Google+ YA Romantics: Just Finished Reading ... Pushing the Limits

Friday, July 20, 2012

Just Finished Reading ... Pushing the Limits

Pushing the Limits
by Katie McGarry

To be published by Harlequin Teen
on July 24, 2012

Source: e-ARC provided by Harlequin Teen through NetGalley. Read my review policy/disclosure statement here.


My summary: Echo is reeling after two tragedies: her brother's death and a separate incident that left her terribly scarred, a night she still can't remember. Noah's still raw from the tragic death of his parents and the fact that he and his younger brothers were put into separate foster homes. The two are set on a romantic collision course when Echo is assigned to tutor Noah. He thinks a former it-girl like Echo would never be interested in a guy like him. She thinks a player like Noah would never look twice at a girl who has to hide her arms under long sleeves.  But their attraction to one another cannot be denied...

My take: I think many YA readers are drawn to paranormal and dystopian fiction because the life-or-death stakes in these books makes for a reading experience that feels both emotionally intense and fraught with peril. If you're a fan of that kind of edge-of-your-seat reading experience, I do think you can find it in other YA genres -- like YA contemporaries!


Pushing the Limits takes some typical YA contemporary tropes -- no one understands me, I feel lost, my life sucks -- and really ratchets up the emotional ante. Both Echo and Noah have a ton of psychological baggage -- she's wounded and wary, he's angry and defensive. Echo's got a mentally ill mother, a seemingly wicked stepmother, questionably loyal friends and a controlling yet neglectful father. Noah lives in the hardscrabble world of the foster system where love and stability seem in short supply. Both are slow to trust, each is reluctantly attracted to the other.

Although at times Pushing the Limits teeters on the edge of melodrama, it also offers up a compelling plot and multifaceted characters. Noah wants to do whatever it takes to reunite his family, and his love for his brothers is both touching and inspiring. Echo thinks she wants to remember the circumstances surrounding her injury, but it's clear that doing so is going to be wrenching for her. There's nothing very surprising about how either of these situations turn out, but I did really like the way that Echo and Noah are forced into reconsidering some of their goals and preconceptions. It's impossible not to root for these mismatched lost souls to end up with a little happiness. No insta-love or love triangles here -- their relationship is of the sultry slow-burn variety. Love it!

If you love sultry, emotionally intense books like Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols or Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles, you need to put Pushing the Limits at the very top of your TBR.

Can't wait to read it? I'm giving away my ARC. Just enter in the Rafflcopter below. Open internationally!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

30 comments:

  1. I liked how they had to reconsider their situations too and I also found Noah's story with his brothers etremely touching. That was what made the book for me. :)

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  2. This book is one of my most anticipated YA reads of the summer! I'm really, really looking forward to this one! So many great reviews and I'm so happy to see you liked it too! Thank you for the giveaway! :-)

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  3. I'm about 3/4 of the way through this and while it's not my favorite kind of contemporary (I prefer romantic comedy), I'm really enjoying it, especially the alternating perspectives.

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    1. I like alternate POV in a book like this -- it made it more interesting for me!

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  4. Kim is hounding me to read this one because she wants to discuss it! I think I'll take it on vacation with me next week, because it certainly sounds like a great read!

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  5. I loved their relationship building. I also appreciated the emotions in this book, it really made me feel.
    Thanks for review.
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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    1. I also really like a relationship that builds slowly -- it's just more realistic. I mean, I think attraction can be instant, but not a relationship.

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  6. I agree. YA contemp can be just as invigorating and emotional as dystopian and other genres. You just have to find the right ones ;) like this!!! Great review for a great book.

    Haley@www.passingthepages.blogspot.com

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  7. I just discovered Simone. Elks and Jennifer Echols. I will definitely check this out.

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    1. I have read all of Jennifer Echols -- just read Going Too Far, which was SO good!

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  8. Awesome review!! This book goes on my favorites list. I thought it was deep and emotional, but still very uplifting too.

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  9. sounds like an interesting book :) I've been seeing this book around the blogosphere, and of course, you're the one blogger that would post it and I would read it :)

    Good luck to everyone who enters the giveaway!

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    1. Aw, that is super sweet of you to say. Hope your neighbors are behaving!

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  10. I can't even say how bad I have been wanting to read Pushing the Limits. I have been excitedly waiting for this release for a long time and I am so happy it's almost here. I am already in love with this book from reading the many wonderful reviews and I look forward to reading it myself.

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    1. Oh you don't have to tell me twice. Lol

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  11. yep, total agreement w/ you on this one, Jen (as you already know.) I enjoyed the book as well, teenage melodrama aside, slow burn romance is THE best:)

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  12. I so want this book! I love your review Jen! I definetly need to pick it up ASAP! Plus the cover is all intense... :) LOL :D

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    1. So glad your computer is fixed and you're back!

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  13. I've heard such good things about this, like the alternating POV (which I like enjoy in books quite a bit) and the realness (flawed characters, tough circumstances, etc) this book contains. I wasn't sure about it at first because of the cover, but I'll be giving it a try.

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  14. This is the first book I've read this year that I wanted to reread again right away. I loved it soooo much. I want everyone to read it (Kate is right, I've pretty much asked her every single time I've seen her if she's read it yet). I'm so glad you liked it too!

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  15. I can't wait to read this book! :) Thanks for the giveaway! :) I love Perfect Chemistry and Going too Far! :)

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  16. I seriously LOVED this book! And I definitely saw the comparison between it and Perfect Chemistry, which I also love. Guess I'm going to have to read Going Too Far now.

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  17. fakesteph got this for me at BEA. I have to admit, I wasn't too sold on this story at first, but then I kept seeing all these rave reviews, and Kim at On the Wings of Books really wanted me to read it, so I'm looking forward to it now! And I'm still doing my YA contemp binge so it'll be great to read soon! Great review, Jen!

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