Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry. The first book in the Pushing The Limits series.
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.
Thoughts:This book is a book that everyone seems to have been talking about. Everyone said it was really good. That was part of the reason I picked it up. Another was because I've been getting into contemporary romance more lately and every said Anna & The French Kiss was super good. And it was. So I hoped the same for this book.
Echo Emerson's mom has issues. Her dad is a control freak. Her step-mom? Don't go there. Her brother is dead and she doesn't know where she fits in. Broken? Yeah. Shunned? Pretty much. Her mom left scars on her...from when she tried to kill Echo. Only Echo can't remember it. Because of the scars and no explanation wild rumors are flying about what happened and she's been cast out from the popular crowd. Worst of all, she's just been assigned a job tutoring a jerk. Noah Hutchins has problems. He has goals and he can't meet them if he has to be tutored. He has to get his brothers away from their foster family before something happens to them. They're the only thing he cares about, the only family he has left. He has to protect them. Even if Echo is really gorgeous. And interesting. Noah starts digging deeper into Echo's past and even promises to try and help her remember. But that's not the whole story...
Pros:This is a really sweet story and it's deep too. There are issues and problems that the characters face and must overcome. Echo and Noah were a charming couple and really sweet together. The plot wasn't "exciting" but there was a lot of drama and some mystery going on through the whole book. A nice steady pace. The writing is really great and several of the analogies made me swoon (because I'm a writer & a reader...and a nerd. I do weird things like that), example:instead of butterflies Echo had pterodactyls mutating in her stomach. Yeah. Awesome stuff like that. Echo and Noah are really cute together and it's not all, oh your hot let's make out etc. I mean it is, they're attracted to each other but they depend on each other too. Noah loves Echo and wants her to be a part of his future, someway and somehow. Echo feels safe with Noah and loves that he's trying to help her figure out what happened that night her mom attacked her. She loves that he doesn't think she's a freak. They are both a little broken, both have problems and they both get each other because of that. It's really beautiful...
Cons:There is a lot of cussing (335 cuss words, 66 the f word) and there is also a good bit of violence in the form of abuse and a couple fist fights. And Echo's accident with her mom. There is drinking and smoking pot/weed/whatever mentioned a nice bit of the time, and a brief party scene. There are rumors of how good a guy is at a hook-up, lusting, and brief mention of inappropriate thoughts. Divorce. Mental illness. crude jokes and implications. Sleeping together (not really described) three times.
Apart from the content I didn't have much problem with the writing or anything else. There were a couple times when a character bugged me but otherwise nope.
Overall, this wasn't a favorite, but I still liked it. A lot. The content put me off a good bit. I did like Noah & Echo and the writing had a lot of things I liked in it. I would recommend to older teen girls who are looking for a swoony romance that has some substance. :)
Rating: 3.5 stars