Expected Release Date: July 31st, 2012
Finished Date: March 23rd, 2012
Publishers: Mira Ink / Harlquin Teen
Source: ARC For Review
The Review: This was another book I had NEVER heard of until I went to a bloggers party hosted by Mira Ink way back in March. The lovely Mira had given me a goody bag and guess what was included, YES, Pushing the Limits and I literally started it within a few days and devoured it within less than 24 hours - yes it is that good!
Echo Emerson's life has changed since she was hanging around with the popular crowd only a few months ago. After an event that changed her life and left her with permanent scars to her arms, she's now known as a freak and everyone wants to know what happened. Echo has a hard time opening up to people and even going to therapy doesn't help that much. That is until Noah Hutchins enters her life. Noah is known as the bad guy at school and Echo will do anything to keep away from him, but for some reason she finds he's the only person that can really understand her. As they embark on a friendship, both Echo and Noah are fast to fight their attraction for one another but sparks soon fly.
Katie McGarry has created a phenomenal debut novel with Pushing the Limits and I loved every single minute of it. It’s full of raw emotions and heart-breaking scenes – ones that are full of angst and sadness, but beneath all that there’s hope. Hope that two troubled characters can come together against all the odds that their lives throw at them. Their complete opposites but find trust in each another enough to open up and even though their relationship isn’t perfect, it’s still beautiful and very solid.
I adored Echo, even with all her problems she was still a fantastic character. She struggles to go through day to day life because she’s so intent on trying to find out what happened to her, even though deep down, she’s not sure she wants to know. And then there’s Noah, who has just as many problems but he really see’s Echo for whom she is, and even though they push each other away a number of times, something draws them back to together. I loved them together. I loved their scenes. I loved their chemistry. I loved everything about them. With the story being told from both Echo and Noah’s point of view – which I love, I had time to get to know each of them, so by the end of the book, I was an emotional wreck because their journey isn’t easy but it was a very, very enjoyable as a reader. And quotes like this....easy convinced me to love this story;
'A shy smile tugged at her lips and at my heart. F*** me and the rest of the world, I was in love.' - Noah
Pushing the Limits is one of them books that you could read all day long and wish it never had to end. It has a little bit of everything for every reader, and if you love a story that’s heart-wrenching, real and beautifully written, then I urge you to read Pushing the Limits – because you won’t be disappointed!
Q&A With Katie McGarry
Q: What was your inspiration for writing Pushing the Limits?
A: I had two main inspirations: One, I knew from the beginning that I wanted to write a story in which my characters felt strong enough to leave their pasts behind and create new futures for themselves. The first scene I ever saw in my mind was Echo and Noah leaving town after graduation. Two, I wanted to write two characters who were facing over- whelming issues and who, through battling these issues, found hope at the end of their journey.
Q: How did you come up with Echo’s name?
A: Echo went through several name changes as I wrote the manuscript. For a while, she had a very normal name, but it always felt off. It wasn’t until I looked at Echo from her mother’s point of view that I found her name. Echo’s mother loved Greek mythology so it made perfect sense that she would name her children after the myths. I read several Greek myths and the moment I found Echo’s, I fell in love. Echo, to me, was the girl who lost her voice. Thankfully, she finds it by the end.
Q: Which character is the most “like” you?
A: All of them. I gave each character a piece of me (though some have larger slices of me than others). Overall, I’d say I’m a strange combination of Echo, Lila and Beth. Echo has my need to please, Lila has my unfailing loyalty to my friends and Beth encompasses my insecurities.
Q: Did you experience friendships with Grace types when you were in high school?
A: Yes. And the more people have read this story, the more this question comes up. Grace has struck a stronger nerve in people than I ever would have imagined. It seems most of us have unfortunately experienced a relationship where a person wants to “like” you and wants “be your friend,” but only if it serves their needs. In case anyone is wondering, that isn’t friendship.
Q: Are there any parts of the story you feel particularly close to?
A: Yes. The relationship between Noah, Isaiah and Beth. Beyond my parents and sister, my nearest family members were over fourteen hours away. My friends became my family. The people I grew up with were more than people I watched movies with or talked to occasionally on the phone. These were people with whom I shared life’s most devastating moments, but also my hardest laughs. These were people who I would have willingly died for and I know they would have done the same for me. They shared my triumphs with smiles on their faces and congratulatory hugs. They held me when I cried and offered to beat up whoever hurt my feelings. These were also the same people who were more than happy to get in my face if they thought I was making a wrong decision.
Q: Did anything that happens to Echo happen to you?
A: Sort of. I was bitten by a dog when I was in second grade and repressed the memory. It felt very strange to have no memory of an incident that other people knew about. It was even strang- er to have injuries and not have an inkling where they came from. In college, I finally remembered the incident when a dog lunged at me. I relived the horrible event and sort of “woke up” a few minutes later to find myself surrounded by people I loved. Even though I “remember” the incident, I still don’t remember the whole thing. I only see still frames in my mind and there is no blood in any of the memories.