Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Book Review: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Echo used to have it all - tons of friends, Luke, the perfect football boyfriend, her adoring older brother Aires, a stellar GPA, and amazing art talent.  Even after Aires was killed in Afghanistan, and her father remarried her babysitter, the selfish, immature Ashley, Echo still managed to hold it together - at least at school.  Until the night she can't remember, the night she almost died, the night that gave her the horrible scars on her arms.  Whispers of suicide and cutting follow her through the halls at school, even though Echo always hides her scars with long sleeves.  There is a restraining order against her mom, and she doesn't know why - although she does know she was with her mom the night it happened.  Any attempts she has made to try to remember have resulted in near-psychotic breaks, and no one will tell what happened, instead reassuring her that when she's ready to remember, she will.  Most of her friends have abandoned her, except loyal Lila, and her father will not allow Echo to paint or take art, instead forcing her into business classes she is completely uninterested in.

Noah also used to have it all.  Loving parents, two awesome little brothers, work with his dad for Habitat for Humanity, and a promising future in basketball.  Until his parents died in a house fire his freshman year.  Put into foster care, he was split up from his brothers when he hit his first foster dad - in order to protect the boy he was beating.  Now with visitation rights allowing him only a couple of hours a week with his brothers, Noah is a product of the system.  Noah's only goal is to get custody of his brothers as soon as he graduates - and he'll do whatever it takes to make that happen.

When Echo's new school therapist, Mrs. Collins, assigns her to tutor Noah, she is horrified.  Everyone at school knows that Noah is a really rough-around-the edges stoner with a serious attitude problem and no future - even if he is totally gorgeous.  Noah is also completely uninterested - why would he hang out with a overachieving rich girl with weird issues?  Even if she is the most beautiful girl he's ever seen.

When sparks fly, both Echo and Noah know falling in love is a terrible idea, but they can't stop it.  Echo knows her uber-controlling dad will never let her date a guy like Noah, and besides, dating  Noah will definitely ruin any chance she has of regaining her social status - and her friends.  Noah knows he can't allow himself to get attached to anyone, and the last person he wants to mess with is Echo.  But how do you stay away from the one person who makes you feel like yourself again?

If you've been looking for something to read since you finished Simone Elkeles' Perfect Chemistry books, you've got to pick up Pushing the Limits!  An intense romance spiced up with a whole lot of complicated secrets and family drama, Echo and Noah fight against everything trying to keep them apart - including themselves - to come together in a story with a swoon factor of 12 (on a scale of 1-10).  This heart-melting read will keep you warm for sure on a January night!

(now reading the fabulously decadent Amber House - why oh why did I not have a masquerade ball complete with a hunt for two-hundred-year-old lost diamonds for my sweet sixteen?!)

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