Author: Katie McGarry
Expected publication: 31 July 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Categories: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction

I received an eARC from Harlequin Teen via Netgalley. Thank you.

I confess, at first I was sold by the story of a bad boy meets (fragile) good girl. I smell romance, a la Perfect Chemistry. And the idea of two people that needs fixing. I don’t know why, but I crave those. Makes me wonder if it’s possible for two people carrying emotional baggage on their shoulders to help each other. They have problems of their own. Problems that have not yet resolved. How is it possible not to get sucked into other one’s problem? Or worst, being together break them apart.

Pushing the Limit tells the story of Noah and Echo and these two carry some heavy stuff. And oh boy, it’s heavy and gloomy, particularly on Echo’s part.  Echo was a good girl, popular, you know the usual type. But then one day she was just gone, ‘poof’ as someone in the book described. She returned with scars on her arms, and people spreading rumors about it. She seeks normalcy but it’s hard for her because she didn’t remember what happened. Noah is a bad boy: into drugs, one-night stand—typical kind (you get the picture). But like Echo, he’s broken too. His parents died, he moved from one foster parent to another, and he wanted his brothers. See? I’m not even giving you the details but these two sure were broken six ways to Sunday.

I don’t like the start of their relationship, it was just there. Not much building up happened, Noah was physically attracted to her, plus the tutoring sort of tied them together. And that was it. She’s telling him secrets, which some of them she haven’t confided with her other friends. I was like ‘where did that come from?’ And I find it really disappointing. But once I get past that, I saw them differently. Noah got me when he didn’t flinch at her scars. When he listened to her, he was everything Luke (her ex) was not. And she needed someone like him. But at one point his feelings for her was too much, I’m not sure if it was because it was his real first (love) but it was bit suffocating for me. But I liked that while he wasn’t discreet of his intentions—physically, he did respect her. Keeping her issues in mind.

I’m also interested with Echo’s mom. I was really shocked about what she had done to her, and to her brother. No wonder her brain shutted off those memories. But I have feeling that everything will be resolved. I liked that instead of cramming the HEA bits in the end, it started to show earlier. First was Noah. And I kinda understand why, while his problems were no joke; he wasn’t as damaged as Echo. And I kinda liked the resolution the author went to. Echo got her issues fixed. With her dad, and her step mom. And her mom. And real story behind it. And especially, herself. And now she’s the one who decides what to do next with her life. Both of them are moving on.

When I finished it, and although I sort of liked it, I find few bits overwhelming. But when I read the Q&A included in the galley, the author really wanted a story of two characters with overwhelming issues, battling them out and get past it. No wonder I felt overwhelmed with their problems. I guess she stayed true to her idea.

Some may like it, some may not. I don’t like everything about it to be perfectly honest, but I guess I liked the bumpy ride. Highs to lows, lows to highs, then smooth sailing at the end.