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.
It's been a long time since a book has made me cry. A lot of books make me sad or angry or feel a little down but this is the first book in I don't know how long where I've had to stop reading because the pages are getting blurry and I couldn't focus. I usually don't like books that do this to me but Pushing the Limits was the exception to this.
It's funny though, to start with I didn't think I was going to enjoy this. I've seen lots of reviews where people have been put off by the dramatics and some of the the unbelievable situations and I didn't know whether that was going to put me off, and to start with the over-dramatic phrasing and character situations did struggle to engage me. However, at some point in this book the characters creeped up on me and I started to love Noah and Echo and their friends. Even though I kind of knew exactly where this book was going, watching the characaters get there was reason enough to keep reading. Echo was damaged, hurt and angry at so many people, at the beginning of the book she's trying to find normal after events in her life have made her a 'freak', I became so emotionally invested in Echo's story, I wanted to know exactly what had happened and I loved watching her sort her life out at the end.
I also loved watching Noah, he is so angry. Noah's story isn't as painful as Echo's but it's still enough to explain why he is the way he is and how he feels about his brothers being adopted is warranted. I loved watching Noah's transition from bad boy girl user to the caring, dedicated boyfriend he becomes. I also loved Noah's friends, Isaiah was pretty sweet, he was a stoner but he had a heart of gold underneath it all and I kind of suspect that Beth did to, I can't wait to read Beth's story when it's released just to see more of these two.
The romance between Echo and Noah was well written, no insta-love here! Instead, there is instant lust, which is far more believable. I loved how it started outs attraction and led to being love, it was paced very well and at the same time took over the book, which is how it should have been in a book like this. Their relationship is pure electricity; smouldering, burning, shocking and very sexy.
Overall, it's very hard to describe Pushing the Limits because I can't find flaws in it. If you dislike over dramatic books this may not hit the spot for you but to me this book was perfect. I need more Noah and Echo. This book is sexy and deep and you will be rooting for the characters all the way through. Book does include sexual references and bad language, recommended for older teens.
Overall Rating: A+
Book released 3rd August 2012 by Mira Ink (UK)/ 31st July 2012 by Harlequin Teen (US) *Cover shown is UK cover)
Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (NetGalley)