Friday, February 01, 2013

Congrats to Katie McGarry on making YALSA's 2013 Quick Picks

And congrats to Katie McGarry! PUSHING THE LIMITS is one of YALSA's 2013 Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers! YALSA is Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association. 

If you'd like to read my review 

Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits #1)
by Katie McGarry

4.5 stars 

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.

Almost perfection. Mesmerizing. Fascinating. Gritty. Heart breaking. Real.

This is a must read book for anyone over 16. It was a fantastic look at the mind and mental state of being. Reading such an honest portrayal of soul shattering losses and struggles was emotionally draining at times. However, I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Katie paints a vivid and striking image of what mental illness can do to a person, a relationship and a family. I must say some of what she wrote was incredibly hard core and brutal. The interactions between Echo and her Dad, Noah and his siblings and between Noah and Echo were etched into my brain. It really left me breathless at times. Stunned. 

My wish is that we could of had real interactions between Echo and her brother. That somehow she could have worked him in to the book BEFORE he died. He is a character that I really wish to have met. But maybe that is the whole point. McGarry gives us tasting samples of people from these characters lives that meant so much to them. We get enough to start a connection and longing so that we can better sense what kind of loss the characters are going through. It is like life.. we don't get to backtrack to meet people or have do-overs. 

The only glitch to the whole book was the big revelation at the end wasn't such a big surprise. I found myself disappointed that what Echo had been trying to learn wasn't more complex or mysterious. In fact, it was almost expected. Other than that, I found PTL to be jaw dropping and I hope to hear more from these two characters... I'd love to see how they turn out! 

This may be in a high school setting, but with the extremely vivid take on abuse and mental illness, drug abuse and death I would rate this NA (New Adult).