book reviews

Book Review + QA with author +Giveaway: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Hi guys! On the blog today is Pushing the Limits. You’ll find my review of the book, a Q&A with the author Katie McGarry, and Harlequin graces us with a giveaway of a copy of the book. (US & Canada only). REad on!

Title: Pushing the Limits
Author: Katie McGarry
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: July 31, 2012
Source: ARC from publisher

“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.

My Thoughts:

Pushing the Limits is an Overwhelmingly compelling and addicting novel. I was hooked with Echo and Noah’s story. It was a mix of love’s incredulity and mystery with pain and the world’s cruel unfair system. Yes, the cover did capture my attention and attracted me to know the story behind those beautiful what other bloggers have said about it. But when I started reading the book, I was compelled to read it all the way. 

I love contemporary YA novels, but I am more in love with them when they  tackle serious issues that are very real in our world. That’s why I loved this book.  Plus, the kind of love that emminated and was showed in the book felt very genuine, not the fairy tale kind but the real one. That’s why I appreciated it more.

Echo has her scar issues, and Noah has his own scars too. Both went underwent crazy heart-shattering overloaded head-spinning rollercoaster emotionally heavy issues. Sadder because they are just teenagers, forced to be grown-up and face grown-up decisions. Their story was gripping. Heck, I cried and bawled my eyes out, with all the hiccups kind of crying. Noah’s love for his brothers and what he experienced was hell. Echo was lied to and kept from the dark for too long it hurts to evenjust imagine how pain must have shown on her face. That’s why I was so glad they found each other. And though both of them didn’t get the perfect ending they wanted, but all things worked together great anyway. 

I liked how a Mrs. Collins type of character was in the picture. She was no fairy godmother but I sure see her as one.  I saw counselors in a different view now. Yes, they are undeniably irritating but finding the one who can really understand you will really change your life. I know many people are suffering different issues in their life nowadays, and even if this is just fiction, I saw that it really helps to get help.

Both the main characters pushed both their limits, extending it until it has stretched it’s last elasticity. And it was all worth it for both of them. I invite you guys to read the book and learn a lesson that will touch your life. It’s about life, family, school, sanity and most of all love. What we do just to save what we can save and live a fulfilling life.

And I like the touch of Christian values inserted in the book. Subtle but there. 😉

Q&A with Katie McGarry

Q: What was your inspiration for writing Pushing the Limits?

A: I had two main inspirations: One, I knew from the beginning that I wanted to write a story in which my characters felt strong enough to leave their pasts behind and create new futures for themselves. The first scene I ever saw in my mind was Echo and Noah leaving town after graduation. Two, I wanted to write two characters who were facing over- whelming issues and who, through battling these issues, found hope at the end of their journey.

Q: How did you come up with Echo’s name?

A: Echo went through several name changes as I wrote the man- uscript. For a while, she had a very normal name, but it alwaysfelt off. It wasn’t until I looked at Echo from her mother’s point of view that I found her name. Echo’s mother loved Greek my- thology so it made perfect sense that she would name her chil– dren after the myths. I read several Greek myths and the mo-ment I found Echo’s, I fell in love. Echo, to me, was the girl who lost her voice. Thankfully, she finds it by the end.

Q: Which character is the most “like” you?

A: All of them. I gave each character a piece of me (though some have larger slices of me than others). Overall, I’d say I’m a strange combination of Echo, Lila and Beth. Echo has my need to please, Lila has my unfailing loyalty to my friends and Beth encompasses my insecurities.

Q: Did you experience friendships with Grace types when you were in high school?

A: Yes. And the more people have read this story, the more thisquestion comes up. Grace has struck a stronger nerve in people than I ever would have imagined. It seems most of us have un- fortunately experienced a relationship where a person wants to “like” you and wants “be your friend,” but only if it serves their needs. In case anyone is wondering, that isn’t friendship.

Q: Are there any parts of the story you feel particularly close to?

A: Yes. The relationship between Noah, Isaiah and Beth. Beyond my parents and sister, my nearest family members were over fourteen hours away. My friends became my family. The peopleI grew up with were more than people I watched movies with or talked to occasionally on the phone. These were people with whom I shared life’s most devastating moments, but also my hardest laughs. These were people who I would have willing- ly died for and I know they would have done the same for me. They shared my triumphs with smiles on their faces and con- gratulatory hugs. They held me when I cried and offered to beat up whoever hurt my feelings. These were also the same people who were more than happy to get in my face if they thought I was making a wrong decision.

Q: Did anything that happens to Echo happen to you?

A: Sort of. I was bitten by a dog when I was in second grade and repressed the memory. It felt very strange to have no memory of an incident that other people knew about. It was even strang– er to have injuries and not have an inkling where they came from. In college, I finally remembered the incident when a dog lunged at me. I relived the horrible event and sort of “woke up” a few minutes later to find myself surrounded by people I loved. Even though I “remember” the incident, I still don’t remember the whole thing. I only see still frames in my mind and there is no blood in any of the memories.

(US & Canada only) 
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Hi there! My name is Jenna. I write and speak to encourage and empower women, equality, freedom, sustainability, and the plant-based lifestyle. For the Kingdom of Jesus. <3


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