Pushing the Limits - Katie McGarry 3.5

I had heard a lot about this series before going in - all of it positive. And while I liked it, it was just okay for me, nothing amazing. The premise is pretty straightforward. Boy and girl each have tragic pasts. They come together and "heal" each other though love. Solid enough, even interesting. It was the characters that fell short to me - manly Echo.

Echo Emerson has a gaping hole in her memory that's linked to the scars on her arms. Not knowing how they got there, she hides them under gloves every day. However, since she is in high school, people talk. Echo is labeled a freak, a social outcast. And the thing that gets me...she agrees. Echo spends a half the book blaming herself. Everyone that's mean to her - well, it's her fault. Her father being cold and distant - her fault. Basically everything that's wrong with the world is her fault. Now, don't get me wrong, what happened to her was horrible and definitely traumatic, but I just can't support victim blaming.

Then there's Noah, who's also broken. He comes from a background of foster care -shitty foster care. After his parents die in a fire, he and his two younger brothers are separated. His life goal: save his brothers from the system. I really loved Noah in the first half of the book (and truthfully he was the shining beacon in this book). His love for his brothers is what makes him Noah. Then he meets Echo and goes on this mission to save her as well. And can I just say, Echo is horrible to Noah through most of this book. Like downright just cruel. That man deserves a medal for putting up with her.

The surrounding characters were okay and I understand their need for being there - especially Isaiah and Beth. The one character that I could not stand was Grace - Echo's "I'm only your friend in secret" friend. All this girl cared about was appearances and popularity.

"If you stayed with Luke, we could have remained friends."

Great friend.

I adored Noah's brothers. I would have loved to just read a book about them with Noah.

"He's a superhero who saves people in danger, because he saved me and my brother from dying in a fire a couple of years ago. Noah is better than Batman."

I mean, come on. How could you not love that?

The story covers loss, growth, responsibility...pretty much everything on the spectrum. I just didn't connect with Echo the way I wanted to. Noah held the book for me.