Thursday, 12 July 2012

Pushing the Limits: Joint Post

Pushing the Limits Jasprit and I are drawn to the same type of books, which makes us a great team.  This leads to us reading a lot of the same books.   So we thought it might be fun to do a joint post on Pushing the Limits, a book we both read.  First of all here is the description from Goodreads:

"I won't tell anyone, Echo. I promise." Noah tucked a curl behind my ear. It had been so long since someone touched me like he did. Why did it have to be Noah Hutchins? His dark brown eyes shifted to my covered arms. "You didn't do that-did you? It was done to you?" No one ever asked that question. They stared. They whispered. They laughed. But they never asked.

So wrong for each other...and yet so right.

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.

Both Jasprit and I were salivating over this book when we first saw the description.  It sounded like a vanilla queen's dream!  While I liked the story more than Jasprit, it did illicit strong emotions and reactions on both our parts.  I say this has the makings of a great story, or at least great discussions.  We broke this down by topic/scene.  Read below to see our final thoughts.  Warning: There may be some mild spoilers but we've tried to keep them to a minimum.  Also, we didn't see each others answers before writing our own. 

Favorite character and why:

Jasprit: Noah of course! When I first read the blurb I had my doubts, I thought Noah would be your typical “macho” guy with the ever apparent tough persona. But I’m glad I wrong, he had such a sweet and caring side to him, which his brothers and Echo were able to bring out. And I don’t know why but I’m always a complete sucker for guys with a bad reputation and tattoos!

Rachel: Echo is my favorite character, although Noah is a very close second!  Echo remains strong in spite of all the tragedy she's had to face.  At first she's just trying to skate along and draw as little attention to herself as possible. Not standing up to her dad, and his horrible demands to mold her life into his directed path.  But then she starts making a stand.  You can't help but cheer for her throughout the story.  You really want her to go for and get her happy ending!

Most hated character and why:

Jasprit: Ashley: Echo’s step mom. Some characters just immediately grate on you and you just can’t like them no matter what redeeming qualities they may have later on. Ashley is one if those characters, I felt she always wanted to be center of attention, such as at Echo’s therapy session she kept harping on about herself. I just couldn’t stand her.

Rachel: Without a doubt, Echo's dad.  Throughout the story he continually puts Echo second.  Either he was shoving his life goals or Ashley (babysitter turned step-mom) down Echo's throat the entire time.  Just when you thought he was going to wake up, he screws up again and again!!  Every time he put Ashley first instead of Echo, I wanted to haul off and smack him!  Way to make your daughter feel loved! Ugh, FAIL!!

Scene that made us the angriest:

Jasprit: Echo pushing Noah away, I think it was the most stupid decision she could have ever made, I understand that she was looking out for him. But look how much she hurt him; it was obvious to anyone that they were meant to be together. So why go through all the extra heartache, when they’d been through so much already?

Rachel: The part where Ashley, Echo and her dad discuss the Valentine's Dance and Ashley wants to take Echo dress shopping.  Echo tells Ashley she doesn't need a dress and Ashley blurts out: * "Everything you own is either strapless or spaghetti-strapped. You can't go to a dance with those scars showing."  I gasped! This is such a sensitive issue for Echo, and Ashley basically shoved the knife deep into Echo's gut.  When Echo snaps back at Ashley because she's hurt, her dad talks to her and guilts her into saying sorry!! All I could think was: Are you kidding me?!!  But trust me, this was only one of many scenes that ticked me off.

Favorite or most swoony/steamy scene:

Jasprit: Everything with Noah? I’m just kidding! I think it was when Echo stayed over at Noah’s. It brought out a whole different side to him, a mischievous side which I really liked and also a more vulnerable caring side. It quickly made me realize that he was definitely a keeper!

Rachel: It was tough to choose just one because there are so many!  This is a snippet because I don't want to ruin the scene, but here you go: * He kissed my back as he slid his hand over the scars on my arm.  "You're beautiful," he whispered against my skin.  Noah lifted my arm and kept eye contact as his mouth trailed kisses along the scars. Pure hunger darkened those chocolate-brown eyes. "Kiss me." Raw emotions and the need to hold him close overwhelmed me.  Every part of me ached for him--my mind, my soul, and my body.  Without hesitation, I closed the gap between us and pressed my lips eagerly to his.  *Dies*

Scene that made us saddest:

Jasprit: There were several heartbreaking scenes in this book; the crap upbringing that both Echo and Noah had to deal with, constantly missing family members and missing what life used to be like before. But I think for me it was when Echo rejected Noah; I was totally heartbroken with him because for me it came completely out of the blue!

Rachel: When Echo finally remembered what happened and what her parents roles were.  Her father's role or lack thereof made me heartbroken for Echo.

Scene that made us most happy:

Jasprit: When Echo and Noah (well mainly Echo, as Noah was quite open about his feelings) acknowledged they were meant to be together and Echo finally came to the realization that she could do better without loser Luke. This may have also made me happy as Noah turns up to prom in suit!

Rachel: This was tough because there were several but the scene when Noah comes to pick up Echo at her parent's house, for a date. In front of her dad and Ashley, he places his hand over her wrist without even thinking, on top of her scars.  This moves Echo so much but also wins her father over too.

Most liked secondary character:

Jasprit: This is a tough one, I adored both Mrs. Collins and Isaiah, and both were always a constant presence for Noah and Echo whenever they needed them. If I had to choose I would go for Mrs. Collins, she’s not your typical social worker, she didn’t follow a strict regime but was always on the ball (how did she always end up being at the right place at the right time?). She knew exactly how to help Echo and Noah, and I think that’s what I liked about her, she didn’t push them too much, but she slowly helped them realize the truth and what the best way to move forward was.

Rachel: Mrs. Collins.  She came across as sort of the bumbling and clueless therapist, but man that woman was stealthy like a fox!  She knew exactly what she was doing and because of that, both Noah and Echo started getting their life back.  Her driving habits had my cracking up madly!!

General Thoughts and Final Rating:

Jasprit: I gave Pushing the Limits 3.5 stars, overall I did enjoy it, Noah, Mrs. Collins and Isaiah truly made this book for me. I just felt at times it could be a little clichéd and cheesy in parts and Noah at times did strongly remind me of a Fuentes brother!

Rachel: I loved this book and gave it 5 stars in my review on Goodreads.  I had so many strong emotions while reading it.  I think it was an amazing debut for Katie McGarry.  I will definitely read whatever Ms. McGarry writes next.

Would you recommend this book?:

Jasprit: Yes despite having some issues with this book, I did enjoy it and I think a lot of other readers would too.

Rachel: A great big YES!!

And to wrap things up, we included some images of our dream Noah and Echo, feel free to drool: 

A big thanks to Netgalley and Harlequin Teen for allowing us to read this story!

* Quotes are taken from and uncorrected proof copy and may change in the final draft.


  1. This is awesome ! You guys should do reviews together more often.
    I actually agree with all your answers.
    Rachel, I agree that Echo's dad was a douche-bag. I hated how Echo always came second to everything with him. -_-
    P.S That quote made me want to go re-read the book. :)

    Jasprit, I agree that the book was a little cheesy at times, but overall it was a great read! :)

    Great review, you guys ! :)

  2. So many people have been reading this lately, I can't wait to get my hands on it. This is a truly awesome review, guys. :)

  3. I agree with so much of this! Noah was my favourite character because his situation moved me more than Echo's. But I do really like them both. Jasprit, most swoon-worthy scene - I agree! Everything with Noah. ;) I enjoyed all the scenes him and Echo had together. Rachel, I love the steamy scene you picked too. You love to get the quotes out don't you? ;) It makes me want to read this again! :)

  4. Steven R. McQueen!! Oh my gosh, I have this HUGE crush on him for Vampire Diaries... Every time there's a dark-haired boy in books, he's one of the first people who pops in mind :')

    Amazing review, you two! I love how you two wrote your review for this book -- so fun and awesome and funny! It's cool how you both enjoyed this book but loved so many different aspects from each other. You should write reviews like this more often! ;) <3

  5. Oh my gosh, you guys are so cute!! Go Vanilla Queens!! x) Hehe, I'm reading this right now and I just want to smack some senses into Echo's dad! Like, HOW COULD YOU? This kind of book get me very emotional, so I'm having hard time getting through it LOL! x)

    LOVELY reviews, Queens! I love how great you two as a team! You guys should definitely write more reviews like this, because I (and I'm sure soooo many other people) enjoy it so much! <3

    PS: I'm soooo sorry I haven't commented on your blog lately! I got sick last week. :(

    1. Aww Hilda! You're so sweet! I hope you feel better!

      Echo's dad is a piece of work!!

  6. Loved this joint review ladies, especially since you gave it such different ratings! I absolutely adored this book so I'm closer to Rachel's rating, but it was really fun to read both of your thoughts! Echo pushing Noah away really bothered me as well Jasprit, I tire of that a little in YA books, but despite it I just loved this story. You guys are adorable and I hope we get more joint reviews from you in the future!

    1. Thank you Jenny! We had a lot of fun with this one. :)

  7. Oh, I love the idea of your joint review, great to get both of your opinions like that. But, I'm not going to read this one, so I hope you'll do it again soon. It's a great idea. I'm going to be reading this soon and don't want anything spoilery at all. I'm sure there's no spoilers but you know the way sometimes the smallest thing can give you a little hint, or just come together when your reading and you realise what's coming next.

  8. Amazing review you two!(: I love this joint review and it has made me more excited for the release of Pushing the Limits than I was before! :D I love how you two collaborated your thoughts and really explored the inner depths of these two characters, their lives, and their romance. I'm definitely looking forward to this one now - fantastic review! ;)

    Ivy Book Bindings

  9. A double scoop of vanilla Queens! I loved this post. It was interesting to see how varied some of your answers were and close others were. I was debating on this for awhile but I broke down and requested it yesterday. I will have to see if my thoughts are more in line with Rachel's or Jasprit's!

  10. Awesome idea for a post. It's great to get different perspectives on a book, so it's even cooler when it comes from the same blog. I'm glad you both enjoyed the book overall. I really do want to read this. It sounds all sorts of intense and emotional but I LOVE those type of books. They tend to be my favorites.


  11. I'm so glad to read a joint post!!! It was such a fun read to get two POV's in once post! I also adore the simple format of favorites and least favorites. I really don't like Ashley from what I read today. Will definitely read this book someday!

  12. Awesome, fantastic post, ladies. I'm very excited to read it after your fabulous collaboration in creating this joint review! Maybe we can compare notes afterwards? :)

    P.S. Steven R. McQueen is so swoon worthy! :D

  13. Awwww Jasprit and Rachel, I LOVE THE JOINT POST! I completely agree with everything you both said in the post! As you may know, I really enjoyed Pushing the Limits as well and I can't wait for Beth's story.

    Fantastic review, you both! ♥

    PS: Love the pics for your dream Noah and Echo! ;)

  14. Awesome post ladies. This is a fab idea (Me and Jess may have to steal you're idea, Lol, only joking) It's great to see you're different opinions. I loved this book! Donna xoxox

  15. This was a really neat review! I,m reading this one next and super excited to meet Noah and Echo! It sounds like such a wonderful and sweet story! Plus the reviews are amazing I haven't seen any negative ones yet!!

  16. ohmigosh ohmigosh I am literally DYING to read this book!! (Okay, maybe not literally but you get the idea - I NEED to read this book NOW!) Noah sounds amazing and this whole book sounds amazing and the romance sounds so gorgeous and... *leaves the laptop and starts hyperventilating*

    WHY is this book not out yet in the UK?!?!! Is someone out to torture me?!!?!

  17. Great review! And I agree with your dream cast. :D

  18. Eep! Amazing review you two did here! Ashley and Echo's dad were my least favorite characters in the story too! Seriously, I was so annoyed with the two of them. I think I haven't really liked them even in the end where Echo finally forgave and accepted them. Ms. Collin's is my favorite secondary character too! She's a kick ass! LOL! :)

  19. Lovely review, you guys! I hated Ashley too and I'm 75% done with this book so I'm yet to know what fully happened. Loved Mrs. Collins and totally agree that the scene where Noah touches her wrist was amazing. Love the joint review! :D

  20. I didn't want to read this review before since you said it contained spoilers but I'm back now that I've finished the book! How I ADORE your joint post, you must do more of them, girlies <3

    I agreed with a lot of what you guys said! Noah is definitely swoon-worthy <3 and I was Echo's cheerleader along the way, hoping she'd get her happy ending! And I loved Mrs Collins too, she's like their fairy godmother LOL! The scene that made me happy was the part where Echo dumped Luke, I was like 'You go, girl!'

    Thanks for this post, Jasprit and Rachel - it was fun to read!

  21. Great joint review! It's good to see two different opinions side by side. I loved this book! Noah was definitely my favorite character. But oddly I really loved Aries too (and he wasn't even in the present story).


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