Monday, July 16, 2012

Pushing the Limits - Katie McGarry

Synopsis: 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. (From Goodreads)

There are literally mascara marks across the pages of this book. Actually, I'm pretty sure my hands were entirely black from trying to avoid black streaks down my face at certain points of this book. The thing is, this is one of those books that doesn't really warrant bawling, but it kind of happens anyways. I was just hit so hard by these characters whose lives were great until a certain event caused it all to turn terrible so fast. Both Noah and Echo lived relatively normal, so their failed attempts to get back to the life they knew before was just devastating. They worked so hard to get past their issues and it wasn't easy.

But I really think what got me going was that these two are so frustrated, so let down by all the people in their lives. They really don't have anything or anyone they can count on and they have every reason to be bitter and to shut out the world. But they don't. They feel things so fiercely, there is so much passion and life in their relationship that it's intense and just beautiful. I think one of the strongest things you can do is hold the reasons not to love, and love anyway. And this strength just shone through these characters.

This book does have hints of Simone Elkeles's Perfect Chemistry. This book has those elements of a boy with a bad reputation meets a rich girl who has problems of her own. They shouldn't be together - especially in terms of social acceptance - but they find they can't stay apart. Those are the bones of this story - but McGarry's story is so much more intense, raw, and real than Perfect Chemistry.

Noah is perhaps one of the most amazing characters I've read in a long time. He starts out as a boy who's earned his bad reputation and he grows so much - and it all happens after a lot of work and adjustment on his part. Because that's the other thing that's real about this book. Noah and Echo have a lot of issues but they do really work at them. They don't just meet each other, fall in love, and find everything is miraculously solved. They work at changing things in their lives, at understanding what happened that caused them trouble, and working at finding a new kind of happiness. They are there to support one another when they need it, they're there to defend one another, but they don't function to actually fix the other's problems.

And the secondary characters in this book are all so wonderfully written. I loved their clinical social worker. I couldn't even imagine doing her job. But she does it so well and she helps Noah and Echo so much - even just getting them to trust her was impressive. Noah has a couple friends who support him (or sometimes cause him grief) like a family - and they were vibrant characters. And Echo's best friend - I just wanted to hug her. Echo used to run with the popular crowd- and all of them pretty much give up on her except her best friend who demonstrates unconditional love so well.

I completely devoured this book. I couldn't get enough Echo and Noah, no matter how much they made me cry. Even when I wasn't reading they were on my mind. Even now I find myself wondering how they're doing, as if they are live friends of mine I knew in high school. I so highly recommend this book. It's such an amazing novel that it's easy to forget it's fiction.

3 comments:

  1. I thought this book was very gripping and I liked the way Echo and Noah had to pull from their own inner strength to keep going.

    Kate @ Ex Libris

    ReplyDelete
  2. I know what you mean! Eco and Noah were so unique and at the same time real and likeable - I sometime felt like they were actual persons :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm reading it right now. Actually, I'm on page 371 (the french version). I love Echo and Noah soooo much. And yeah, I know exactly the feeling you described. I can't stop crying, and I feel like they're real people, too. They're so cute together! I hope they will do a movie, even if I know for sure that the book will always be one hundred times better. I haven't finished it, but I'm already sad, because I know I'll miss them for a while and they'll always have a special place in my heart.

    ReplyDelete

Monday, July 16, 2012

Pushing the Limits - Katie McGarry

Synopsis: 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. (From Goodreads)

There are literally mascara marks across the pages of this book. Actually, I'm pretty sure my hands were entirely black from trying to avoid black streaks down my face at certain points of this book. The thing is, this is one of those books that doesn't really warrant bawling, but it kind of happens anyways. I was just hit so hard by these characters whose lives were great until a certain event caused it all to turn terrible so fast. Both Noah and Echo lived relatively normal, so their failed attempts to get back to the life they knew before was just devastating. They worked so hard to get past their issues and it wasn't easy.

But I really think what got me going was that these two are so frustrated, so let down by all the people in their lives. They really don't have anything or anyone they can count on and they have every reason to be bitter and to shut out the world. But they don't. They feel things so fiercely, there is so much passion and life in their relationship that it's intense and just beautiful. I think one of the strongest things you can do is hold the reasons not to love, and love anyway. And this strength just shone through these characters.

This book does have hints of Simone Elkeles's Perfect Chemistry. This book has those elements of a boy with a bad reputation meets a rich girl who has problems of her own. They shouldn't be together - especially in terms of social acceptance - but they find they can't stay apart. Those are the bones of this story - but McGarry's story is so much more intense, raw, and real than Perfect Chemistry.

Noah is perhaps one of the most amazing characters I've read in a long time. He starts out as a boy who's earned his bad reputation and he grows so much - and it all happens after a lot of work and adjustment on his part. Because that's the other thing that's real about this book. Noah and Echo have a lot of issues but they do really work at them. They don't just meet each other, fall in love, and find everything is miraculously solved. They work at changing things in their lives, at understanding what happened that caused them trouble, and working at finding a new kind of happiness. They are there to support one another when they need it, they're there to defend one another, but they don't function to actually fix the other's problems.

And the secondary characters in this book are all so wonderfully written. I loved their clinical social worker. I couldn't even imagine doing her job. But she does it so well and she helps Noah and Echo so much - even just getting them to trust her was impressive. Noah has a couple friends who support him (or sometimes cause him grief) like a family - and they were vibrant characters. And Echo's best friend - I just wanted to hug her. Echo used to run with the popular crowd- and all of them pretty much give up on her except her best friend who demonstrates unconditional love so well.

I completely devoured this book. I couldn't get enough Echo and Noah, no matter how much they made me cry. Even when I wasn't reading they were on my mind. Even now I find myself wondering how they're doing, as if they are live friends of mine I knew in high school. I so highly recommend this book. It's such an amazing novel that it's easy to forget it's fiction.

3 comments:

  1. I thought this book was very gripping and I liked the way Echo and Noah had to pull from their own inner strength to keep going.

    Kate @ Ex Libris

    ReplyDelete
  2. I know what you mean! Eco and Noah were so unique and at the same time real and likeable - I sometime felt like they were actual persons :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm reading it right now. Actually, I'm on page 371 (the french version). I love Echo and Noah soooo much. And yeah, I know exactly the feeling you described. I can't stop crying, and I feel like they're real people, too. They're so cute together! I hope they will do a movie, even if I know for sure that the book will always be one hundred times better. I haven't finished it, but I'm already sad, because I know I'll miss them for a while and they'll always have a special place in my heart.

    ReplyDelete