They say be a good girl, get good grades, be popular. They know nothing about me. I can’t remember the night that changed my life. The night I went from popular to loner freak. And my family are determined to keep it that way. They said therapy was supposed to help. They didn’t expect Noah. Noah is the dangerous boy my parents warned me about. But the only one who’ll listen. The only one who’ll help me find the truth. I know every kiss, every promise, every touch is forbidden. But what if finding your destiny means breaking all the rules? A brave and powerful novel about loss, change and growing up, but most of all love.
Even with all the hype and great reviews circulating this book, I knew virtually nothing about the actual story when I started it. I am very glad of this because Pushing the Limits dealt with some very tough issues that I hadn't read about before and it was fantastic and broke my heart.
Let's start with Echo. She is broken. That's pretty much it. She has just started her last term of high school after a horrible, unspeakable incident that left her with scars, physical and mental. As she attempts therapy with the new school councillor, her relationship with Noah develops into something neither of them are prepared for but both need. I felt so very sorry for Echo. She can't remember much of what happened with her mother and feels awful in her own home, uncomfortable with her scars as a reminder of who hurt her, and plain misses her brother who died in Afghanistan. But apart from that, she was a remarkable girl. Even after a past attempt to remember nearly broke her mind, she is resilient to find out the truth and I find that admirable and remarkable.
Now for Noah. He is bad boy with a good heart, especially when it comes to his brothers. After losing his parents in a fire, they are all he has and he wants what is best for them. Having been in crappy foster homes before, he wants custody of his brothers and although I could completely understand why he wanted to care for them, I knew it was a losing battle. But that's not all; Noah is in trouble with the system after hitting his first foster father (he deserved it, trust me) which means he has meetings with the school councillor too. Mrs Collins was pretty epic, a very strong woman and sure of herself in her work, especially when it comes to these two.
Echo's and Noah's stories are intertwined with alternate chapters and this showed both sides of the story, allowed both to have their say and to show how they both grew. As neither want to talk about what happened to them, these alternate chapters allow us to piece together their past and, at least in my case, pray for them to overcome their issues. I was a bit of an emotional wreck reading this, there were so many terrible things that both Echo and Noah had to overcome and more importantly, I could not believe how crappy their lives were! I honestly felt a little sick when I discovered the truth behind Echo's scars.
You should read this for the story. You should stick with it because of the love and the troubles and how Echo and Noah are brave enough to not let their past define them.
Published 31st July 2012 by Mira Ink.