Series: Pushing the Limits #1
Published by Harlequin Teen on June 1, 2012
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.
But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common.
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.
Pushing the Limits is one of my favorite YA contemporaries, by far. I cried so many times, I lost count! I loved Noah and Echo so much, I couldn’t put this book down! I had to get to the end as fast as possible so I could find out the truth and see how it all ended!
I did.. 49 status updates on Goodreads while reading this book. Pretty sure that’s the most I’ve ever done for any book. There were so many feels! I cried.. a lot. I was angry, mad, sad – My emotions felt like they were on a roller-coaster! And books rarely make me cry.. Maybe I cry once or twice, and usually at the end. I was only 16 pages in to Pushing the Limits and I started crying!
Echo was an intense character. She was that popular girl that everyone loved, until the accident that stripped it all away – an accident she couldn’t even remember. To add insult to injury, her brother – the one person who understood her and made her feel better – is gone. The fall-out from that event, which happens before the book begins, was tough enough but the domino effect it caused is truly what ruined Echo’s life.
Echo does everything she can to please her father, but it’s never good enough. And her bimbo step-mom says all the wrong things at all the wrong times. Intentional or not, she doesn’t help the situation. Throughout the majority of the book, I wanted to punch her father and bitch-slap her step-mother!
Noah is such a complex character. Deep down, he’s a good guy. But the people who should have loved him unconditionally are gone, and the foster system has stripped away any trust he might have had in adults and authority figures. The only people he can truly rely on are Beth and Isaiah. Until he meets Echo. Noah’s relationship with his brother’s brought out his soft side, the person he kept hidden from the world. Those moments, in my opinion, were the most real and raw.
Noah’s biggest issue? He was very judgmental in the beginning, refusing to believe that someone as “perfect” as Echo could be imperfect. She was the popular girl with daddy’s money and the hot boyfriend. He never stopped to think that maybe her life wasn’t as perfect as he assumed. And that was another problem – he just assumed things. He crossed a lot of lines and he’s lucky Echo forgave him!
At one point, Echo said the following about Noah, “What an odd combination of romantic gesture and horribly crude wording.” I think this one sentence, above and beyond anything else, sums Noah up completely!
I loved Mrs. Collins. The symmetry between her relationship with Noah and her relationship with Echo was interesting. Neither Echo nor Noah wanted to trust her, and they rebelled against her at every turn. But she never gave up on them and never let them shut her out, no matter how hard she tried. I loved that she stood up against Echo’s father and I loved that she helped Noah push back against the same system that had screwed him over years before.
All the secondary characters in this book were amazing. They all had a part to play and they all played their parts well. I seriously loved Beth and Isaiah. They each get their own books in Dare You To (Beth) and Crash Into You (Isaiah). I’ve already read Dare You To (review to come soon) and I can tell you, it was amazing. Pushing the Limits gave us a great sneak-peak of Beth and what was to come in Dare You To. And I’m completely in love with Isaiah and can’t wait to get his story in Crash Into You!
Echo’s friends were… interesting. Lila was the ultimate best friend, standing by Echo no matter what. Natalie was a close second, though she seemed to waver a little bit when it came to defending Echo. Grace was an utter failure of a friend. Honestly, she really can’t even be called a friend. She was too wrapped up in social standing and popularity to see that she was pushing away a friend in need. Who you date shouldn’t define your self worth or your social life. But Grace didn’t understand that. And Luke.. Ugh, I can’t even with Luke. I refuse to give him the time of day. He was just a jerk!
By the end of the book, I was an emotional wreck. The revelations were shocking and horrifying. But, in the end, all the dominoes fell into place. Noah and Echo were complete opposites, yet exactly the same. They hid from the world, they had secrets they wanted to keep from others and wounds that would never heal. And then they met each other and they complemented each other perfectly. I rooted for them from start to finish, and I would do it again!
Honestly, I don’t read many contemporaries, and I don’t often fall head-over-heels for the ones I do read. But I fell for Pushing the Limits and I would read it again and again if I could. Anyone who isn’t a fan of contemporary should DEFINITELY give this book a chance! It might just surprise you!