Both Echo Emerson and Noah Hutchins live troubled lives but for different reasons. Echo used to be part of the popular crowd, but after a life-altering incident with her mother who almost killed her, she is now the freak at school whom everyone stares at and whispers about. Noah is a bad boy who cuts class, smokes pot and wants nothing to do with the popular crowd that Echo is trying to claw her way back into. So when Echo is coaxed into tutoring Noah by their school social worker, both parties are less than thrilled. Neither Noah nor Echo wants to associate with the other yet somehow, their troubled pasts manage to lure them closer and closer together.
As someone who is often turned off from any sort of romance in novels, I actually found that part of the story quite engaging. I want relationships in novels to have substance
and so when I read about characters who fall head over heels in "love"
with someone just on looks alone, my eyes roll so hard into the back of
my head that you can actually hear them rolling. So I was
excited to discover that the relationship
between Noah and Echo develops so slowly and realistically over the course of the novel that it's actually difficult to pinpoint the exact moment when the two of them fall for each other; it's what Lenore Appelhans likes to call the "slow burn" which I think is a perfect way to describe how the relationship evolves over the course of this book. I finished reading this book almost two weeks ago and I can still remember the way Noah and Echo made me feel. They were masterfully written characters, which if you've been following my blog long enough you know, I love books with vivid characters more than vivid plots.
A couple things that didn't quite work for me was that
I found some of the secondary character development to be a bit weak and one-dimensional at first, but it
definitely gets stronger by the end of the novel. What I really found difficult, however, was the awkward dialogue on occasion. It
was hard to follow in places and didn't always flow with the narration. Despite those difficulties, I highly recommend this book to the dubious reader like me who often finds herself rolling her eyes when reading romance novels. This book feels real and the relationship, genuine.
Check out the book trailer for Pushing the Limits:
Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Published: July 31, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Audience: Young Adult
Disclosure: Book received for review from publisher