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-
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.'
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!