Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1)

First Lines: “My father is a control freak, I hate my stepmother, my brother is dead and my mother has…well…issues.  How do you think I’m doing?”

I nabbed this for my Kindle because, as I think I’ve said recently, I’ve just gotten a little sick of paranormal stories lately.  Which is a shame, because I love them so much.  I just need a break from them.  So I picked this because it was normal.  and it reminded me a lot of the plot lines for most of Simone Elkeles’s books (ironically, she’s the one with the quote on the cover).

In one night, Echo’s life completely changed.  Unfortunately, she can’t remember exactly what happened that changed her from the popular, outgoing girl to the recluse who eats lunches in the library and wears long sleeves all year long.  She just wants to be normal again.  But there’s Noah Hutchins, the girl-using loner with an attitude who alternates between being a pain and being compassionate and understanding.  They have nothing in common, and Echo really shouldn’t be with him…but what if they need to push the limits in order to feel love again?

When I started reading this, I thought it was going to be kinda fluffy.  I knew it was a teenage romance novel going in.  How could you not?  But it has a lot more substance than that.  Noah and Echo are both struggling with things that teenagers really shouldn’t have to deal with, yet many do on a daily basis.  Noah’s been bounced around foster homes (many not-so-safe) for years, struggling to find a place to fit in.  Echo just wants normal, but she can’t when the school all seems to be against her because of one night she can’t really remember.

It was cool to see them both struggling with very real problems that many of us don’t really encounter.  And then there’s the fact that the characters are just awesome.  Echo is a confused girl who just wants to get her life in order.  You can feel that; you can relate to it because that’s how you felt in school.  Noah’s attitude is that he’s too cool for everyone, and that puts him on the fringes, but he doesn’t care.  He has one goal in mind, and that’s about the only thing that keeps him functioning until Echo.

It was a really emotional read.  My boyfriend called me just as I was getting to the final action and I kept trying to read and talk to him at the same time (I’m not a good multi-tasker).  I could tell he wanted to say, “Put the book down for five minutes and talk to me.”  So I need to work on that…maybe.

Anyway, it was a way better read than I thought it would be.  I’m actually really excited to see what she comes out with next.  There’s a sequel to this from the point of view of a minor character, much as Simone Elkeles does with the Perfect Chemistry series.

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