Publisher: Mira Ink
Released: August 3rd 2012
My Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads
"I won't tell anyone, Echo. I promise." Noah tucked a curl behind my ear. It had been so long since someone touched me like he did. Why did it have to be Noah Hutchins? His dark brown eyes shifted to my covered arms. "You didn't do that-did you? It was done to you?" No one ever asked that question. They stared. They whispered. They laughed. But they never asked.
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. (from Goodreads)
Pushing the Limits brought out a lot of emotions in me, and I kept switching from anger to sadness to frustration – it was kind of tiring. There was a lot of drama going on, with Noah and Echo stuck in the middle, each wishing to return to normality but knowing that could never happen. I really enjoyed it, though had a few small issues which is why it has a four star rating.
Echo, one of the two narrators, used to be one of the popular girls – beautiful and social with a lot of friends wherever she went. But then her brother died, and the “incident” happened, and when she came back to school with no memory of how she got the scars on her arms, everyone labelled her a “freak” and her popularity plummeted. Her best friend Lila stuck by her, but Echo didn’t seem to really care much about her popularity. She didn’t want to speak to people, she was withdrawn and quiet, and after what had happened, who could blame her? Her dad was overbearing and her step-mum was self-absorbed and Echo was struggling to find anything in her life that wasn’t a cause of pain or suffering. I really felt for her. She was desperate to remember the night she got her scars, and she was angry and upset and alone, but no-one really understood what she was going through. Her family didn’t know how to treat her and usually just made things worse. Her therapist, Mrs Collins, was the only one that could get through to her, though Echo didn’t seem to want her help at first. And Echo tried so hard to return to the life she knew before – trying to become more social, dating her ex-boyfriend, Luke, again – but nothing worked. It just reminded her of everything she had lost.
Noah, the second narrator, seemed equally determined to “get back to normal”. After his parents died in a fire, he and his brothers were put into the foster care system, but were separated. Noah was adamant about getting custody of his brothers and being a family again, despite Mrs Collins’ assertion that they were happy with their current foster parents. I loved the way he cared about his brothers, and his fierce devotion to them, which perhaps sometimes clouded his judgement. He was known as a “bad boy” at school, into drugs and sleeping around, but he could also be kind and genuinely caring. I loved his chapters because we got to see how he viewed Echo, and how when he got to know her, he couldn’t stop thinking about her and then grew to like her more than he ever thought he would. Echo and Noah were a great fit because they understood each other and knew what it was likely to desperately wish things could go back to how they used to be. However, I have to admit, Noah at times seemed a little...cheesy? I don’t know, some of the things he said were a bit cringey. Plus, every time he called Echo “baby”, which was practically at the end of every sentence, I wanted to kill him. “Baby” was overused so much in this book – I hate that anyway, but the amount of times he said it, my God. I wanted to jump in the book and tape his mouth shut until he agreed never to say it again!
I really liked some of the secondary characters, Mrs Collins especially, because although she was a therapist there to help Noah and Echo, she wasn’t perfect and never tried to be either. She also tried her best to really help Noah and Echo, and you could tell she actually cared about them. I also liked Lila, because she was loyal to Echo and there for her, always sticking by her no matter what. Beth, one of Noah’s friends, was one of the most fascinating characters. She was troubled (they all were really), but I was intrigued by her because of the way she acted and the way she claimed Echo grew on her after initially disliking her – it seemed like there was more to it, and I wanted to know more about her. Luke, however, was one of the characters I hated. He was an idiot in my opinion, I have no idea why Echo even put up with him! Every time he showed up, he did or said something stupid and I just wanted to hit him.
Plot-wise, I really liked the way Echo was searching for information about what happened that night, putting things together and finally having her memories return to her, piece by piece. There was a sense of mystery throughout the book and I was just as eager as Echo to figure out what happened. Things did get a bit overdramatic at times, especially with Noah and Echo’s relationship, but I liked the way the book ended, I think it was fitting and wrapped everything up.
Overall, I really enjoyed Pushing the Limits and I’m looking forward to companion novel, Dare You To, which tells Beth’s story. A recommended contemp!
Now for the giveaway! I am giving away one proof copy of Pushing the Limits to a reader in the UK. To enter, fill in the form below! Open to the UK only. Must be aged 13 or over. The book will be shipped by me. Giveaway ends July 31st 2012.
This giveaway is now OVER. No more entries will be accepted.
Don't forget to visit Cait's blog, where she will also be reviewing Pushing the Limits!