their growth. The best stories are the ones where the characters transform; Echo and Noah grow up in this story. The author really excels at capturing both teenage woes and the transition into adulthood. The relationships Echo and Noah have with their family members (Echo’s father and stepmother and Noah’s little brothers) were wonderfully portrayed; these relationships also evolve over the story. There’s more to Echo and Noah than what appears on the surface.

There were some nit-picky things that bothered me, mostly in Noah’s narration. The repeated pet names (baby, siren, etc.) made me roll my eyes. He also constantly describes Echo in terms of her smell or her breasts, which got annoying after a while. However, I will say that while he obsesses over her body in typical teenage boy fashion, he shows through his actions that he loves Echo herself (not just her body).

Overall impression:
Pushing the Limits is a great contemporary novel with compelling character arcs and relationships.

Rating:
6

Note: I received this ARC from the publisher at the 2012 ALA Annual Conference.

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