Book Review: Pushing the Limits

Pushing the Limits
Published By: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: July 31, 2012
Page Count: 384
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via NetGalley
Audience: Young Adult - Contemporary Romance

I almost didn't read this one because the cover just screams cheesy. That would have been such a stupid mistake. I have yet again been reminded that judging a book by its cover isn't a good idea. Pushing the Limits is one of the best contemporary romances I have read since discovering Simone Elkeles and the Fuentes brothers. I have to admit that I might like Noah just a tiny bit more than the Fuentes brothers. You do get that sense of starcrossed lovers that the Elkeles books bring to mind, but its for very different reasons.

One of the things that I really love about this book is it is not just a cookie cutter romance with a gorgeous girl and a hot boy. Echo and Noah are teens with some serious emotional issues to overcome. Their lives are not easy and they know that being together comes with its own set of obstacles. The relationship between these two is real and isn't of the cotton candy variety. I loved seeing Noah and Echo shed their insecurities and learn how to be a couple. It was also nice that the novel bounced between Echo and Noah's perspectives so you could really understand their thoughts and actions. 

I went through the emotional gauntlet with this one. I laughed. I cried. I got angry. Only a talented writer and compelling writer can create such a response. I was rooting for a happy ending for both Echo and Noah from the first moment I met them. These are two kids who have been through so much. The supporting characters were also memorable and helped evoke many emotions as well. 

Pushing the Limits, at its core, is a story of survival, hope, and love. Life can really suck sometimes, but its the moments with those we love that can make all the difference. I am inspired to appreciate my loved ones a bit more after reading this novel.

A word of caution - Keep in mind that Echo and Noah are Seniors in high school so their relationship veers more in the adult direction. Be warned that this one fogged up my Kindle screen at a few points and might be a bit much for younger teens. There are also numerous instances of the F-word and lots of drug references. Is this typical of high school? Sure. Is this a book every parent will want their teen to read? Not so much. Did I enjoy it? Immensely. 

Katie McGarry is a force to be reckoned with in the YA world and I cannot wait to read her next book. She doesn't sugar coat the harsh aspects of life. I find that to be tremendously valuable in YA fiction. This is a novel that I had to force myself to read slowly because I knew the end was coming far too soon for my liking. This should be at the top of your pre-order list.


One Last Gripe: I was really frustrated by the foster system and how it often lets kids like Noah down.

My Favorite Thing About This Book: The chemistry between Echo and Noah

First Sentence: "My father is a control freak, I hate my stepmother, my brother is dead and my mother has... well... issues."

Favorite Character: Noah

Least Favorite Character: Grace



So wrong for each other...and yet so right.

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.


Comments

  1. Sounds like a must read for me. :) Thanks for the review!

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    1. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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  2. The cover screams cheesy? Really?*I'm giving you A Look*. I happen to love the cover so very much and put it on my TBR list before I even read the synopsis. And I also happen to be one of those people who judges books by its cover ;) But in the end, I'm so glad that you love this book so much. Great review! :D

    Fara @ Tumbling In Books

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    1. To me the cover made me think crappy romance novel - which is not my cup of tea. This book though was well worth my time and was not a crappy romance novel.

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  3. Better then the Fuentes brothers? Now I really need to read this book! Great review :)

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    1. Just a tiny bit - I still love the Fuentes brothers too. :)

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  4. Great review! Can't wait to read this one. I'm in the mood for a great romance...

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    1. This will certainly satisfy your romance craving. Love love love it!

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  5. Loved this one too.

    Valerie
    StuckInBooks.com

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    1. So nice to meet another fan. You've got good taste in books. :)

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  6. Okay, I have to say, you are kinda right. When I looked at the cover (and then a second later the summary), I kinda thought the cover was cheesey too. I thought it was going to be about a girl and boy who couldnt' be together and must find a way blah blah blah. But no.
    And this review makes me want to read it even more. :D Thank you!

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    1. I learned my lesson with not judging books by their cover. This one is well worth the time. So glad you enjoyed the review!

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  7. This isn't always the easiest topic to write about. I'm definitely intrigued. I love reading a good emotional read every now and then.

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    1. This one will certainly tug at your heart strings and your tear ducts.

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  8. I love the sound of this one! I love how both characters need to heal and that their love helps them:)

    I kinda like the cover - it's very dark, so you get the feeling that the romance is clandestine:)

    Great review:)

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    1. I never really paid attention to the darkness until you mentioned it. I love that interpretation.

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  9. Your review was so compelling! I love a good romance, and the fact you compared it to Simone Elkeles' books had me even more intrigued. Of course if your review wasn't enough, that first line did me in. I love when contemporaries feel real, like they could actually have happened.

    I'm definitely adding this to my TBR list! Thanks!

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    1. Thanks for checking out my review. This is one of my top 5 favorite contemporaries. It's so so good.

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  10. I found it funny how you said that it wasn't one of those cookie cutter romances, because the cover certainly made me think otherwise. I keep hearing that this book is awesome!

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    1. I had that same initial reaction when I saw the cover and almost didn't read it because of that. That would have been such a tragic mistake.

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  11. Thanks for that awesome review! I'm not big into contemporary either and I TOTALLY hear you on the cover ick factor, but this one does sound really deep and not filled with fluff. I'm definitely going to have to pick it up.

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    1. Fluff is nonexistent in this one. It's real and edgy.

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  12. OMG you really liked it didn't you ok I NEED to read this book NOW (I not crazy I swear) :D

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  13. I can't wait to read this one. After reading so many shiny and glowing reviews I can't wait to get my hands on it!

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    1. Best of luck! We will be hosting another giveaway for this one in August if you're not the lucky winner this time around.

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  14. I'm so excited to read this book!

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    1. Awesome! Feel free to stop back by and share your thoughts once you've had a chance to read it. I'd love to hear if you love it as much as I do.

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  15. I have never read an "Andrea" review before, but I must say that you might just be a favorite reviewer of mine. I loved this review. Loved it. I can't wait to read Pushing the Limits. After so many positive reviews, and now yours, I don't know how much longer I will be able to wait. Oh, and don't worry, I have serious cover judging issues myself. You are not alone!!

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind remarks. I love hearing when people enjoy my reviews. Your comments made my day. :)

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  16. This book looks sooooooo goooooodd

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  17. I loved this book so much, I'm going back over older reviews to reread them and remember how much I loved it!!!

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  18. This looks like such a good book! I'm really excited to read it. It sounds pretty depressing in parts (especially that first sentence) but I'm sure I'll love it! Thanks for the review!

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  19. OK I am so jealous you got to read this book. I have been trying to get my hands on this book forever and after reading your review I want it so much more :)

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  20. I've been reading nothing but GREAT reviews about this book and I'm dying to get my hands on a copy! OMG I really want this book. sigh

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  21. I love finding a book that takes me through a range of emotions and this sounds like it will do just that! Great review, can't wait to get my hands on this book

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  22. great review. I really look forward to reading this at some point. Maybe I will get lucky and win.

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  23. This has been on my to-read list on Goodreads for months. After reading this review, i MUST read this next!!!

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  24. Every time I see the cover I think cheesy too. So many people have raved about the book though, I feel I should give it a chance.

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  25. I loved this book! It definitely made my top 10 for the year. I absolutely loved Noah and Echo together and when the truth comes out, wow!

    Not sure I really want to read the sequel, given Beth's behavior in Pushing the Limits but I'm sure I'll give in!

    Thanks for the review.

    My review is here: http://booksconsidered.blogspot.com/2012/12/review-pushing-limits-pushing-limits-1.html

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  26. This was such a great emotional read! I usually don't cry from books but this one made me shed a few tears. I can't wait to read the next book in the series! Thanks for your thoughts...I also love the first line.

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  27. I adored this book! I'm so glad you liked it to! :)

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  28. LOVED this one!! It was emotional and hopeful and such a wonderful social commentary too:))

    Lovely review:)

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  29. I've read some great reviews of this one, but I'll admit that the language and content issues have me a little wary due to my personal tolerances in that area.

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  30. The emotional issues in this book are so so real, and it's obvious how they belong together:))

    Lovely review:)

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  31. I'm not much of a romance buff and the cover didn't impress me too much. But the story looks good. Interesting review.

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  32. I see reviews for this book everywhere, but I never click on them because I also think the cover looks too cheesy. Noah sounds super yummy!

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  33. While contemporary is not first on my list, I may see if this one is at the library.

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  34. heh, the cover was turning me off of this series as well. I've had terrible luck with kissing covers, so I tend to avoid them. I've been seeing pretty good reviews for this though, so I may have to break that rule.

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  35. This book is perfect. I hope I'll read it in the near future. Thank you for this amazing review.

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  36. I am a dang dummy, I tell you! Dummy. This book is sitting on my shelf, and has been for months, and I still haven't read it yet. I get behind so much on reading and I forgot about all of the amazing books that are sitting on my shelf! I have to read this as soon as possible!

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  37. lol...you'll be kicking yourself on this one for waiting so long! AMAZING!

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  38. I wasn't really interested in this book before because I don't read many contemporary books and I don't really like these kind of covers but maybe I'll give it try in the future. Thanks for the review!

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  39. Awesome review! I can not wait for Dare You To :D Which is Beth's story... Oh Gosh, I want!!

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  40. I'm not really into romance but I've seen a lot of praises for this book. It must be good then, but I still wouldn't buy this. Maybe I'll borrow from the library or a friend.

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