Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
I read this book a few weeks ago and I still haven’t been able to put together what I want to say about it, other than I really did not like this book.
I think my biggest problem was the execution. The first person POV traded off between Echo and Noah, but there’s 50 chapters in 350 pages and the transition between POVs was really choppy. For example when Noah calls her out on why she would want to try to be normal, I wanted the next chapter to be Echo explaining why she’s trying to so hard (to the reader, not to Noah), but it cuts to something else instead. And despite being in these characters heads, you never really get a feel for any sort of emotion other than being obsessed with the other person. Both characters have gone through some pretty terrible events and I especially wanted Echo to be more torn up about it, or at least feel like she’s fighting to move on. Most of the book was spent describing what was happening, not reacting to it.
The book got a little repetitive in its descriptions, Isaiah had tattooed arms, Noah had hair, Echo was a siren who smelled like cinnamon buns, etc, etc (though, if I smelled cinnamon buns all the time I’d just be hungry, not turned on. I mean, can anyone walk by a Cinnabon and not think “yum”!?)
And then there were the small things… What
teenage boy person narrating says “the laughter between the two of us echoed into the night”? In another scene, someone asks, “Are you any good at xbox?” I felt like maybe a few more details could have been added/changed to make it more believable. For example, “Are you good at Halo?” because I can play Lego Star Wars no problem, but in Halo I run around shooting at the sky. Later, Echo goes into the room Noah shares and the laundry is folded neatly into baskets. Huh? What “deadbeat” teenager folds their laundry neatly after it comes out of the dryer? Hell, I usually pick clean clothes out of the dryer until I need to use it again, and then I pick clean clothes out of the laundry basket until it’s empty.
I liked how Noah’s story ultimately ended up but I thought that the foster mom’s reasoning to keep his brothers away from him was a little off (view spoiler). And I thought after all the lead up between Echo and her mom, it would have been more climactic (view spoiler)
Sigh. 1/5 stars.
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