Series: Pushing the Limits, #1
Published by Harlequin Teen
Published on July 31st 2012
Genres: Young Adult
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 of that horrible night. 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. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.
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.
“It’s like I have this large black hole in my brain and it’s sucking the life out of me. The answers are in there so I sit for hours and stare. No matter how hard and long I look, I only see darkness.”
Oh man, did I LOVE this book! I enjoyed every single second of it!
Echo Emerson is dealing with an overprotective father, a stepmother she despises, a mother who is “crazy,” and the death of her older brother. There was also a tragic event that left Echo scarred both literally and figuratively. The problem is, she has no recollection of how she got her scars. She only knows that her bipolar mother was involved. This has left her unable to deal with her past and feeling like an outcast with very few true friends to stand behind her.
Noah Hutchins has been screwed by “the system.” After the death of both his parents, Noah is separated from his two younger brothers and put into foster care. Noah has a bad attitude, smokes too much weed, and just wants to get through the last few months of high school. All he cares about is figuring out a way to get his brothers back. The only thing Noah has going for him are his two best friends who he considers his sister and brother. Beth and Isaiah are in similar situations as Noah, having bad family situations as well. They are great characters who added alot of depth and personalitity to the story.
Because Noah and Echo are considered “special cases” they both have to visit their school’s clinical social worker, Mrs. Collins. I absolutely loved her! She was an incredible character, underneath her perky outside is a take no shit attitude that ultimately helps Noah and Echo more than either of them ever thought possible. Echo is given the job to tutor Noah and this is how they begin to get to know each other.
Immediately there is an attraction between Noah and Echo. Even though attraction is there, it’s not an ista-love situation, thank god.
“Luke used to give me butterflies. Noah spawned mutant pterodactyls.”….“She gave me the same smile I’d seen on Saturday night. That type of smile caused men to write those pussy-ass songs that Isaiah and I made fun of. I’d sit in Mrs. Collins’s office for hours and wake my ass up early to go to calculus in order to see that smile again.”
I loved the sexual tension and the buildup as their relationship grew. They realize they can lean on each other and a great foundation of trust is built along the way. Plus there are some great moments that had me grinning and laughing out loud.
“A cold wind swept across the patio, causing me to shiver. Noah shrugged off his black leather jacket and tossed it around my shoulders. “How are you going to tutor me if you get fucking pneumonia?” I cocked an eyebrow. What an odd combination of romantic gesture and horribly crude wording.”
Both characters are so great and I really enjoyed the dual POV. Initially Echo comes off as a weak people pleaser and Noah comes off as a bad boy who doesn’t care. Their transformation throughout the book was remarkable. Echo gains confidence and strength and Noah is able to forgive and accept things in his life which allow him to make rational mature decisions. Even though I loved both POV’s, Noah really captured by heart! I LOVE HIM SO MUCH. His relationship with his little brothers was remarkable and I admired him for his commitment to them, even if his plans were misguided, his heart was in the right place. He had just the right amount of bad boy and I really enjoyed his dialogue, both aloud and internally. A little rough which I love, but always honest! Very swoon-worthy!
“Her eyes met mine again. “So what does this mean for us?”
I lowered my forehead to hers. “It means you’re mine.”….”Not sure how I felt about Antonio and Echo, I linked my fingers with hers. Antonio cocked a surprised eyebrow. Damn straight, bro. I just marked my territory.”
There were a few things that bothered me a little bit, but in the grand scheme of things, they are relatively unimportant. Some things were a bit cliché, but because of the way this book made me feel, I can absolutely overlook that. I do wish there had been an epilogue though. I know there will be another book about the secondary character, Beth, but I wanted a little bit more with Noah and Echo at the end. Greedy, I know.
There isn’t just one moment I could pick out in this book that touched me or made an impact. It was the entire thing. I can’t count how many times I was in tears or on the verge of tears. I don’t know how Katie McGarry did it, but I was so incredibly emotionally invested. It was almost exhausting because I felt like I couldn’t stop myself from being overwhelmed and getting that anxious feeling in my chest.
This story had a death grip on my heart from the first second, and didn’t let up until the very last word.
Note: I began listening to an audio version of this book. About half way through I happened to be at the bookstore and couldn’t help picking up a hard cover copy of it as well. I alternated between the two versions. When I started the audio version, I didn’t really like Echo, but I think that’s due to the narrator, her voice is very harsh and annoying in my opinion. But OMG! The guy that narrates Noah’s POV – MacLeod Andrews is PERFECTION! I swear I could listen to that voice all day long and just sigh contentedly.