Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Book Review & Giveaway: Pushing the Limits, by Katie McGarry @KatieMcGarry

Pushing the Limits may have teens with problems bordering on unbelievable, but the way McGarry writes, you can't help but become invested in the characters and pulled right into their story.

It is easy to believe that for certain children with backgrounds in the foster system, and without parental guidance, life just isn't going to work out to a "happily ever after" situation. And this is exactly the case for Echo and Noah.

Echo's mother is bipolar, and has done something so horrible that Echo can't remember -- although she has the scars to prove it. Her father has a new wife, Echo's former nanny, and a new baby on the way. There is a restraining order to keep Echo's mother away. Echo has alienated herself from all her friends.

Noah is in the foster system, and since he beat up his first foster dad (even though it was to keep him from beating on another child), Noah's rights to see his two younger brothers were taken away. Noah wants so badly to graduate, get a job, and be able to care for his brothers, but he has a long way to go.

Echo needs money to fix up a car that belonged to her brother who was killed in Afghanistan. Her social worker, Mrs. Collins, suggests she do some tutoring. And, since Mrs. Collins is Noah's social worker too, she sends him to Echo for tutoring.

So, you can see where this is headed. But it doesn't just jump there. These two both have such huge problems. Echo trying to remember, Noah trying to straighten up and find out who has his brothers. It starts out slowly, with Echo simply confiding to Noah about her scars. They decide to help each other by trying to sneak into Mrs. Collins' office and read their files. There are serious road blocks and side issues that are important. Too many to mention here, but Pushing the Limits is a full story that is quite emotional. You really get to understand what these kids are up against and how they feel.

The side characters add much interest. Echo's dad is definitely not perfect. He's struggling too. As is his wife, who Echo used to love when she was a nanny, but now she hates. Mrs. Collins is a realistic therapist. She makes mistakes too, but she seems to know what she's doing. Both Echo's and Noah's friends (who are polar opposites) spice up the story and add to the confusion that Echo and Noah are experiencing.

Pushing the Limits changes from Noah's to Echo's points of view very abruptly. It took me awhile to recognize the changes, and I believe this was exacerbated by the eARC format. Sometimes the POV changed in the middle of a paragraph! Hopefully this won't be an issue in the finished copy.

I can't say enough about Pushing the Limits. I teared up a bit, and it wasn't even about Echo and Noah; it was at a different part of the book. Even if these situations are unlikely, it makes great fiction. I thoroughly enjoyed Pushing the Limits. I would recommend it to romance fans, especially those who enjoyed books like Simone Elkeles' Perfect Chemistry novels (although I liked this one better than any of those.)

Published by Harlequin Teen, July 31, 2012
ARC eBook obtained from NetGalley
416 pages

Rating: 5/5

Visit Katie McGarry's website:

Follow Katie on Twitter: @KatieMcGarry

Pushing the Limits Book Trailer:

Now for the giveaway:

Winner will receive one copy of Pushing the Limits, shipped directly from the publicist. U.S. and Canada Only. You need to be at least 13 years old. You need to fill out the form below, and you need to know that I'm not responsible if the post office loses or damages the books (and I certainly HOPE that never happens!) Giveaway ends August 2, 2012.

Back to Annette's Book Spot Homepage Copyright © 2012 Annette's Book Spot. All Rights Reserved


  1. Wonderful review! I like emotional reads. :) --Thanks for the chance to win this.

  2. Great review Annette. Looking forward to reading this one. Nice review.


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