Mysterious angst: Pushing the Limits

I’m never quite sure what to expect when I pick up a new piece of Young Adult fiction. I’m still getting used to the genre, but I can honestly say I’m enjoying it more with each book I read.

I most certainly enjoyed this latest YA read, Katie McGarry’s Pushing the Limits (Harlequin Teen)

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from being the popular girl with the jock boyfriend to a 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.

One part mystery and one part romance, this intriguing tale is full of teen angst and hot blood. It’s the story of Echo and Noah, two teens struggling to ‘do normal’.

Thing are, of course, far from normal. Echo’s family is fractured and dysfunctional and her friends are superficial and unhelpful, but most troubling of all there’s the scars, the absent mother and the buried memories, all of which are standing in the way of her future. Noah is no less damaged, railing against the death of his parents and his separation from his much-loved younger brothers, he’s on a fast-track to rock-bottom.

As you might expect, these two lost souls find solace in an unlikely friendship and eventually, in each others arms.

“In between frantic kisses, I whispered the words, “I love you.” Because I did. Noah listened to me. He made me laugh and he made me feel special. He was strong and warm and caring and… everything. I loved him. I loved him more than I’d ever loved another person in my life.”

Despite the more predictable love-story elements, Pushing the Limits offers a quite unique storyline to the reader. Echo’s struggle to remember without ‘breaking’ is touching and the work she does to rebuild her life is genuine and rewarding to read about. Noah’s fight to prove that he’s not just a bad-boy foster kid is compelling, as he’s toughened but naive. His focus is singular, he must get his brothers back.

This is a really well executed suspense story, great reading for older teens. The characters are likeable, the relationships believable and the mystery intriguing. I was hooked from start to finish.

You can find out more about Pushing the Limits here.

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