Pushing the Limits

Pushing the Limits  - Katie McGarry This review was first posted on Music, Books and TeaIt's a real testament to a book if it can capture me long enough to do literally nothing but sit and read it. Normally I'm constantly foraging for something to eat, or for something to drink, or I get distracted by something on my phone. However, as soon as I began reading Pushing the Limits, I was dragged straight into this story, and didn't surface again until three hours later once I'd finished the book. Something severely drastic could have happened to the world around me, yet I wouldn't have noticed as I was far too absorbed in the book!Pushing the Limits really is as brilliant as everyone has said it is. I actually went into this book with some doubts, and I panicked that I wouldn't find the book as amazing as everyone else seemed to. I've also been having a really good run with YA contemporary this year, and haven't read one that I haven't enjoyed, and I didn't want this book to be the one to break the mould. But I really needn't have worried, because this book was nothing short of incredible.I adored Echo. She has literally no memory of the night that caused her to have all these scars on her body and basically caused her to be a social outcast at school. That means that you find out what happened to her right alongside Echo. And once we did find out exactly what happened, I found myself desperately wanting to climb inside the book to find her mother and give her a piece of my mind! Especially right towards the end of the book with the scene at the cemetery. After all Echo had been through and survived, she really did not deserve that. I just wanted to pull her into a hug and shield her away from all the judgemental kids at her school. And I wanted to pull her away from Grace, her fair-weather friend and from Luke, her ex-boyfriend who seemed to have a terrible agenda when it came to Echo. Not only is Echo dealing with all of that, she's still mourning the death of her brother, Aries, who was killed in the war. I loved how fixing the car meant so much to Echo, and I thought it was great that it was something that was constantly mentioned throughout the book.And there was Noah. Where do I even begin? I never expected to love his character as much as I did! He was definitely your typical 'bad-boy' character, until you dug a little deeper into his story and found that he was a teenager who desperately wanted custody of his two younger brothers. There were times when I disagreed with what he wanted, as I could see that there was no way he'd be able to provide for them like Cassie and Joe could. I'm pleased that everything worked out for them all in the end though, and that they got the happy ending they all deserved! The chemistry that he shared with Echo was incredible, and I felt Katie McGarry wrote the scenes very well - they were certainly steamy, but they were also realistic, which made them all the more enjoyable to read!The secondary characters that McGarry created really were brilliant. I loved Noah's foster brother Isiah and Beth, their friend who lives with her aunt (Noah and Isiah's foster mother) more than she does her birth mother. And Mrs Collins, Noah and Echo's counsellor was great. Especially those scenes with her and Noah in her car, and he's slightly panicking over her terrible driving! I loved how she wasn't a typical counsellor - she wasn't afraid to stand up to Echo's father, and she didn't push Echo into talking about things she didn't want to talk about.There are so many wonderful things that I could write about Pushing the Limits. I've barely scratched the surface, and there are plenty of wonderful reviews out there that sum up this book perfectly. It has definitely cemented itself as being one of the best contemporary YA releases of the year, and I think that's an opinion that many people have shared over this book. So, if you haven't read it yet, what are you waiting for?