Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: July 31, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
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.
A brave, riveting and truly powerful novel - Pushing the limits will drive the devastating aspects of young Echo's life closer to home than you may have thought possible.
I loved this novel to pieces! Katie McGarry is a talented author who I'm glad was daring enough to tackle the challenging topics of love, loss and life itself, but most importantly how cruel they all can be.
Told from alternating perspectives, we follow Echo, whose memory has been regressed due to a traumatic experience, and Noah, whose life took a turn for the worse and who now hates the system for not playing fair. The pair are an unlikely match but after being kicked down, we watch the story progress to see if they have what it takes to help each other get back up.
What hit me the most was how easy this novel was to relate to, even if none of the delicate issues raised in the novel have been experienced by you first hand. Maybe you're not Noah, a foster kid who's fighting to try and get his life back, or Echo, a damaged teen attending therapy sessions to try and find out why her life hit rock bottom. But maybe you're the one whose insecurity has a hold over you, controls what you wear and where you go? Maybe you're someone who is fighting a losing battle but are refusing to give up. You may even be the girl, or guy, people stare at and mock in the corridor, the one they whisper about and misunderstand.. You might be the friend who always offers a shoulder to cry on, or just a bystander who watches it happen. Heck, you might even be the *cough* selfish, vile, weak, pathetic *cough* person who gives the glares, starts the rumors and excludes the ones who aren't 'cool' enough. But my point is, whoever you are, there's something in this novel that you can relate to.
The characterisation is a majorly strong element in this novel; everything Echo and Noah fought for I found myself wanting so badly too, for them - that's how real they seemed, how much McGarry made me care for them. Both characters are realistic, easy to relate to and down to earth; they both have very distinct and unique voices and personalities.
I don't really want to spoil anything so I have deliberately not mentioned the problems the characters face because the fun of the novel is understanding the characters, their lives and unraveling the mystery of what actually happened to them and why. Though I will say that I loved how you discover Echo's past alongside her, she never knows more than you do, and how you stand by Noah as he never stops fighting. I'm not going to lie, my heart ached for Echo and I cried enough to fill the ocean over Noah's story - maybe that's just me, I don't know, but even if you don't cry, you'll be touched!
Having said that, this was no a sad/depressing story. It was a journey with both its ups and downs which was overall just as heart-warming as it was heart-wrenching. I really do hope people take something away with them after reading this novel, even if it's just making people more aware before they make judgments.
OH! THE ROMANCE! How have I not mentioned that?! The chemistry between Echo and Noah was hot, sexy and the strength they offered one another was admirable. The romance was a great part of the book (the majority of the book I guess) but it was necessary as it moved the plot along. The love Noah and Echo had for each other, for their families and for 'normal' was extraordinary.
I really can't explain how much I adored this novel. I recommend it to anyone and everyone!