This is a fantastic debut novel by Katie McGarry. Not only did she put me in a glass case of emotion (please tell me someone gets that reference), but she was able to place two characters together and have them relate to each other as well as relate to the reader.
Echo is known as the girl with the scars, the freak. She doesn't remember the night her mother tried to kill her, and her worst fear is ending up like she was: crazy. She struggles with trying to please her father and her stepmother (who happened to once be her babysitter), and is forced to talk to a school clinical social worker, who is determined to help her remember that dreadful night. We watch Echo struggle with her inner demons and try hard to over come them. At times I felt as though she was a little dramatic, but then again, if my mother tried to kill me and I survived (and so did she), I'd be a little paranoid too. But the thing about Echo was that you truly wanted her to figure out what happened, just so you could too. You want her to come to terms with her self. Dramatics aside, I related to her with the scars.
Noah, on the other hand, is a foster kid who is in the shithole with the foster system. He's the loner, the kid that everyone whispers about and the guy every girl knows only goes for one night stands. But nobody knows his real story, and when you learn about it, its heartbreaking. Personally, Noah's story affected me more than Echo's. He's fighting a system that's so broken up that his family is being ripped apart from underneath him. He's struggling to figure out who he wants to become, and who he needs to be.
And when he meets Echo, his entire world is turned upside down.
Seriously, the sparks fly between these characters and the way he describes Echo makes any girl's heart melt. I was crying, laughing, and turning each page (well, pressing the button to get to the next page on my Nook) faster than I have in awhile for any book. It is one of the best contemporary YA's I have read in a long time.
If you need a break from reading dystopian or other fantasy novels, Pushing the Limits is a great contemporary read to get you back into reality. It's real, it's raw, it's honest and it doesn't hold back.
In other words, it definitely lives up to the title.