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.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
So I rushed reading this knowing full well that it’s going to be released in a few days. I wanted to post a review of the book before it’s released, to thank NetGalley and Harlequin for giving me an eARC of this book. I read that publishing houses want to drum up some steam and publicity a month before the release date so they want reviewers to post their reviews starting a month before the scheduled release. And to do my fair share of my obligation, I read this. And boy did I never regret that choice.
I started reading this Friday afternoon, after a harrowing day and a harrowing week full of stress and nerves at school. Thank God It’s Friday! I can read books again! So I read this in less than a day, meaning I just finished it hours ago. Needless to say, I was glued to this book. My phone, where I read using my Kindle app, almost never left my hands. I read while I pee and oops, I think that’s TMI. So why? Why did I lose sleep over this book? The answer: Noah Hutchins.
You might say that I’m just a teenager in love with bad boys, especially book bad boys. And while I do admit that, I did liked this novel not just for resident bad-boy-with-a-good-heart Noah Hutchins, but for the story. And for Echo. This novel is full of teen angst. Lots and lots of teen angst. And while this might be the first novel I read with foster kids and a heroine with a post-traumatic stress disorder, it really isn’t that original. High school problems, family problems, problems with the system, basically, we’ve read it before. So why can’t I put it down? Aside from the obvious fact that my shallow heart loves Noah, I care deeply for the characters. I want them to grow as people and I want them to grow together. I was emotionally invested in Noah and Echo. They were such strong characters and I love them, I really do. Of course I hated Grace and Echo’s mom but everyone else was lovely. Isaiah and Beth are the best non-blood relative you could get and Mrs. Collins just might be the best and coolest therapist in town.
Granted, I sorta hate the copy I got from NetGalley. It doesn’t have any chapter divisions. Even worse is that it has no proper spacing so at first, I was really confused who was talking. If it’s Echo or Noah. By the way, the novel is told in both of their perspectives. Geez, I’m a sucker for he said, she said storytelling. Really, I am. But after getting used to it and after knowing the characters, I got over this minor gripe.
So there’s nothing groundbreaking in this novel but I must say that I applaud Katie McGarry for delving into such a dark topic. Most YA books are just fluff and froth, pure icing but no cake. This book proves that you can do romantic with depth even if it’s geared towards teens. I mean, teens nowadays are really smart and they ought to be treated so. The characters in this novel are mostly seniors in high school so I expect that the target audience are mature enough for this.
As for the technical stuff, the writing was great and I found myself gushing a lot of times from even the simplest wordings and dialogues. I admire authors who can twitch my gut or make me a wreck of tears because they make me feel something. Happiness and giddiness is easy to get from a romance book but when a book makes you cry, it means that it tugged something at your heart, at your soul, and that it will have a place there. So if you’re asking, I did let tears flow a bit with this one. It was inevitable!
So if you’re looking for a romantic read with depth, teen angst and one that’s not just froth, read this book. I’m sure this story will echo even after you read it. See what I did there?
Thank you to Harlequin TEEN and NetGalley for the advanced copy!
(Btw, I read a preview of Katie’s next novel, centering around Beth. But I couldn’t get to it right now. I loved Beth in Pushing the Limits but I’m not sure I’d love a novel centered around her. I’ll try reading it though once it’s released since I do like Katie McGarry’s writing.)