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Monday, August 27, 2012

Heavy Hitter: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Are you awake yet?

Come on…open those eyes, its Monday.
Time to greet the week and here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers…we’ll help you get off to a bookish start.

Quick reminder before you jump into today’s post, there are two count em TWO CONTESTS running right now that you need to know about.  The first gives you a chance to win a hard hitting Young Adult book releasing tomorrow by author Alyssa Shienmel (ends 08/28); the second takes you back to Treasure Island, where the likes of Long John Silver and Jim Hawkins once roamed, in an all new adventure fit to shiver your timbers.  So, what are you going to do after you finish reading this post?  Say it with me….CLICK ON THE CONTEST LINKS TO FIND OUT MORE.  If you do, you’ll make me eminently happy and get yourself a chance to win…now what could be better than that?  OH, I see…you want today’s post.  Okay, okay…you’ve been patient, here goes…

I was looking over my recent reads of late when I realized that there have been several heavy hitters in my repertoire as of late; books that deal with weightier subjects.  Strange seeing as how it’s the end of summer and most are embarking on their final flights of fancy, but for me I suppose it works because flights of fancy are what I take EVERY day; the direction as long as its bookish matters not.  ^_^  Today’s featured book fits right in with the heavy weights though to read the title or take in the cover image, you might beg to differ.  Believe me, I can totally see your side of things….but take a listen to my side and you might change your mind.  Today’s book of choice is….

Pushing the Limits

From the author’s site
No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.  Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

Sounds crazy intense?  It is…in more ways than you are probably imagining right now as well.  First things first, we all recognize the publisher name of Harlequin…but this, my friends, is the TEEN division.  That’s right!  TEEN as in Young Adult; you know, that genre most of you (and of course I) love?  So, if you wrote this one off or any of their other titles simply because you thought it would be one of those, what are they called?  Bodice ripping romance jaunts?  (Something like that…) Think again.  Now, yes…there is romance, and yes there are DEFINITELY sparks but it only pushes thing so far and then you have an amazing story behind it all.  This book?  Exactly that scenario.

Not to hash it to pieces because I know even I’ve seen my fair share of reviews for this newcomer, but it is another hard hitting book masquerading as a high school romance; only in this case, the facade AND what’s behind it are real.  First we have Echo.  Top notch student for the most part that was formerly one of the “in” crowd and scoring top marks throughout the school whether it be with her artwork or boyfriend of choice…until one day…*POOF*.  Oblivion.  She was there one moment, gone the next and when she returned, EVERYTHING changed.  Just what happened to create this effect?  No one knows…and those that do aren’t telling.  Even Echo doesn’t know because whatever it was was SO traumatic that her mind locked it away to protect her from the truth…sadly though it only leaves her more confused, especially when she’s forced to wear the evidence of whatever transpired like a heart on her sleeve. 

Then there’s Noah.  To summarize him is to run the gambit of labels one tends to avoid in high school, unless you are already one of them and then everything is cool (I’m not judging you…to each their own.).  He’s a loner (mostly), drug user (pot, but still), drinker, and user (no, not a typo…*glares at Noah*).  Basically he spells trouble without the need of a neon sign and yet despite the obvious differences between these two characters…they most unexpectedly GET each other.  Now I know what you’re thinking…it’s the classic “bad-boy-turned-good-by-the-girl-he-never-saw-coming” formula; but that guess would make you wrong on many counts. 

Noah is in fact a good guy (and a hotty…yep, be sure not to drool on the pages; books + water = bad mojo), he’s just made a lot of bad choices and considering the hand life has shown him, it’s not hard to see why.  Let’s just say there was a severe lack of GOOD parental guidance after he and his brothers were orphaned and things simply went down hill from there.  He tries to make the right decisions and he has good intentions at heart, but he keeps missing a step between the idea and the reality…lucky for him, he becomes acquainted with Echo.  Odd name, right?  I thought it was pretty cool actually, not that I’m about to name anyone after her anytime soon, but that combined with her back story certainly makes her an easy character to remember.

Echo appears to have things together for the most part on the outside but on the inside she is still a mess, through no fault of her own.  Something BIG went down, something I won’t even allude to but it takes her the course of the book, an adamant (if at times annoying) well intentioned counselor, the deviation from her former norm in the form of Noah and a lot of soul searching for her to find the strength to face what her mind is hiding.  Lucky for her, she has a support system…sorta.  As with most situations, things aren’t always as they seem and when things blow up in this one….they REALLY blow up.  I have to hand it to the author though….I love the fact that she didn’t snake us on the ending.  She left edges unfinished, feelings still hanging; in other words, a complete happy ending was not demanded.  She wasn’t afraid to let her characters be REAL, to feel things to their bones and not go all wishy-washy in order to complete the story.  For me it made the story all the more real, the characters all the more tangible and the desire to read more of her work alive and well…good thing too since as I understand it, Beth (another interesting character in this story) is getting a chance to make her voice heard the next time around.  Doubtful she’ll have any trouble with that…

In conclusion, a great addition to the Young Adult arena that deals with REAL issues in REAL ways with enough spiciness thrown in to spark the romantic in you.  (Moi caliente!  ^_^)  There is certainly a warning to insert here about language, drug use and some sensual content but I think for mid to older teens (and beyond), it should work wonderfully.  Hey and with the alternating perspectives, it works for both girls AND guys; not something you can say about EVERY book. 

ARC for review courtesy of Karen at Media MastersPublicity.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as their current promotions, be sure to stop by their site.  To discover more about author Katie McGarry, be sure to visit her official site, like her on Facebook or follow along on Twitter…and don’t forget to check out the book trailer for a little more about this great read!  This book was released earlier this month from Harlequin TEEN and should be available now on a bookstore shelf near you. Not able to run to the store just yet?  Here’s a few online options to get you on your way…

AMAZON    |    Barnes & Noble    |    Indie bound

Now for the coup de grace, if you like what you’ve read so far, you’re in luck!  Thanks to the generosity of Harlequin TEEN, YOU have the chance to WIN a copy of this book to call your own!  (Or share with a friend, family member, other bookish people…I’m cool with sharing…)  Just fill out the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win!  Your first entry is a “freebie” after that it’s all fun and games.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open for entries through midnight CST Saturday, September 8th, 2012.  Open to US and Canada residents only; no P.O. Boxes please.

Good luck to all that enter…and my thanks to everyone who stopped by.
Until next time…happy reading!


Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer said...

I won this ARC *glances longingly over her shoulder at book* and I cannot wait to read it. I am hoping to squeeze it in btwn my September reviews! Awesome review!

Gaby said...

I am dying to read this book :D

DeeDee Griffin said...

I can't even tell you how bad I want to read this book!!

Unknown said...

I hear all these amazing things about this book!!
I can't wait to read it!
Thanks for the chance to win a copy

intensev5 said...

Thanks for the chance to win

Victoria said...

I really want to read this it sounds so good! Thank you.

Tiffany Holme said...

I am in serious need of this one!! Your review only made me want it more <3 Thank you so much for the chance to win it!!

Unknown said...

This book has gotten so many great reviews... all telling me I need to read it now!!!!

You're review just pushed me even further to want to read this, thanks for the chance to win this book!

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