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August 20, 2012

"Pushing the Limits" by Katie McGarry

Finally~! This review was written in a total of 4 different sit-down sessions, 2 of which were at least half an hour long (though I wasn't writing non-stop, more like rolling around on the living room floor and moaning).

I'm definitely not a person to use GIFs in my posts (I usually just admire and enjoy them on other people's blogs, etc.) but I really couldn't resist here. In the following Vivi-Review, I lose it. Without further ado, here's another review on.....-drum roll-

[Clickey the hot cover (gosh, I love that cover!) for Goodreads!]

Title: Pushing the Limits
Author: Katie McGarry
Publication: 2012, Harlequin Teen
Summary: 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...read more

Review: Oh my gosh, AAAHHH! This book sliced my emotions to pieces and scattered them over the solar system with a gale about as strong as a (Category 5) hurricane. Now this is an emotional rollercoaster, the Leviathan of Canada's Wonderland (like so), effortlessly climbing up to booming crescendos in the stratosphere and blazing through with burning hot sparks. "Pushing the Limits" completely blew me away and I happily let it! Katie McGarry deserves a golden crown for this emotionally dominating and brilliant YA debut!

The captivating and grasping characters of "Pushing the Limits" not only touched my heart with their story, but it felt like they grabbed it and squeezed as well (hard, might I add.). Completely raw and realistic, Echo and Noah drew me in from the very first page of each of their POVs. They are both driven, compelling and ridiculously convincing as literary characters who felt to me as a reader as vivid as 3D. Yes, both Echo and Noah contain the bleeding scabs and scars in their hearts from two very shattered pasts, but they are stoic, inspiring and admirable from the inside and in essence.

As these two smartly and epic-ly written characters come slamming together, everything molds perfectly atop a blazing flame as the chemistry swirls between Echo and Noah, bringing to life one of the steamiest and sweetest YA relationships I've ever read. 

Katie McGarry won me over immediately with her clever diction. Both POVs were handled superbly well and this is the first YA book with switching first-person POVs that did not annoy me at all. In fact, I relished knowing and understanding both of the main characters in such close proximity. The switching was also used to the advantage of a propelling pacing since sometimes, I was left hanging, but never to the point that I did not enjoy the other POV section. This book truly handled double POVs to an amazingly effective and masterful level!

Throw in sarcastically witty dialogues that fly around hitting with monstrous accuracy and impact, and the dark nuances and heaviness is thankfully toned down a bit. A broad and enriching cast of supporting characters add emotional momentum and wonderfully enhances the world of "Pushing the Limits". Echo and Noah were hilarious at times and it coloured this debut work with richly bright hues of oranges, greens and yellows to add an addicting vibrancy to the book's overall palette. 

I laughed with these characters, feeling joyful and proud of their hard-earned and deserving happy moments. I cried, both physically and emotionally, with them; shed tears for their sufferings and heart-stabbing pain, but I also cried happy tears as well. I felt for them dearly for all the in-between emotions and beyond, and I'm grateful to Katie McGarry for letting us dwell so close to Echo's and Noah's hearts and I know that in turn, they will stay close by in my heart too. This book was so much from up and down, to side to side, to inside out and frankly, I loved it all.

Ratings: ✰✰✰✰✰ 5 Echo-ing Hoots

[2012.08.21] UPDATE! I forgot to mention one other incredible thing. Miraculously enough, for some strange reason, the occasional swearing in this book didn't bother me at all. (whereas usually, the F-word bothers me quite a bit) O_O It just seemed to fit Noah effortlessly and I wasn't bothered with it either, I was thinking, 'swear away, Noah! I don't mind.'

Final Notes:
The opening of this book didn't strike me positively, BUT IT WASN'T THIS BOOK'S FAULT! It was thanks to a rather negative book experience in the past. Another book about another girl that started out in another therapy/guidance room at school. Plus, the girl nicknamed herself "Echo".

I guess it was good for me to have my expectations/memories of raving reviews from every single one of you momentarily knocked down for a moment, haha! What a pleasant surprise. (what an understatement.)

I was crying at p. 107. That wasn't even halfway through the book yet! Moreover, no one passed away. (99% of Vivi's crying cases would be at the end of a book, when a character passes away or something.) I was crying happy tears because I was just so moved ;;____;;

A Favourite Moment: “Luke used to give me butterflies. Noah spawned mutant pterodactyls.”(I just couldn't stop laughing at this one...)

Thanks for reading!


  1. I'm sitting here trying to come up with a response to your review but I'm having all these feelings towards a book I have yet to read. Book depository please ship my order faster! I can't believe I have to wait a month before I can hopefully experience emotional twirling. I can feel my overwhelming impatience and choking desire to read this book *a bit dramatic*

    I'm happy you loved it so much, I'll add your review to the insanely long list of positive reviews that I've read. Also I love the quote. :)
    Isa @ Chasing Quills

  2. Lol! I love your review. I was on the fence about this Pushing the Limits, but emotional twirling sounds like a must have experience.

  3. I hardly ever cry in books unless a character dies too, but Pushing the Limits had me weeping on every other page! :D This is a great review, Vivian! I love your favourite quote, by the way! Noah gave quite a few people mutant pterodactyls instead of butterflies, me indluded. ;)

  4. Oh darn. Everybody really seems to love this book, but I just can't make myself read it. I'm just not attracted by the cover and the blurb. At all. I do like your enthusiastic, wonderful review and I'm so happy that you loved it! A lot of other bloggers loved it too and I enjoyed myself reading your review, but I don't think I will read this one ^^

  5. Haha I love the twirling! So happy you loved this one too it was SO good! I love it all! The characters, the romance, the witty dialogue! Everything you mention is right out of my own mouth! Yay!!

  6. Wow, what a great review Vivian, it was certainly worth spending all that time on! It sounds like this is a truly amazing book, one that I will definitely have to pick up very soon. Thanks for the awesome review!

    Steph @ Stepping Out Of The Page

  7. A wonderful review, Vivian. I agree with everything you've said! I also had trouble writing my review for Pushing the Limits because it's just so amazing that you want to gush about it for pages and pages, but instead you have to sort it into a neat little review.

    I didn't mind Noah's swearing either - it just sort of fit his character to swear a lot. If anything, it just made me love him more, which is kinda odd!

    Anyway, love your review and I'm so happy I've discovered your beautiful blog!

    Jessica :) xxx

  8. OMG!! Im so glad you loved this book! i love it too!! kyaaaa!! I love your review also! =P I couldnt have said it better my gosh! and like you, it also bothers me to read swearing but for some reason, with this book and VA, it didnt at all XDDDD (I guess the F word is SO ROse Hathaway lol) and it this book, was necessary to make it feel even more real.

    My dear, Are you ever going to go see the CIty of Bones filming? they are near St.Jams Cemetery!!! Have you seen the pics already of yesterday? it was the first day filming omg!! My dear, I may go to Toronto just for that!! If I go, I'll let you know!! Join me and we get our books signed by Jace, Simon and Clary OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Kisses my dear! I missed you during my week of vacations! muah!!

    1. Thank you, oneechan!! <3

      and ohyes... o_o. I do live very, very close and I'm SO tempted to stalk >_< but I'm rather scared to go alone though O_O there have been people getting into trouble, etc. etc. AAAACK!! but I really wanna go see X[

  9. P.S. New follower, of course! :D xxx

  10. Oh YOU with your incredible, amazing, make-me-want-to-reread-or-run-out-and-buy-every-book-you-talk-about reviews <3 I wasn't as HUGE a fan as so many of you were, but I SO did enjoy this. Noah and Echo were really well developed and LAYERED characters and you just can't help but want for them to have a happy ending given all the crap they endure.

    Also, have I mentioned your review is AMAZING?!

  11. OOOOHHH MMMMMMM GGGGGGG!!!! Your review just made my day and every day of my life to come! O_O I can't agree with you more! It was such an emotional read, so many feelings, there were tears, laughter, rants, and swoons galore! Thanks for this hun! Great, absolutely great! Will definitely check out more review by you :D

    New Follower
    Chocolate Coated Reviews

  12. Amazing review! I've yet to read this but with all these raving reviews, I have no choice in the matter really! I can't believe this is McGarry's DEBUT novel! Usually a debut novel doesn't get as many five stars as this one has - a very big well-done to Katie definietly!
    I just <3 emotional books! ^.^

  13. Vivian, you've finally read PtL - it's like my favourite book ever! I'm so glad you adored it as much as I did! This book blew me away too and I just loved how raw and emotional it was! I definitely fell for Noah and funnily enough, I didn't mind the excessive swearing either, I usually detest it! Did you adore Noah's brothers too?

    If I hadn't read this already, you would have totally convinced me, Vivi <3

    And I didn't realise I wasn't following you :O Well, I am now :)

  14. I also loved this book! Echo and Noah were so amazing together :) This book was so emotional and I also really loved all the witty dialogue :) Great review!
    The Book Belles

  15. YESSSS, Ahhh! I'm so glad you finally read it. :DDD It's soooo amazing<3 I knew you'd love it. Noah was so swoon worthy and amazing and ughhh.. & ECHO, she seriously broke my heart. I just loved her <3 I also cried a lot during the book.. Some were happy, some were sad. So emotional! Anyways, I'm glad you loved it <3333 :D Amazing review as always!!

  16. I've been holding off on reading this since the cover made it look like the typical teenage high school romance novel but everyone is raving about this one! I'm probably going to end up reading it now -gives in to peer pressure-. Great review, loving the Kurt Hummel!

  17. Amazing review!! PTL is one of my favorites reads of 2012 and I am so happy that you loved it as much as I did! Noah and Echo are awesome characters!


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