Harlequin Teen: Pushing the Limits (Hardcover)

Average Rating:(4.5)out of 5 stars
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Book 1 in Katie McGarry's award winning Pushing The Limits series

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.

Specifications

Series Title
Harlequin Teen
Publisher
Harlequin
Book Format
Hardcover
Original Languages
English
Number of Pages
403
Author
Katie McGarry
ISBN-13
9780373210497
Publication Date
July, 2012
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
9.00 x 6.00 x 1.50 Inches
ISBN-10
0373210493

Customer Reviews

Average Rating:(4.5)out of 5 stars
5 stars
40
4 stars
14
3 stars
5
2 stars
2
1 star
0
Most helpful positive review
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars
Echo Emerson used to b...
Echo Emerson used to be one of the popular girls. She was well-liked, had a great circle of friends and dated one of the most popular jocks. Then, one day, she stopped coming to school, and when she returned everything had changed. Suddenly, she was the freaky girl with unexplained scars covering her arms, gossiped about by everyone. Noah Hutchins has always been a bit of a bad boy. Shuffled between foster homes since his parents died, Noah can't wait to graduate so he can get his little brothers back and restart their lives. When Noah is thrust into Echo's life by a well-meaning school counselor, the two of them don't exactly get along. Echo wants things to go back to normal. She wants her old life back and that's kind of hard to do when everyone at school sees you hanging out with the notorious bad boy. Noah isn't exactly happy about the situation himself, but he can't help but feel drawn to this tragically broken girl. What the two of them will soon discover is that each of them may hold the key to putting the pieces of their broken lives back together. This book absolutely blew me away. The story is gritty and compelling, the characters tragically, yet realistically flawed and it is all delivered with a hefty emotional punch. I was afraid going into this that it wouldn't live up to the hype, but I'm happy to say that it did. In spades. I was deeply moved by both Echo and Noah's story. The book is alternately told through Echo and Noah's perspective, which gives the reader a deeper understanding of the pain, as well as the hope wrestling within them. The two of them are beautiful people with deep emotional scars and I found myself rooting for them the entire way. These two belonged together and I loved watching them discover this. The supporting characters are just as well-rounded which made the story even more engaging. Ms. McGarry has written an emotionally charged, unconventional love story that is not to be missed. There are only a handful of books (namely Laura Wiess' Ordinary Beauty and Kelley York's Hushed) that literally left me breathless and thinking about them for days after I turned the last page. I'm happy to add Pushing the Limits to that list. This one is a must read.
Most helpful negative review
Average Rating:(2.0)out of 5 stars
I recently read the se...
I recently read the second book in this series, Dare You To, and honestly I liked the second book better. Beth was a much more interesting character in the second book compared to Echo. I didn't have either negative or positive feelings towards this book. At times I was just a little bored and skimmed parts. Noah Hutchins, is your typical bad boy. Bad attitude, bad grades, messy family life, etc., but when Echo Emerson starts to tutor him, he starts to change. His grades improve, attitude gets better, etc. Echo became an outcast of her friends after her "accident." Pretty much all of her friends eventually abandoned her, except for Lila. Lila was her only friend that I could actually tolerate in the book. Grace and Luke were both terrible friends and once Echo decided she could confront her scars and wear short sleeves in public, they both abandoned her again. You can tell when reading this book that both characters honestly do care for each other, but both have crazy stuff going on in their lives. This might have been why the book was depressing at times. Even though Echo's secret was tragic, I found Noah and his brothers the more compelling story in the book. Echo's lack of memory did provide a unique spin to the good girl vs. bad boy storyline.
Most helpful positive review
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars
Echo Emerson used to b...
Echo Emerson used to be one of the popular girls. She was well-liked, had a great circle of friends and dated one of the most popular jocks. Then, one day, she stopped coming to school, and when she returned everything had changed. Suddenly, she was the freaky girl with unexplained scars covering her arms, gossiped about by everyone. Noah Hutchins has always been a bit of a bad boy. Shuffled between foster homes since his parents died, Noah can't wait to graduate so he can get his little brothers back and restart their lives. When Noah is thrust into Echo's life by a well-meaning school counselor, the two of them don't exactly get along. Echo wants things to go back to normal. She wants her old life back and that's kind of hard to do when everyone at school sees you hanging out with the notorious bad boy. Noah isn't exactly happy about the situation himself, but he can't help but feel drawn to this tragically broken girl. What the two of them will soon discover is that each of them may hold the key to putting the pieces of their broken lives back together. This book absolutely blew me away. The story is gritty and compelling, the characters tragically, yet realistically flawed and it is all delivered with a hefty emotional punch. I was afraid going into this that it wouldn't live up to the hype, but I'm happy to say that it did. In spades. I was deeply moved by both Echo and Noah's story. The book is alternately told through Echo and Noah's perspective, which gives the reader a deeper understanding of the pain, as well as the hope wrestling within them. The two of them are beautiful people with deep emotional scars and I found myself rooting for them the entire way. These two belonged together and I loved watching them discover this. The supporting characters are just as well-rounded which made the story even more engaging. Ms. McGarry has written an emotionally charged, unconventional love story that is not to be missed. There are only a handful of books (namely Laura Wiess' Ordinary Beauty and Kelley York's Hushed) that literally left me breathless and thinking about them for days after I turned the last page. I'm happy to add Pushing the Limits to that list. This one is a must read.
Most helpful negative review
Average Rating:(2.0)out of 5 stars
I recently read the se...
I recently read the second book in this series, Dare You To, and honestly I liked the second book better. Beth was a much more interesting character in the second book compared to Echo. I didn't have either negative or positive feelings towards this book. At times I was just a little bored and skimmed parts. Noah Hutchins, is your typical bad boy. Bad attitude, bad grades, messy family life, etc., but when Echo Emerson starts to tutor him, he starts to change. His grades improve, attitude gets better, etc. Echo became an outcast of her friends after her "accident." Pretty much all of her friends eventually abandoned her, except for Lila. Lila was her only friend that I could actually tolerate in the book. Grace and Luke were both terrible friends and once Echo decided she could confront her scars and wear short sleeves in public, they both abandoned her again. You can tell when reading this book that both characters honestly do care for each other, but both have crazy stuff going on in their lives. This might have been why the book was depressing at times. Even though Echo's secret was tragic, I found Noah and his brothers the more compelling story in the book. Echo's lack of memory did provide a unique spin to the good girl vs. bad boy storyline.
Echo Emerson used to be one of the popular girls. She was well-liked, had a great circle of friends and dated one of the most popular jocks. Then, one day, she stopped coming to school, and when she returned everything had changed. Suddenly, she was the freaky girl with unexplained scars covering her arms, gossiped about by everyone. Noah Hutchins has always been a bit of a bad boy. Shuffled between foster homes since his parents died, Noah can't wait to graduate so he can get his little brothers back and restart their lives. When Noah is thrust into Echo's life by a well-meaning school counselor, the two of them don't exactly get along. Echo wants things to go back to normal. She wants her old life back and that's kind of hard to do when everyone at school sees you hanging out with the notorious bad boy. Noah isn't exactly happy about the situation himself, but he can't help but feel drawn to this tragically broken girl. What the two of them will soon discover is that each of them may hold the key to putting the pieces of their broken lives back together. This book absolutely blew me away. The story is gritty and compelling, the characters tragically, yet realistically flawed and it is all delivered with a hefty emotional punch. I was afraid going into this that it wouldn't live up to the hype, but I'm happy to say that it did. In spades. I was deeply moved by both Echo and Noah's story. The book is alternately told through Echo and Noah's perspective, which gives the reader a deeper understanding of the pain, as well as the hope wrestling within them. The two of them are beautiful people with deep emotional scars and I found myself rooting for them the entire way. These two belonged together and I loved watching them discover this. The supporting characters are just as well-rounded which made the story even more engaging. Ms. McGarry has written an emotionally charged, unconventional love story that is not to be missed. There are only a handful of books (namely Laura Wiess' Ordinary Beauty and Kelley York's Hushed) that literally left me breathless and thinking about them for days after I turned the last page. I'm happy to add Pushing the Limits to that list. This one is a must read.
I recently read the second book in this series, Dare You To, and honestly I liked the second book better. Beth was a much more interesting character in the second book compared to Echo. I didn't have either negative or positive feelings towards this book. At times I was just a little bored and skimmed parts. Noah Hutchins, is your typical bad boy. Bad attitude, bad grades, messy family life, etc., but when Echo Emerson starts to tutor him, he starts to change. His grades improve, attitude gets better, etc. Echo became an outcast of her friends after her "accident." Pretty much all of her friends eventually abandoned her, except for Lila. Lila was her only friend that I could actually tolerate in the book. Grace and Luke were both terrible friends and once Echo decided she could confront her scars and wear short sleeves in public, they both abandoned her again. You can tell when reading this book that both characters honestly do care for each other, but both have crazy stuff going on in their lives. This might have been why the book was depressing at times. Even though Echo's secret was tragic, I found Noah and his brothers the more compelling story in the book. Echo's lack of memory did provide a unique spin to the good girl vs. bad boy storyline.

Frequent mentions

1-5 of 61 reviews
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

Echo Emerson used to b...

Echo Emerson used to be one of the popular girls. She was well-liked, had a great circle of friends and dated one of the most popular jocks. Then, one day, she stopped coming to school, and when she returned everything had changed. Suddenly, she was the freaky girl with unexplained scars covering her arms, gossiped about by everyone. Noah Hutchins has always been a bit of a bad boy. Shuffled between foster homes since his parents died, Noah can't wait to graduate so he can get his little brothers back and restart their lives. When Noah is thrust into Echo's life by a well-meaning school counselor, the two of them don't exactly get along. Echo wants things to go back to normal. She wants her old life back and that's kind of hard to do when everyone at school sees you hanging out with the notorious bad boy. Noah isn't exactly happy about the situation himself, but he can't help but feel drawn to this tragically broken girl. What the two of them will soon discover is that each of them may hold the key to putting the pieces of their broken lives back together. This book absolutely blew me away. The story is gritty and compelling, the characters tragically, yet realistically flawed and it is all delivered with a hefty emotional punch. I was afraid going into this that it wouldn't live up to the hype, but I'm happy to say that it did. In spades. I was deeply moved by both Echo and Noah's story. The book is alternately told through Echo and Noah's perspective, which gives the reader a deeper understanding of the pain, as well as the hope wrestling within them. The two of them are beautiful people with deep emotional scars and I found myself rooting for them the entire way. These two belonged together and I loved watching them discover this. The supporting characters are just as well-rounded which made the story even more engaging. Ms. McGarry has written an emotionally charged, unconventional love story that is not to be missed. There are only a handful of books (namely Laura Wiess' Ordinary Beauty and Kelley York's Hushed) that literally left me breathless and thinking about them for days after I turned the last page. I'm happy to add Pushing the Limits to that list. This one is a must read.

Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

Holy wow is this novel...

Holy wow is this novel filled with emotions. From steamy sexy times, to painful therapy trying to uncover an event too traumatic to remember, Katie McGarry's debut, Pushing the Limits, really covers the full spectrum of emotions. This novel is a must read for any contemporary lover. This is going to be a short review because I honestly cannot think of a single thing that I didn't like in this novel. Everything aspect that makes up a great contemporary story is here and the level of emotional depth is consuming. The main characters, Echo and Noah are each trying to recover from their perspective trauma, the only difference is Noah remembers and Echo does not. Little do they know that to get through their past, they need to do it together. Noah and Echo have such a perfect and realistic relationship because their relationship is not perfect. Echo is having a hard time dealing with change. She wants normal, but she doesn't really even know what that is now. The closer she gets to Noah, the more she resents him for both making her move on and changing her perspective of normal. It takes a lot for these two to accept each other and accept the new versions of themselves. Their relationship is rocky, yet incredibly sweet. I loved Noah because he is definitely a boy (because so many YA heroes don't resemble real teenage boys) and in no way is he perfect. Although this seems somewhat inconsequential, I really loved the structure of the novel. Each chapter switches between Noah and Echo's point of views, which really worked in this instance. In addition, the chapters are not titled or numbered, something that adds a surprising amount to the story for being something so little and easily looked over. It makes the story seem continuous; less of a story and more of the truth. Overall? You'd be crazy if you skip over this one. Read it. Enough said.

Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

Beautifully written st...

Beautifully written story. Echo and Noah are dealing with emotional scars from unfortunate life experiences, when you put two wounded souls together like McGarry did in Pushing The Limits you can get a very dependent couple. But with Echo and Noah I didn't get that, they were both so independently strong that they brought out the best in each other, the parts each didn't realize they had. Echo and Noah were very supportive and thoughtful of each other. They both didn't want to be a burden for the other. It was so impactful to the story to see Echo and Noah be the beacon for healing in each others lives. There are some very self-absorbed people in this story, toxic people no one should have as an influence in their life. I was a little upset with Echo for not getting them out of her's sooner. There were also some positive influences too, like Beth(well, she might be a sort of), Isaiah and Lila, Echo's best friend. It was really nice to see how lost and damaged souls can find each other and be like family when your real family isn't there. Noah, Beth, and Isaiah's relationship added another layer to the story.Really enjoyed this book, I felt an array of emotions, from sadness, to pride for how Echo and Noah were able to get to a point where they can start trying to heal their wounds. Not happy with how it just ended, wished it had an epilogue. I wanted to know more, how are things for Echo and Noah, individually and as a couple. Don't need to know what's going on 20 or 30 years into the future, would have been satisfied with a year or even just few months after.

Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

I have to say, Katie M...

I have to say, Katie McGarry has a way with words, she sent me through an emotional roller coaster right along with her characters... and her words, Echo and Noah's love story, has left a mark on my heart. Echo and Noah have more in common than they think - they both used to lead the perfect teen life: popular, gorgeous, outgoing, smart and with promising futures. Until separate tragedies happen to both that leaves them physically and emotionally scarred forever. When Echo and Noah meet they were set on the fact that they would lead very different and lonely lives from what was expected. And that they would never have anything in common, least of all, get along - how will they ever be able to get through their mandatory tutoring sessions? Watching Echo and Noah let their guards down and try to trust and understand each other is not easy. Their stories and hurts run deep. The connection between the two runs even deeper. This is not your typical love story. But it is definitely one with no regrets, full of hope and wonder. And do not underestimate any of the secondary characters! Each and every one of them will leave their mark on you too. They each have a story to tell, and Katie McGarry is able to show you just enough to let you know their stories to sympathize with them... or not. Katie McGarry's writing is beyond mesmerizing! This is THE contemporary of the year! And I have to add - in the back of the (ARC) book, the author shares a playlist for Pushing the Limits. All of the songs listed are wonderful and include music by Patty Smyth, Train and Kings of Leon... One of my most favorite songs of all time: Crash Into Me by The Dave Matthews Band is listed!!! And this is the song that she listened to every time she had to write a kiss scene for Echo and Noah :)

Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

This book was an emoti...

This book was an emotional roller coaster. I cried my eyes out at some points and I smiled like an idiot at some points. But everything was so worth it. Noah and Echo (I loved her name :] ) couldn't be more different. But through all their differences and the drama that is evident in their lives, they look at their similarities and fall for each other... And they fall hard. Both Echo and Noah are very strong characters. The story went back and forth between their point of views which made it easier to connect with both characters. This made every discovery they made about their past and each other even more intense. As for their romance, it felt real and not rushed. It wasn't the insta-love that normally creep up in YA novels and I really enjoyed that. I also loved the fact that McGarry didn't have to make any other part in the story suffer to help make their love work. Everything was well put together and well balanced. Everyone should add this stunning debut by Katie McGarry to the TBR pile. She definitely does NOT disappoint. P.S. NOAH WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE?!


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