Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry.
**This review contains spoilers**
STOP what you’re doing, go buy this book, read it, then come back here so we can talk about Noah … Noah. Noah. Noah. *sigh* Jumping the gun a bit there. Let’s start over. (A sliver of friendly advice: get your tissues ready, because I dare you not ball throughout this book).
From the beginning…
Introvert Echo Emerson wasn’t always a loner, shrouded in long sleeved shirts and missing a huge chunk of her memory. In sophomore year Echo was popular. She was dating Luke, the hottest guy in school, she was taking advanced classes, shaking her thing on the dance team and enjoying the status of honor roll student. One month before sophomore year ended, that all changed.
Her father blames, her mother. The restraining order implies that the police do too. But Echo isn’t about to throw her bipolar mom to the wolves like the rest of them. At the time of the “accident” Aires, Echo’s older brother, had just died in service over in Afghanistan. Echo’s mom was struggling to cope with the loss. Her mom and her sickness had long before been abandoned by her dad when he started sleeping with Ashley (Echo’s twenty-something-year-old babysitter) moved her into the family home, married her and lastly but my no means least impregnated her.
Echo wants to know exactly what happened that day she went to visit her mom and woke up in a hospital bed, covered in slashes. No one will tell her. A therapist tried once but her mind fractured, and she spent two days unconscious in the hospital trying to recover. Cue Doctor Collins — the new school therapist — and her file full of information about the accident. Echo would do anything to get her hands on that file to find out the truth.
Noah Hutchins is a foster kid. His parents were killed in a house fire and his two younger brothers have been taken away from him. Thumping his first foster father — to be fair, the a-hole had been beating up on his biological son at the time — has landed Noah with sparse, supervised visitation rights to the siblings he would quite literally crawl through fire to save. He’s one of those kids that’s been let down by the system so often that he no longer trusts it.
His rep at school is less than stellar. He likes to get high and drink with his best friends/foster siblings Beth and Isaiah. Noah is not stupid, but if he wants to get his brothers back when he turns eighteen he needs to settle down and graduate from high school. He’s also being monitored by the new school therapist Doctor Collins. Like Echo, he has little faith that this new therapist can help him, but the thick file Doctor Collins is keeping on him has the information on his brothers new family. He wants to get hold of their address. His aim is to watch the couple that have his brothers and prove that they’d be safer in his custody.
Thanks to Doctor Collins, Echo is given a tutoring job, and her first student is Noah. The pair don’t like each other. Echo is the former Miss Thing. Noah is the reigning Mr Nothing. But this rocky at first friendship grows thick and fast, thanks to a combine need to get hold of the files that contain all the information our duo need to get their lives back on track.
Pushing the Limits is an emotionally fraught, yet beautiful telling of two mixed up teenagers who find a strange sense of stability in each other’s crazy mixed-up company.