Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

This is called a romance but it is very much more than that and it is not about pushing sex!

Echo and Noah are both traumatized teens who used to be very different from who they are as the book starts.  They were popular.  They were smart.  He was a jock, she an award winning artist.  They are now in an experimental counseling project hopefully to help them deal with their traumas and to move on. They do want to move on they say they want normal.  Initially, except for the counselor Echo's friends and probably former friends, her father, her step mother are all irritatingly clueless to her needs.  Noah has experienced something similar but has found a new group of friends who use marijuana and drink beer.  He is kept from the only thing important to him, his younger brothers, by equally clueless adults in his life.  Both are seniors only a couple of months from graduation.  After their counselor asks Echo to tutor Noah they unexpectedly fall in love.  Its a very special relationship that is enjoyable to read.  For Echo getting to normal means remembering what happened to her and for Noah it means letting go of anger.  His anger extends to abusive foster parents, the people in authority who refused to believe him and the foster parents of his little brothers who are trying to keep them from him.  I'll say right now that the adults only moved slightly towards understanding these two very likable, determined, hurt teens.  It is Echo and Noah who must change the most.  Noah has to stop fighting everyone so hard, apologize.  Echo remembers her trauma accepts that the person who caused it cannot change, accepts that she has been replaced in her family by a stepmother and her new half brother.  They move on, they are excited about their future, perhaps it will be together.  Noah's brothers will be in his and Echo's art is a part of her future.  I think the story ties up too neatly, still I enjoyed it.  Recommended JDW

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