“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.
Have you ever read a book and been left with a cloying feeling that lingered long after the last page has been turned? Because that’s how I felt after I finished the book. This is not to imply that I didn’t enjoy it, I did. I thought it presented an interesting look into the lives of teenagers who are dealing with more than your average adult would assume. I was most affected by Echo’s story though I did empathize more than a little with Noah’s plight.
Both their lives seemed to have fallen apart spectacularly when the people who should have been with them, who should have had their backs either were removed from the picture by fate or knowingly betrayed them in some fashion or the other. The themes present in the book are realistic – Noah’s inner and outer struggle to maintain peace both with himself and his circumstances so he can continue to see his brothers and Echo’s almost overwhelming grief – how much can a person take before she breaks? McGarry builds up intriguing characters and gives them solid back stories and contemporary issues to handle. She ensures that both of them are realistically woven into the society they inhabit, with their various friends and the issues that accompany their social statuses.
Echo’s friends and their reactions to her dilemma were varied and I appreciated that. They weren’t all reacting in the same manner, evincing the same thoughts – there was variety and it was welcome. I also liked how McGarry spent a lot of time with Noah’s friends instead of stereotyping them and leaving them as cardboard characters. The ending is bittersweet and buoyed by hope rather than tied up neatly with a ribbon. I liked that too.
What I had trouble with, what resulted in that cloying feeling, was Noah’s inability to function with more than one part of his anatomy where Echo was concerned. His vocabulary gets stuck on “nymph” or “siren” and there is this hyper-sexualized feeling that I was somewhat uncomfortable with. I feel like initially Noah objectifies Echo as a sexual object though that changes…it’s just that I felt Noah’s character suffered from his skeevy descriptions of Echo – an ongoing monologue if you will. You will know what I mean when you read the book. This is purely a matter of personal taste as I have read reviews that weren’t at all affected by this issue so it depends on what you’re comfortable with as a reader.
That said, Pushing the Limits is interesting. I didn’t love it but I didn’t hate it either. It had parts that spoke to me and parts I could do without. If you are looking for a contemporary, sexy read, this may be the one for you.