Pushing the Limits

Pushing the Limits

4.05 (121,517 ratings by Goodreads)
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Book 1 in Katie McGarry's award winning Pushing The Limits series 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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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 416 pages
  • 150 x 211 x 38mm | 522g
  • Ontario, Canada
  • English
  • Original ed.
  • 0373210493
  • 9780373210497
  • 130,425

Review quote

"This intense and intriguing debut delves into the psychological difficulties of two teens who fall in love ... A probing, captivating story." -- Kirkus Reviews
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About Katie McGarry

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.
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Rating details

121,517 ratings
4.05 out of 5 stars
5 41% (50,014)
4 33% (40,243)
3 18% (21,628)
2 5% (6,119)
1 3% (3,513)

Our customer reviews

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! =Dshow more
by Amanda
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.show more
by Dani Chapman
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.show more
by Alaiel Kreuz
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! <3show more
by Nea Barabea
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.show more
by Brandi Kosiner (Brandi Breathes Books)
When I was reading Pushing the Limits I never thought I would love it as much as I did. There are only a handful of books that could make me cry and this is one of them. I don't mean oh here is a sad part, cry a little, move on. I found myself teary very often, I had to grab a box of Kleenex several time throughout the book. I was pulled in by the authors story. I found myself drawn to both Echo and Noah and praying for a happy ending. They are two people who have suffered a lot in their young lives. If there ever was a couple who deserved a HEA it is these two. Pushing the Limits is told in both Echo and Noah's PoV's. This makes both stories flow together nicely. Echo is a girl who is lost. She had a very traumatic experience that she has no memory of. She knows the basics of what happened by what people told her, but she draws a blank of the whole event. Echo is about to finish high school, she gets good grades, but nothing ever seems to be good enough for her dad. She is dealing with an overbearing dad, the death of her brother, a mother who is bipolar and a stepmom, who as far as she is concerned broke her family up. Echo is a very confused girl, struggling to deal with life and tries to never draw attention to herself. She wants to know what happened to her, and she will stop at nothing to find out, with some help from Noah of course. I loved reading Echo's PoV's. It was almost poetic to watch her go from being lost to finally finding herself. She was an amazing character that you can't help but like. Noah is a boy who was dealt a crappy hand. He lost his parents to a fire and two and a half years later he is trying to get custody of his two younger brothers. He believes they are being abused by their foster parents and will do anything to have them with him. Noah has seen a side of life most people haven't. He has had several foster families, who could care less about him or are abusive, that he believes all of them are like this. I can't say I blame him. I loved watching Noah struggle with his feelings for Echo. Needless to say he is not the type of guy who stuck with a girl beyond a night. To be honest, to me Noah was redeeming himself. He was learning to become an adult so he could take care of his brothers, Echo opened his eyes and made him see that maybe he did have to work harder to be the man those boys needed as a father. Noah was just plain perfect. Both Echo and Noah were two characters that could not of been better written. The author made me fall in love with them both. Not once was I annoyed with them, they had honest reactions to what they were dealing with. To see two very different people come together in their time of need was beautiful. They suited each other, and never once were they not there for each other. Sometimes we all need that someone to hold us up when things get bad, to make us see that silver lining. When either one started to fall, they held each other up. They made the perfect couple. The support character were amazing. Even when the ones that annoyed me and just plain made me angry. I had my favourites, who doesn't. Everyone played a part in Pushing the Limits. There were no characters that seemed pointless. I loved the interaction between Noah, Beth and Isaiah. Even better was the sessions with Mrs.Collins. She was just amazing. I loved seeing how annoyed Echo and Noah got with her, I found myself laughing a few times over their reactions. Her driving was priceless, I know I would not want to be driving with her. The last character that I found held great importance and brought life to the story was Echo's brother Aires. Even though he was dead, I felt that he was very much a part of Echo's life. It was almost like he was there in spirit. Their relationship touched me in a way that I can't even describe. I clearly understood Echo's need to finish fixing his car. There were many scene's where Echo was thinking of her brother that had me teary. In all honesty, you need a box of Kleenex. The author wrote a beautiful story where two people who were so lost, found themselves and found each other in the process. I am truly amazed that this is a debut author. The writing was superb, and the plot strong and complete. Not once was I left wondering why something was happening, everything happened for a reason, like a well placed brush stroke. I read this one in one sitting. I couldn't stop reading. Much to my husbands annoyance. Katie McGarry did an amazing job with Pushing the Limits. I will definitely be looking forward to future releases by this author. Copy provided by Netgalley with permission from the publisher.show more
by Michelle hart
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