Review : Pushing the Limits
He’s the bad boy with a bad reputation; she’s the good girl with a dark secret. In Pushing the Limits, debut author Katie McGarry offers readers an intense and gripping love story. Two lost teenagers, lots of heartbreak, life-changing decisions; the novel has everything to keep you hooked to the page!
What it’s about :
Echo used to be the popular girl who had everything going for her; popular with a gorgeous boyfriend and lots of friends. Then, everything changed. After her brother passed away, something terrible happened to her, and Echo woke up with no memories of the events. Only the marks on her arms, which she hides with long sleeves, tell the story of this fateful night.
From Echo and her friends’ point of view, Noah is a guy to be avoided. And yet, when their lives cross paths, both of their lives are completely changed. Their impossible romance might be just what they needed to finally move forward.
As I finished reading Pushing the Limits, it was clear to me why so many readers had fallen in love with the novel, covering it with five-stars ratings and raving reviews. This novel is intense. It’s a will-they-won’t-they love story with deep dark feelings and tortured souls, all wrapped in family drama and tragic pasts.
It starts like a story we’ve heard many times : Noah is a bad boy with a heart of gold, who’s been seducing girls and missing class on a regular basis. Echo is a good girl with great grades, and though her popularity has mostly faded away, she still sees Noah as the kind of guy you stay away from.
Their love story is written in the sky from the start, or so it seems. They both have tragedy in common, and their familial situations are complicated to say the least. Noah lost his parents in a fire and is now fighting for the custody of his two younger brothers, which means he has to clean up his act, and quick. Echo is still mourning the loss of her brother and trying to recover her memory, all the while dealing with a strict father and his new, younger, pregnant wife (who is no one else than Echo’s ex-babysitter).
So, that’s all a bit messed up. And despite their differences, Echo and Noah discover they have things in common, and they fall in love, and it is all very sweet. She makes her a better man, he makes her a stronger woman. They grow together through the story and I liked how the author traced their journey; it’s not without obstacles, and its not easy, but I could really see their characters changing and learning from their experiences. I also appreciated that they each had their own story, their own life, and that not everything was about their relationship.
There were a few things that I liked less though. The story is told both from Echo and Noah’s point of view, and I had a hard time with Noah’s. I couldn’t connect to him, his constant use of the words “nymph” and “siren” to describe Echo got annoying fast and I felt it took a little longer for his story to take a clear direction. The book was much more Echo’s story than Noah’s, and I felt maybe the author would have done better with sticking to a single point of view. I also didn’t like Echo’s friends. Sadly, their attitude is something that, in this 400 pages novel, is barely mentioned. It’s mostly brushed aside by Echo, but I feel it could have opened some interesting discussions. There’s also a lot of stereotypes going on in the story, which moderated my enjoyment of the book.
This being said, I applaud the author for tackling many different subjects; death and grief, psychological issues, family, etc. I can’t say too much without revealing a lot of the story, but Echo’s situation is a tough one, and I was glad the author didn’t finish the book by making it all unicorns in rainbows, making it a little more realistic.
In the end, Pushing the Limits was a roller-coaster romance that I enjoyed reading. While it didn’t completely work for me, I have no doubt that readers of romance who love drama and passion will completely adore this one.
Pushing the Limits will be available on July 31st. Romance readers, go grab your copy!