They say be a good girl, get good grades, be popular.
They know nothing about me. I can’t remember the night that changed my life. The night I went from popular to loner freak. And my family are determined to keep it that way. They said therapy was supposed to help. They didn’t expect Noah.
Noah is the dangerous boy my parents warned me about. But the only one who’ll listen. The only one who’ll help me find the truth. I know every kiss, every promise, every touch is forbidden. But what if finding your destiny means breaking all the rules? A brave and powerful novel about loss, change and growing up, but most of all love.
Pushing the Limits by Katie Mcgarry, was all over the book blogging world last year, and garnering rave reviews everywhere it went. Too many books and not enough time though, meant, that at the time I didn’t succumb until November last year, when I picked it up for a bargain .20p! on Kindle. Even then I didn’t read it straight away. It was only when I had the opportunity to pick up a review copy of the sequel Dare to Be, that I got around to starting it, and then finished both in quick succession.
Both Echo and Noah, have ‘histories’ that leave them on the outside edges of the world they inhabit. Echo is considered something of a freak, what with her scars and the rumours that surround them, and Noah, has had a hard few years since his family fell apart, and has developed an attitude and way of life to suit (and to survive).
When they find themselves pushed into each other’s lives by their social worker, a friendship starts to develop (and a pretty strong attraction to each other!), they soon start to confide in each other. It could just be that together they are both what the other needs.
I found myself really enjoying Pushing the Limits more than I thought I necessarily would, and a lot of that is down to Echo and Noah. Despite the fact I’m neither young nor female (the probably target audience) I’m not adverse to a romance being the large focus of a book (just glance down this sites archives) but I do need for the characters to be more than that. Thankfully there is plenty to depth to Echo and Noah.
I really enjoyed their struggles to both understand and move beyond their pasts. Echo’s grief at the recent loss of her brother (who she was very close to) and her loss of memory and confusion regarding the incident that caused her scars, is painful at times. It’s painful because Echo is a character who is very easy to care about, and you can feel her suffering.
Noah’s fight to get his family back together is just as painful to watch, his past means he finds it hard to trust others, particularly with things that are beyond his control, which leads him to occasionally fight the people who are trying to help him, but you can see just how much he cares for and wants to get his family back.
Even if, (and this for me is one of the signs an author getting the characters right), there had only ever been ‘friendship’ between the two of them, then the book and Echo and Noah’s story would still have been enjoyable. The fact that they do have more, and become more, makes your emotional investment in their lives even more worthwhile, and takes your enjoyment of the book even higher.