Thank you Harlequin Teen for letting me review this e-galley!
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.
This wouldn't be one of my first picks, it being contemporary and all, but I decided to give it a chance because that's my book philosophy: every book deserves the opportunity to be read, no matter your thoughts. It's kind of like not judging a book from it's cover, but I can't say that because I do judge books by their covers. I know, a horrible trait of mine, but I'm human.
Echo and Noah were surprisingly very complex and dimensional characters. But unfortunately, I didn't see many dimensions to some of the secondary characters. Echo and Noah have had experienced some terrible times in their first seventeen or so years of their lives. They both have some pretty messed up lives, ones not fathomable to my mind. They truly were noteworthy characters for this year, possible my favorites.
Noah, he's the crush-worthy hot guy in the novel. I wasn't necessarily attracted to him, possibly because he's not my type--who knows--but he definitely was, according to the other characters, hot. The reason why I wasn't really connecting to him could be the fact that he was part of the 'druggie' group in school. It's not like you could totally blame him once you really got to know his character, but it was a turn-off for me. What I really liked about his character was the fact that he'd do anything for his brothers, but for the majority of the moment, he was a hot-headed kind of guy, thinking he was pretty much invincible.
Echo just blew my mind. She was pretty much the exact opposite of Noah. I almost found her character admirable. She couldn't stand living under the command of her strict father, having to retake exams and only applying for certain colleges. She hated her stepmother. And she most definitely hated her life. The scars that now mar her arms dropped her social status to just about zero and she now has to work with the insufferable Noah to get some money. She just wants her life to be normal, but she can't live on until she can solve the mystery to her accident that ruined her life, just about. She thinks she crazy--or at least turning crazy--as she suffers through night terrors and other mental issues. And I couldn't help but love her strength through all of it. She had her doubts, yes, but she has Noah and her determination to help her move on.
This book dealt a lot with growth and moving on. It was about forgiveness and coping. Tough decisions were made, not all of them the right decisions. The plot at times was truly captivating, keeping me wondering what would happen next, who would do what.
But, I'm afraid not all of the plot kept me hooked. As mentioned, I couldn't really connect with Noah, and that kind of irked me a bit. Also, I had a hard time keeping focus at times. I would get bored and find my eyes wandering. I wanted to get to the end of the story to ease my mind of Echo and Noah's pain and misery, but not all of it kept me hooked. Once Noah and Echo inevitably hooked up, I didn't originally see a point to the story continue. I liked how all of the problems were solved in a leisurely manner--just a little too slow for my taste, but I didn't see much point to some of Echo and Noah's relationship throughout the novel.
Overall, I gave Pushing the Limits three out of five stars. I would suggest reading it to others. It was an interesting read with an unpredictable plot line. I'm not exactly jumping out of my seat thrilled with my book; I'm kind of 'meh' about it.
Others have given this book great reviews; they absolutely loved the book, giving it five or four stars, so it certainly appeals to many people.