Pushing the Limits

Pushing the Limits - Katie McGarry Okay, *clears throat and stands up* I have an admission to make... one of the reasons I don't read contemporary YA very much is because of all the talk about popularity. I honestly don't understand it and it often comes off as whining. However, I was curious about this one and I'm so glad I tried this book.

So, after my confession you may be wondering if there was that age old popular kids against the downtrodden? Yes, there was and no, I didn't like it, but it didn't mess with my enjoyment of the book and I will admit the author did use it skillfully to enhance other areas of the book. Plus, the book wasn't about this, it was about the two well developed and realistic feeling characters of Echo and Noah.

Told in alternating POV you get a glimpse into both lives you become entwined with them both. You really feel what happens in their lives and I have to say that even the foster care scenarios felt real to me. The way the characters played out was realistic and what I really loved is how this whole story ended. You were left with knowing ALL the players and their motivations. While it was an HEA, all story problems were solved, but not all of life's problems. It was a very satisfying ending. I loved that we got to know the motivations of all the players including the ones we thought would end up as one dimensional bullies.

This was also a bit of an emotional ride. Both main characters had considerable losses. I admit to tearing up and having to put the book down when Echo was finally dealing with her brother's death. It also had a lot to do with invisible scar tissue. The kind that life gives us as well as those we give ourselves. My favorite quote about this came from Noah:
The worst type of crying wasn't the kind everyone could see~ the wailing on the street corners, the tearing at clothes. No, the worst kind happened when your soul wept and no matter what you did, there was no way to comfort it. A section withered and became a scar on the part of your soul that survived. for people like me and Echo, our souls contained more scar tissue than life. (p. 278)

I give this contemporary YA 5 stars. I admit I was totally captivated by the lush characters and I loved the completeness of the ending.