Author: Katie McGarry
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: July 31, 2012
"I won't tell anyone, Echo. I promise." Noah tucked a curl behind my ear. It had been so long since someone touched me like he did. Why did it have to be Noah Hutchins? His dark brown eyes shifted to my covered arms. "You didn't do that-did you? It was done to you?" No one ever asked that question. They stared. They whispered. They laughed. But they never asked.
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 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.
Kelly & Kristin Discuss
(In light of all the Dare You To ARCs being released and the excitement surrounding its realease, Kelly and I decided to discuss Pushing the Limits today.)
Kelly: That she had something to hide and that no one really understood the real her. She had so much more to give than people originally thought. And she lived up to my perceptions and more.
Kristin: Echo drew my attention from the first page. It was obvious something horrific happened to her and she had few people in her corner. Ms. McGarry did an excellent job of letting Echo mature in a manner that seemed realistic throughout the book.
First perception of Noah? Did he live up to those perceptions?
Kelly: Obviously broken bad boy and that he had a dark past that he refuses to let anybody know. He was also a very angry guy. Yes he lived up to my expectations but I also learned so much more about him. That he is fiercely loyal and protective and loving and he has a big heart.
Kristin: Ah, Noah! I think by introducing each character via Mrs. Collins gave us early insight to some of the issues at hand. Noah appeared like a slacker who cared about nothing, but that was far from the truth. I'm going to be honest and say I connected more with his character than Echo's which is a bit odd, but true. Noah surpassed any and all expectations I had for him.
What were your feelings throughout the book? Did you expect the twists in Echo's and Noah's stories?
Kelly: Feelings, ha! I was a mess! I had tears in my eyes the ENTIRE time and I was seriously psychologically messed up throughout the entire book. I have never experienced so many emotions in one book. As for the twists? Honestly? Not at all! Especially Noah's! Like WTF how sad to keep such a huge secret that your little brother started the fire by accident that killed your parents! Wow!
Kristin: I read Pushing the Limits as an ARC (but had to buy the book as soon as it released) and I remember thinking...Wow! I haven't read another book which left me asking WTH with every single turn of the page. I literally fell into the story, feeling everything I imagined Echo and Noah must've been feeling. Like Kelly, I think Noah's story shocked me a little more than Echo's, though both were equally tragic.
How did the intense psychological trauma the book dished out affect you?
Kelly: Basically I felt like I wanted to crawl into a dark corner and cry until I dried out like an old sponge.
Kristin: Rereading my review, the one word that describes my feelings while reading Pushing the Limits is: overwhelming. There were so many emotions and crazy, awe-inspiring events happening, I had a hard time grasping everything.
What did you think of Mrs. Collins, the guidance counselor?
Kelly: LOVED this woman! She provided some relief from all the sadness! She made me laugh so much! Especially with her driving.
Kristin: As I said in my review, Mrs. Collins may be my favorite adult in any YA book ever. I loved that she didn't dwell on making Echo and Noah like her; she used actions, not words. I'm like Kelly...the driving thing was insane; an excellent use of comic relief.
If you were Echo's dad, how would you have handled the extreme trauma she'd been through?
Kelly: Honestly I don't know. Every person is different right? I do think he should have been there for her more though.
Kristin: Like Kelly said, every person is different but I would like to think I could be more open and honest with my daughter. I'm not big on keeping secrets, especially this kind of secret, but I also understand that there was a reason Echo's brain refused to let her remember what had happened, so maybe it was for the best. I think the part that upset me the most is that he led Echo to believe her mother was locked up when he knew she wasn't. Lies never bode well in the end.
Favorite scene in book?
Kelly: Every time Noah was with his brothers. I wanted to piss through my eyes every time.
Kristin: The scene that comes to mind every single time I think of this book is the award ceremony with Noah and Jacob. Jacob says "Noah is better than Batman" then Noah replies, "I love you, too, lil' bro." I bawled like a baby, not even going to deny it for a single second.
If you were Echo, would you have wanted to see your mom again?
Kelly: Yeah no. Not even a little bit.
Kristin: I'm a huge advocate on knowing both sides of the story, so I feel like I would want to at least hear her side. And, because I trust no one, I would have to see my mom in person, because I would need to see her face when she told me her story...partially to see if she was lying, partially to see if she was truly sorry.
Noah and his brothers, super cute! What did you think about the solution to Noah's problems?
Kelly: PERFECT!! It made me want to jump for joy and shoot confetti from my hands!
Kristin: Honestly, I prayed throughout the book that Ms. McGarry found an appropriate ending for Noah and his brothers. I kept thinking about how he must feel, how much he must have wanted them back, but in my heart, I didn't feel like that ending would have been in anyone's best interest. I think Noah, his brothers, and I all got our happily ever after ending.
Overall thoughts on the book?
Kelly: I am not one for contemporary as I have stated many many times, but this book was hands down the BEST contemp book I have EVER read! It also helped me get through a very difficult night. So this book means a lot to me!
Kristin: As previously stated, I connected with Noah and the way he handled his losses immediately. I'm in no way advocating these actions as ways to cope, but I've been there, and it's so easy to fall into the same trap Noah did. Trust me. Even as an adult.
And Now For Our Choice in Casting!
(Kelly did an amazing job picking out Echo and Noah)
What do you think? Be sure to leave us a comment telling us how you felt about Pushing the Limits. Answer one of our questions or make up you own!