Friday, June 29, 2012

Feature Friday ARC Review : Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

*Feature Friday is a meme I came up with to feature YA books that have not been released yet by reviewing them on The Tattered Page.*

*Warning: This review may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.*

Expected release date: July 31, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin
Pages: 392
Source: ARC

The Story:

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 outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. even Echo can't remember the whole truth. 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. Now 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.

- via Pushing the Limits ARC blurb

Rating: FOUR gold stars!!!!

My Review: One word: SHARP

Opening Line:

"My father is a control freak, I hate my stepmother, my brother is dead and my mother has...well..issues."


Let me start off by saying I wasn't expected much from Pushing the Limits. But much to my surprise I was immediately drawn in when I met Noah Hutchins. He was real. His character wasn't some perfect guy that a lot of us readers tend to swoon over and dub as some knight in shining armor. He didn't always say the perfect words, nor do the perfect thing. What he did do perfectly though, was be himself. Be real. Noah was a broken prince who needed help to find his way.

It was refreshing to meet a character that I could relate to, in the sense of there are people like Noah Hutchins that live their lives every day. In Pushing the Limits, he had genuine life problems and he dealt with them has any teenager could or you could imagine would.

Speaking of problems, 17-year-old seniors Echo Emerson and Noah Hutchins had to deal and overcome some pretty messed up issues. Not only that but they grew as characters in their story, instead of staying in the same monotonous beat. And thank God, because there were so many times when I wanted to grab Echo by the shoulders, give her a little shake, and say: grow some cojones already! *excuse my Spanish*

I understand Echo Emerson had been given a crap hand but most of us have (including Noah). And as I was reading Pushing the Limits I grew tired of her authority issues. Nonetheless, said issues did indeed make for a good ending. I was ecstatic when she finally stood up for herself. *Go girl empowerment!* Some people never get the chance. Let alone when it's against the bipolar mother who tried to kill you or the father who abandoned you for your ex-nanny. To live a life feeling unloved is a difficult one I would never force on anyone.

Rewinding to fudged up parental situations, what about when you're parents die in a fire you ultimately feel is your fault? Not to mention when the only family you have left is ripped away from you as well. Being bounced around from foster home to foster home was no walk in the park for Noah Hutchins. Is it ever? But to add on to the pile of misfortune, Noah had to deal with the loss of his family (espcially the parents he could never get back), being stereotyped, mislabeled, a victim of a system that didn't give a crap about him or his wellbeing and being the troubled "emotionally unstable" teenager who was "violent" he had become as a result of all such events. When fighting to piece back to together what he could of a life with his two little brothers was all wanted.

Overall, Pushing the Limits is a wonderful debut for Katie McGarry on her journey as a YA author. It has been quite some time since there was a single novel that could make me laugh and cry. Bravo, Katie McGarry. Bravo.

Here is one of my favorite quotes from Pushing the Limits:

Noah: A shy smile tugged at her lips and at my heart. Fuck me and the rest of the world, I was in love - Page 219

Meet the Author:

Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.
Katie is the author of full length YA novels, PUSHING THE LIMITS, DARE YOU TO, CRASH INTO YOU, TAKE ME ON,  BREAKING THE RULES, and NOWHERE BUT HERE and the e-novellas, CROSSING THE LINE and RED AT NIGHT. Her debut YA novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, a RT Magazine’s 2012 Reviewer’s Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. DARE YOU TO was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.

Happy Reading!


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