Book Review: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarryTitle: Pushing the Limits
Author: Katie McGarry
Genre: Young Adult
Sensuality Rating: Innocent
Source: NetGalley
Published: August 1, 2012 by Harlequin Teen


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.

Why I Read this Book: Everything about this book drew me in. First, it was the cover the captured my attention. It’s a simple cover but there’s a story there and I wanted to know what their story was. The title also piqued my interest. And the synopsis drove it home for me. I received an eARC copy of this book from the publisher but I definitely want to buy a hard copy of this book for my shelf.

What I Liked: Noah’s story affected me the most. His character grabbed me and I wanted everything to turn out alright for him. I loved watching Noah grow, emotionally and mentally. He was a difficult, angsty teenager in the beginning but he softened up a bit without losing his edge. He’s passionate about keeping his family together and will do anything to ensure his younger brothers grow up in a good home. In the beginning of Pushing the Limits, he sees only one way to accomplish this. But by the end of the book, he’s open to an entirely different way to making this happen.

Echo’s is one of those stories where it’s easy to jump to conclusions, especially since she can’t remember anything that happened from that one very important day. Yet once the pieces of the puzzle come together, it’s not about putting the blame on someone; it’s about learning from that experience, from those involved, and moving forward. And the author does this, unravels Echo’s story, fluidly and in due time.

I love how Mrs. Collins never acted like an authority figure yet she didn’t act like Echo’s and Noah’s best friend either. She had a place in each one’s life and helped both find their own way themselves.

I enjoyed reading about Beth and Isaiah's relationship just as much as I did Echo and Noah’s. Beth’s sassy and stubborn but she really cares about her friends. I can’t wait to read Dare You, Beth’s book. I read the first chapter sneak peak for this book and I WANT. Like NOW.

ETA: I totally forgot to mention this – Pushing the Limits is told is in alternating POV (point of view) from both Noah’s perspective and Echo’s. I really love this writing style because I get to see the inner thinking of both main characters and I get a balanced story.

What I Didn’t Like: There was anything I didn’t like about this book.

Memorable Moments: On Beth. She cracked me up:

“I went to the store today, Noah, and bought glue. The crazy kind.”

Mrs. Collins speaking to Noah during a somber moment:

“Because growing up means making tough choices, and doing the right thing doesn’t necessarily mean doing the thing that feels good.”

Wise words spoken from a wise Noah:

“I watched you battle against the worst memory of your life and I watched you win. Make no mistake, Echo. I battled right beside you. You need to find some trust in me…in us.”

Overall Impression: Pushing the Limits was easily one of the best YA novels I’ve ever read. It was an emotionally charged and moving read. The author pulled me in with likable characters and captured me with her eloquent writing flair. This is a book that will resonate with a mass audience, young and old alike.

Brianna’s Rating:
5 Frogs

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About Brianna: Supermom by day, naughty reader by night. Addicted to chocolate, Twitter, her iPad, her Kindle, and 99¢ Kindle deals. You can follow Brianna on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Instagram.


  1. Wow! A 5 frog review! In the immortal words of Mr. Burns, "egg-cellent!"

    1. I absolutely loved this book. Definitely re-read material for me and I'm not a re-reader.

  2. Mrs Collins was definitely one of my favorite characters and probably one of my favorite adult characters of the year as well-I loved her bad driving and how she was actually someone Noah and Echo could rely on.

    1. I agree. She's someone teens can relate to. She doesn't make herself all 'high and mighty' simply because she's an adult. And I like how she made Noah and Echo figure things out for themselves.

  3. I'm so glad you enjoyed PtL. I really loved it. The author took what could be a very cliched story and instead created something very special.
    It's a very dramatic yet relatable story.

  4. I keep seeing good reviews for this. I can't wait to buy it tomorrow.

  5. I don't think i've read a single bad review on this book. The story seems really interesting.

  6. I loved this one too. Noah made me cry.


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