Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Owning your scars: robgirlbooks' Review of Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Published by Harlequin Teen 7/31/2012
(Borrowed from the library)
Echo Emerson and Noah Hutchins, once opposites in the social climbing world that is high school, share more in common than they would freely admit. They both spend their lives hiding away. Echo hides in her clothes and lost memories of a terrible incident that left her body scarred. Noah hides from a devastating loss that can only be addressed with punk behavior, one night stands, and an excessive amount of pot. Like many YA contemporary romances their lives collide, but not from some twist of fate. Fate already kicked their butts. No, therapy is their binding force. Pushing the Limits takes you through the lives of two people who want to be on the other side of okay, but have to face healing first.
I love this book. You get to go back and forth between Echo and Noah, and never once did the author lose sight of their individual voices. It's easy to compare this style to the Perfect Chemistry series, first person, switching POV's, teen love and angst. But on a personal level, this story reached deep inside and propelled me through the pages like a wild fire through brush. Echo's scars she worked so hard to hide from the world and herself I understood so well. Going from bouncing through your life one day and turning away from your unrecognizable body the next changes you down to your bones. No matter what healing happens, you will never be the girl you were before. Her fight to be the old Echo was painful for me to read. Mostly because I couldn't relate to that part of her story. Her need to be friends with awful people made me cringe more than once.
Noah's plight was different. He honored his visible scars, gave them top honors almost. His emotional wounds however, those he drowned with an I don't give a crap attitude. Oh, he gave a crap, which only meant more smoking pot, more girls in the back of his car, more barely passing tests.
Insert brilliant, all-knowing therapist here. Noah and Echo have great chemistry. Their back and forth flowed off the pages. Author Katie McGarry pulled tears and joy out of me. What more could I ask? Noah Hutchins is one of my favorite heroes now. I loved falling in love with the characters. McGarry is following up Pushing the Limits with Dare You To coming in May 2013. You get Beth's story in book 2. I already requested the library to purchase the book. Of course I did.
(Note: if you're squeamish about swearing-Yikes, if you don't like your protagonists a bit on the wimpy side, I'm not sure how much you'll appreciate Echo-I loved her because us sliced and diced girls have to stick together, finally, if prefer your YA to be on the PG-rated side of things, maybe this is too teen angsty/sexy/druggy for you)