Book 13: Pushing The Limits, Katie McGarry

It took me a bit more time to find a book that wouldn’t bore me to death. Seems like I’m into teen romance with gothic themes lately.

The plot of Pushing the Limits isn’t far with that of the Confessions series. Noah’s (Pushing The Limits’ male protagonist) character is just like Jamie Forta – a badass guy who has a reputation that involves girls and the backseat of his car, minus the foster care system. Meanwhile, Echo, is a disturbed senior, whose popularity has taken a plunge when a family tragedy took place during her sophomore year. Two people who were both so out of each other’s league, with their family issues as their only common denominator, they were brought together and eventually felt something that they never quite expected towards each other. Despite Echo’s clamour for the normal teenage life she used to have, and Noah’s promiscuity, they still found a way to make it work and be together.

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What is it with tough guys with a melting heart towards his family? Noah, despite of being a heartbreaker, girls still fall at his feet. But what these girls don’t really know is that behind the tough attitude and the reputation is a loving big brother. A house fire orphaned him and his two little brothers, sending them in the foster care system, leaving Noah bruised and away from his brothers. How he handled a girlfriend like Echo, when he himself needed mending must be quite beyond anyone’s understanding but nothing that love shouldn’t be able to explain.

Echo’s background could have been more favorable, but having a bipolar mom didn’t do well in her favor. Especially when her older brother, Aires died and she became a casualty of her mom’s depression. A part that she wanted so bad to remember, but something her dad seems to forbid. What’s more, Echo’s babysitter became her stepmom, her friends unconsciously gave conditions to their friendship, and an ex-boyfriend who could promise her old life back if she would just come into his terms. I sure loved the way my life as a teenager.

There’s also Mrs. Collins, their clinical social worker whom I thought had dark motives at first. But as the story progresses, her intentions became clearer – she was the only adult who seemed to care about the welfare of Echo and Noah.

Pushing the Limits isn’t just about two teenagers with opposite leagues who fell in love. As I see it, it talks about how hope is always there. Echo may not be able to go back to the normal life she had, and she may have lost all the faith in the world in finding that one person who can kiss her entirely both literally and figuratively, but at the end of the day she finds Noah, who’d always be willing to be by her side at all cost. Same with Noah, that after all the crap that he experienced in the foster care system, he finds refuge in Echo, along with the opportunity to have someone to take care of his brothers while taking care of himself. And it’s also about the value of friendship, acceptance and maturity. It reminded me again of how sacrifices are being made of someone who claims to already be matured to face life as it is.

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