Pushing the Limits

Pushing the Limits

Book rating: 05 Hardback Harlequin Teen

By (author) Katie Mcgarry

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  • Publisher: Harlequin Teen
  • Format: Hardback | 403 pages
  • Dimensions: 147mm x 198mm x 33mm | 499g
  • Publication date: 31 July 2012
  • Publication City/Country: Ontario
  • ISBN 10: 0373210493
  • ISBN 13: 9780373210497
  • Sales rank: 43,549

Product description

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.

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Author information

KATIE MCGARRY was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, and reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan. Katie would love to hear from her readers. Contact her via her website, katielmcgarry.com, follow her on Twitter @KatieMcGarry or become a fan on Facebook and Goodreads.

Customer reviews

By Amanda 06 Aug 2012 5

Also reviewed on my blog, The Vintage Bookworm. (www.vintagebookworm.blogspot.com)

I can't get this book out of my head. It's been three days since I finished this, and I just can't get it out of my head. When I have a free moment, my mind brings it up and I can't help it. I'm glued to the book I'm currently reading, and I love the book I'm currently reading, but I just CAN'T. GET. THIS. BOOK. OUT. OF. MY. HEAD!

If you can't tell by now, I really freaking loved this book. I LOVED it. Everything amazing. I mean, yes, I had a few issues with this book, but most of them were issues you're SUPPOSED to have while reading this book, like wanting to slap a few characters and cry because you think they are being stupid or making a very big mistake. The only problem and question that kept popping into my head was about Echo's mother. I'm not going to go into too much detail, but how, after ALL of the things that they think happened with her mother, did they NOT lock her up or put her into a psych ward? Really? I mean, I can kind of understand some of it, but at the same time I'm just left saying, "What....?"

But that's all!

I loved the characters. Except Grace. I wanted to smack a biatch when she popped into the story, ha! She drove me nuts. And I didn't really like Echo's ex-boyfriend all that well, he just seemed like your typical "I'm a jock and I'm popular, so you have to be too to be with me" guy. But Noah, oh God, Noah. I ADORED him. His past is pretty...wow, with all the girls, but oh my, Noah! *le dreamy sigh* That's all I can say about him. And Echo was a great character. She went through SO much, and I felt so bad for her. But she was a great character, even though I thought she was being stupid part of the time.

Echo and Noah were great with each other. They were complete opposites most of the time, but they fit so well together. They made each other better people. They learned a lot from each other and were just...perfect together. =) Also, the book is told in both Echo and Noah's point-of-views with alternating chapters. Which I absolutely LOVED! I loved being in both their heads. (I need to get a physical copy ASAP because I read it on a messed up format e-galley. BOO!)

I also loved both of their issues. Echo trying to remember what happened with her and her mother, and then Noah trying to get his family back together. LOVED it. Not going to go into too much detail with that, but it really added to the story.

Overall, I don't know what else to say without rambling. It was amazing and I can't wait to re-read it in the future. I REALLY want to re-read it RIGHT now with a physical copy, but I don't have one. =( So boo! I know there is another book coming out in 2013 in Beth's POV, but I wish there was another of Noah and Echo after they leave for school. I would definitely read it, even though some people think that it adds too much to a story that should of ended. But I love them so much! If you haven't read this yet, do it! I know you've most likely heard mostly GREAT things about it and you're probably suspicious, but don't be, it's amazing! Really! =D

By Dani Chapman 03 Aug 2012 5

I was excited and a little bit nervous when I received my copy of Pushing the Limits. I had read so many wonderful, glowing reviews that I was worried it would not live up to the hype. I am relieved to say that Pushing the Limits not only lived up to all the hype but for me, it surpassed it!


This book revolves around two troubled teens, Echo and Noah. Both have had devastating events in their lives that they need help in overcoming. Their family and friends are not the best support system that the teens need so they start seeing Mrs. Collins the high school new clinical social worker. With her help their lives slowly change and the secrets they have been keeping start to come to light.


This was a very emotional read for me. I was moved and brought to tears several times while reading. Yet I couldn't put it down. This is one of the best books by a debut author that I have read in a long time.


Due to the language, sex, drugs and alcohol I would recommend this book to older YA readers.

By Alaiel Kreuz 29 Jul 2012 5

Review By Alaiel Kreuz:
After being attacked by her mother -and almost killed- Echo only adds a new painful moment to her life since her brother's death. Aires was her advocate, the person that helped her and stood by her side no matter what.
But now he is dead, her dad married again with whom used to be her babysitter, Emma, and they are expecting a child. A perfect child that wouldn't bear the scars she does... the scars that are the constant reminder that something horrible happened to her even if she can't remember what and how. And no one would tell her.

That is until Mrs. Collins, her new therapist, gets involved in her life and talks about taking baby steps and working together to get her memories back. She also asks her to tutor Noah if she wants to get some money and repair Aire's car.
But Noah means trouble, he is the kid that do drugs, goes to wild parties and has sex with one girl almost every night.
The problem is the reality is not that simple: Noah's problem began when his parents died in a fire and his little brothers were taken away by the system. A system that put him with a foster father that was abusive. A system that Noah doesn't trust. That's why he wants to prove that he can be all the family the boys need.

When a single moments destroys your perfect life, what can you do to put it back together knowing that is impossible to have it all back?
Somehow these two broken souls realize that although normal doesn't really exists maybe, together, they can find a place where happiness is not impossible.

Personal Opinion:
I don't think there are enough words to describe how beautiful, amazing, mesmerizing and heartbreaking was every second reading this book.

Why? The characters will feel so real you are going to want to be a part of their lives no matter what, that's why.
But I have to be honest about something: The first 50 pages were - at least for me- kind of slow and it was easy to put the book down. For one second I even thought about stoping... But I'm SO glad I didn't 'cause that would have been a huge and horrible mistake. So if this happens to you, don't stop please, I promise you will love this book!

What makes this book so special are both main characters, Echo and Noah, whom we see struggle to put their lives back together, are afraid of being hurt again and fight their own demons.
They never thought that being together meant healing. How could they? He became the bad boy every girl should stay away from and Echo went from popular girl dating the king of school to a social paria in a heart beat.

Have you ever met a person that makes you want to be better? That you want nothing more than to help, heal and treasure? Well, this is want happens here. Echo is, deep inside, a strong girl and Noah is a a caring soul that only needs to find a place to blossom again.

My favorite character? Hum... can I say all of them? Not only Noah or Echo but also Isaac and Beth (Noah's best friends), Lila (Echo best friend) and Mrs.Collins, they all won a special place in my heart and I'm planning on keeping them there for a very long, long time.

To summom up: Best contemporary romance of the year! This genre, that usually is about love, a few problems and a happy-ending evolves to the next level with Pushing the Limits. Serious problems like child abuse, drugs, sex, death and traumas are very present in the whole book and the ending, although happy, was also bittersweet. But it was the right ending, the ending all the characters needed and I felt completely happy with it.

By Nea Barabea 16 Jul 2012 4

Oh, WOW. This book is absolutely fabulous. The story was so compelling that I couldn't stop reading it! I hated that I needed to go to work, because I would have rather read this awfully amazing book than work :P

Echo. Echo is a broken girl, to whom her mother did some really awful things. Her Dad remarried with her nanny Ashley and Echo hated it. Her brother went to the Marines and he died. She felt so alone. On one hand she was broken inside, on the other she was so so strong. I really liked her and it was easy for me to connect with her. Don't we all have parents issues and insecurities about being accepted from others at school? I really felt her.

Noah. Oh God, this boy was somehow broken too, but in a different way. In the beginning he was kind of a jerk, but then the reader could see that underneath that strong composure there was a boy who has lost everything and was trying to save what was left to save. I loved him too.

And what's even more cool is that all the story revolves around a psychologist!! :P Mrs. Collins was just amazing! If I will decide to do therapy.. I hope someday I will be exactly like her. As an almost psychologist it was a delight to read how the therapy worked.

The book is written is such a beautiful way. The story is told in two points of view, from Echo's and Noah's and that was so great, because it gives the reader the possibility to see in both their heads. It was actually quite intriguing ;)

If you love reading about romance, parents issues, issues of growing up and all these mixed with some great deal of mystery, Pushing the limits it's the perfect book for you! ;) You won't be disappointed, because really, this book is made of awesome!

By Brandi Kosiner (Brandi Breathes Books) 12 Jul 2012 5

This is one of the best contemporaries that I have read in a long time. Both of the main characters have been through so much and show so much strength and determination to live and press through. It is amazing how Katie McGarry wrote them to both be in so much pain and deal with things differently but still connect on such a deep level.
Echo really came into her own throughout the book, and the journey was hard, emotional and affirming to watch. She was a character that I connected with right away and I rooted for her to stand up to her dad in the right ways, connect with Mrs Collins who is her councelor working through things with her, and to find her own normal. It really does add an element to the story about her brother Aries. He was a Marine and died in service. I feel for her loss, but I feel that through her memories he made such an impression. His sacrifice, and his love for his sister when he was there. This is such an important topic to read about too, I have friends who are serving and I used to be in JROTC, but honestly, I have no idea what it's like to sacrifice so much for our freedom, both the men and women serving, the families back home waiting or the ones who have died and again the families feeling the loss.
Noah personifies bad boy, but we get to see his soft spots, his love for his brothers, and how he slowly lets people in. Like the councelor said to him at the beginning there is so much potential in him, academic and otherwise. I really loved how he admired Echo, and how he treated her with respect. He brings out the best in her, and that is quite a quality in a guy. Sure, he has his moments where he is a jerk, especially before he knows her, but when their friendship really develops, its beautiful to watch. It really melts my heart how he doesn't define her by what happened to her, and how comfortable he is with her scars, where it freaks most others out. He really did it for me, and I loved the hotness going on between them. There were some really swoon worthy moments, hotness and sweetness both were covered.
The layers to Noah really amazed me though. It wasn't only his attitude and actions towards Echo, but his all encompassing love for his brothers. It is such a beautiful relationship drawn out here, and I can't say much without spoiling, but Noah's heart and motivations where they were concerned made me almost cry. Katie McGarry painted some amazing pictures here about family--through Ashley and Echo, how their relationship changed, to Echo and her brother Aries relationship. Also with Noah and his blood brothers that he is seperated from (in different foster homes) to his non-blood brother and sister Isaiah and Beth, how circumstance can really draw people together, closer than family in some ways.
I love the dual perspective of the book, hearing from both Noah and Echo really adds to the story, and it also attributes to the good pacing. We have all of these internal battles going on, but it never feels repetitive, and it plays on my emotions.
Once I picked this book up, I did not want to stop reading it. Their story was like crack and I couldn't get enough.

Review quote

"This poignant narrative, which is told in the two protagonists' alternating voices, will find a following among those who enjoy contemporary teen romances." -- School and Library Journal