Review: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

10194514 Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Published by Harlequin Teen on July 31st 2012

Pages: 392

Genre(s): YA Contemporary, Romance

Rating: 1 star

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. description

Sounds good, doesn’t it? DOESN’T IT?

I thought the exact same thing.

Well, I’ve got news for you: YOU’RE WRONG.

Yup, you heard me.

I was so angry upon finishing this book! I really can’t tell you one positive aspect of the story, it was that bad. And it somehow got an average Goodreads rating of 4.1 stars! Ugh.

Disclaimer: This is more of a rant than a review, so please bear with me. In no way am I trying to criticize the author. I’m simply giving my honest opinion about the book, and it just so happens that I didn’t enjoy it. Also, if you read this book and enjoyed it, I would stop reading because…uh….I may have said some really harsh things about a book you liked.

The Characters: So, Echo. One of the two main characters in the book. She has these horrible scars on her arm and hides them by wearing long sleeves everyday, because letting people see them would be social suicide. Her bipolar mom tried to kill her, and Echo still loves her, and she hates her slightly overprotective dad and stepmother, who happened to be the only two characters in the book that I could even remotely tolerate. Apparently she’s also super smart and super artsy, and according to Noah, beautiful. She was constantly complaining about how horrible her life was, but instead of standing up for herself, she didn’t do anything about it! I was disappointed when everything just settled into place for her. Her voice was so whiney and annoying!

Noah, the other main character, aka “the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket” was even worse. Normally I’m okay with “bad boys” because they turn out to be kind-hearted and caring, but it didn’t seem like Noah cared for Echo at all. The only reason he was into her was because he thought she was attractive. He honestly never brought up another reason for his liking her. Unless you count Noah calling Echo his “nymph” and “siren.” Ew.

The Plot: This book had so many possibilities! The premise sounds amazing, but in my opinion, the execution was horrible.

My main complaint about the plot was that it wasn’t realistic at all. Echo and Noah both had traumatic backgrounds, too traumatic to be believable in my case. I mean, seriously. Your mom is bipolar and tried to kill you, you hate your parents, you’re a social outcast, and may I remind you: you’re doing nothing about it. And then, Noah: Your parents died in a fire that you saved your brothers from, your foster parents are abusive, and you’re hardly ever allowed to see your brothers. Is that my idea of realistic? Nuh-uh.

The Writing Style: Ugh. This was the worst part of the book. It was written in both Echo’s and Noah’s POV, and, to put it bluntly, they both sucked. It sounded like it was in the POV of preschoolers, not 17 year-olds!

Quotes: Let me first clear up the fact that these aren’t well-written quotes. Because of the fact that, in my opinion, it was not a good book, I will provide quotes that reflect upon my opinion of the book.

“Her silky red hair had glimmered in the moonlight.”

*gagging noises*


“Wow. I thought I was the only person at this school faking every moment.”

Huh. Well, now you know, I guess.


“I loved the sound of her sweet voice. Part angel, part music.”

Can you, like, shut up now? Thanks.


“My brain clicked so loudly, I’m surprised no one else heard it.”

How is that even a statement?


“‘What about you?’ Pure panic shook my insides. I thought my eyes were going to wheel out of my head.”

Eyes wheeling out of heads? Makes sense, it does not.


“I swallowed and tried to rein in the mutant pterodactyls having a roller derby in my stomach as I dared to think about a future for the two of us.”



“Come on, my little siren. Come to me.”

Talk about creepy.


“Not a cinnamon roll in sight, but damn if she didn’t smell like one.”

Just to clear this up: People. Don’t. Smell. Like. Pastries. Period.

Final Thought: So, yeah. I was really disappointed by this book, despite the hype that surrounded it. And if you read this and liked it, good for you, but it just wasn’t the book for me. It left me feeling extremely angry for a variety of reasons, but I hope you felt differently about it.



4 thoughts on “Review: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

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