Review: Pusing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Thank you, my fair Rameau, for lending me this one! You rock!

Book info:
Form: pdf e-book
Genre: YA romance (or New Adult but really I am yet to spot the difference)
Target audience: older YA.


The last year of high school, somewhere in America. A girl meets a boy. She is called Echo, he is called Noah. Both have serious family issues but of different kind. He falls for her because she smells like cinnamon rolls. She falls for him because he is a very handsome, bad-boy stoner with…er… issues.  And a six-pack stomach. The crazy attraction between them refuses to go away although their friends are not impressed. Will they stay together? SPOILER: You bet

My impressions:

I rarely read YA novels nowadays. Why? The moment I start them the plot seems so strangely familiar, too familiar to be honest – after a page or two I am pretty sure I’ve read it before. Like one hundred times before. It holds no appeal as there are no real surprises or twists I wouldn’t have predicted. Not nice or even downright boring. Pushing the Limits wasn’t an exception to the rule.

Echo, is a high school student who went from a popular girl with a jock boyfriend to a gossiped-about outsider with “freaky” scars on her arms during one month. Noah is a boy who has lost his parents in a fire and cannot visit his younger brothers so he is revolting against the school rules and any rules at all. Both are attracted to each other because they are in fact very similar in their rejection of ugly reality. You don’t have to be a genius to assume they will be an item at one point “against all odds” – especially that she is a very attractive girl and he is a very handsome young man. The main problem is not “what happen” but “how” and “when”.

And here I wasn’t impressed – the execution simply didn’t work for me. It felt too overwrought, too obvious, too overwhelmingly angsty and dramatic to make me really engaged with the story. Almost spurious. While I was able to feel for both Echo and Noah occasionally, I didn’t really connect with them.

The book is narrated by both of the main characters. First annoying feature: Noah’s and Echo’s voices were quite similar, very surprisingly so. The only thing really differentiating them: Noah’s dialogue was peppered with profanities. Well, perhaps it’s just me but personally I found Noah’s chapters also the silliest of all. He thought like a girl – I mean no teenage boy would speak/think like that. His repeated use of expressions like “siren”, “angel”, “nymph” and “seductress” produced more snort-laughs than swoons from me and the constant reminder of how Echo smelled (cinnamon rolls) made me only annoyingly hungry (where’s the nearest bakery, pronto?) but honestly, do tell me, do you know any REAL GIRL who smells like that without using any kind of perfume?

There are also many kinds of cliche secondary characters which have been featured in EVERY SINGLE ONE high school YA novel I’ve read so far: a douche bag hunky boyfriend (Luke), a false female friend who is also a bit of a meanie (Grace), a bunch of evil gossipers, Noah’s ‘bad company’ consisting of heavily tattooed, marijuana-smoking misfits who still have a single savin g grace or two…I wasn’t able to find even one inch of originality here.

Final verdict:

A decent story; still an instantly forgettable one. It was short and relatively readable but also nothing that can persuade me to read YA novels more often.

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8 Responses to Review: Pusing the Limits by Katie McGarry

  1. rameau says:

    I still have not read this book.

  2. Read the second one, this one you can skip ;p

  3. Blodeuedd says:

    Yawn, sorry YA but all the drama and angst is just so so YA

  4. Definitely too much angst is bad for any novel.

  5. Melissa says:

    This book has not caught my attention yet. It doesn't feel like my kind of read. And sounds like I'm not missing much. 🙂

  6. Definitely yes – not missing much. Still I liked the second part better.

  7. heidenkind says:

    Uh-oh, I downloaded Dare You To on Netgalley. Hopefully it will be better…?

  8. It will in my opinion. My review is coming! 🙂

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