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Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Twins on Thursday: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

"The Twins on Thursday" is reserved for the Twins' joint reviews. It is a special feature of our blog that discusses books that we either both like, dislike, or have mixed feelings about. This is also the day where we post reviews for books (and ARCs/Galleys) that have been sent to us by authors/galley sites/publishing houses. And because we don't believe much in uniformity, we'll be trying to mix things up a bit by adding random stuff in relation to our review (well, mostly for books we purchased anyway).

Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1)
Title: Pushing the Limits
Author: Katie McGarry
Format Acquired: eGalley
Publication Date: July 31, 2012
Publishing House: Harlequin Teen
ISBN: 9780373210497
Source of Copy: NetGalley


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 outside 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.


When Echo Emerson is ushered into the new guidance counselor's office with her father and pregnant new stepmother in tow, she thinks that no adult can be of actual help to her. She has pretty big issues, and nobody likes those. When Noah Hutchins finds out that the only thing standing in his way of getting custody of his brothers is him cleaning up his act and being Echo's tutee, he knows it won't be easy, and getting Echo out of his mind won't be any easier. Pushing the Limits tries to push two unlikely people and somehow makes it work by involving real issues, like custody battles, abuse, and the after-effects of divorce. 

McGarry's characters were fairly well-crafted. We didn't fall in love with them and we were mostly dispassionate to their romance but what we did appreciate though was how real Echo and Noah were. The author did a good job building up the characters, giving readers a peek into the trauma and fear that Echo must have experienced, and still does actually, and Noah's constant battle to be reunited with his brothers and create a family of his own. Echo is needy, and while this should have been annoying it isn't because we think we would be too if the same thing - blood and nightmares and fear induced by someone you should've been able to trust - were to happen to us. Noah on the other hand is rebellious and has major trust issues and has a problem with authority and all but it fits his character to a tee because he's basically lost and broken and, aside from wanting his siblings back, has nothing much left to look forward to in life. 

We did expect that the strange attraction to be fully accounted for, save for the fact that they were both the stereotypical Young Adult hero/heroines with their good looks and killer bodies. But then, like most stereotypical Young Adult romances, the insta-love is off-putting and uninteresting.  If you ask us why they fell in love, we wouldn't know why either. (We've been asking each other the same question!)

The romance may be a little off, but the approach to real-life situations is careful and thoughtful, and may as very well be why this book was not hard to read at all. Readers can get an actual feel for the characters and all the issues they have to put up with, which is something that we think is highly commendable for a Young Adult title. Readers will not have a hard time following the story as well. We would recommend this to people who have read Jamie McGuire's Beautiful Disaster and were left disappointed (like us). If you want  people with real, gritty issues, read this one. 

The sequel, Dare You To, comes out in May 2013.



  1. While I loved Beautiful Disaster, I am still looking forward to meeting Echo and Noah. Great review and I loved reading your take on this.

    1. Hopefully you enjoy it more than we did. :> We'd like to see your thoughts on this one.