August 3, 2012

Book Review: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry + A Giveaway

I love this cover*

At First Sight: Entering the second semester of her last year of high school, the last place Echo wants to be is at the office of yet another psychologist, particularly because this one, Mrs. Collins, is school/court mandated.

Two years ago, Echo had the perfect life: popular, pretty, with an equally popular and handsome boyfriend and good friends, but then something happened toward the end of her sophomore year, something she can't really remember even as she lives with the scars said event left behind; and nothing has been the same ever since. 

To top it all off, her former babysitter turned nanny turned stepmother is pregnant and her super strict father has a tendency to put Ashley's feelings above everyone else's, even Echo's. 

On the other hand there is Noah, who has been bouncing around in foster care ever since his parents died a few years before. He has been separated from his two little brothers and wants nothing more than have them with him again, to have his family back. 

He is in court/school mandated counseling with Mrs. Collins too, but he has been screwed over by the system so much that he has given up on it. But Mrs. Collins is not ready to give up on him and that's how Noah very reluctantly finds himself being tutored by Echo, in exchange of Mrs. Collins helping him get more time with his siblings. 

Their first few meetings don't go well, as both of them have many preconceived notions about the other, and about how others view them, but they keep running into each other and soon start to see beyond their first impressions. 

Second Glance: I didn't want to give too much away in the summary, so I hope I didn't. Pushing the Limits was a bit of a surprise for me, but in a very good way. I don't usually like books that are very hyped about or I like them but not as much as everyone else, so when I saw the amount of good reviews this book had gotten, I got nervous. 

This was, however, one of those times when the hype was completely justified! Pushing the Limits is an intense story that left me book-hung over - it took me a few days to start another book once I finished this one because I just didn't want to leave Noah and Echo. 

Both of them were amazing characters and I felt deeply for the things that had happened and were happening to them. In someways, Echo and Noah had lost everything before meeting each other and were desperately trying to find something that felt like normalcy, without much success. 

Neither of them wanted a relationship but that's how they started to find some peace. They made mistakes - many of them - but they made sense for their ages and backgrounds. And I loved that while Noah could be a big jerk at times, he understood he was being a jerk, he wasn't all "What did I do?", he knew. 

I also loved he secondary characters like Beth and Isaiah, Noah's best friends and sort of foster siblings, who are there for each other no matter what. And Echo's brother Aires - even though he's dead he sounds like a great guy.

I didn't like Echo's friends, they were annoying and mean, but oh well. Other than that and the fact I felt  the story went around in circles a little in the middle, it was a great book. 

Bottom Line: From page one, Pushing the Limits got a hold on me and didn't let up, not even after I finished the book. It has memorable characters in complicated situations, yet I didn't find the book to be depressing, even at it's darkest moments, and it wasn't melodramatic. But it was a powerful story and one of my favorite reads of the year so far. 

Favorite Quote"Keep it up, Echo. I'm all about foreplay."  - Noah
starstarstarstarstarPersonal Favorite
* Love the US cover because it fits the tone of the book and how the characters are supposed to look like!

Now, onto the promised Giveaway!

Must be at least 13 years old to enter the giveaway
US/Can Only
No need to follow this blog to enter.
Please note that the prize will be shipped directly from Harlequin Teen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you Harlequin for the Giveaway copy! 

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