I always love it when a book that centers on a couple switches back and forth between perspectives like Pushing the Limits. It really helps me feel like I know the characters and gives you a little more insight into their interactions. Both teens have some heartbreaking secrets that they hold inside, but I found Noah’s to be especially sad. He and his brothers are in foster care, but not living together. I appreciated the fact that although the system itself is not shown in a good light, the social workers in both Echo and Noah’s lives are very positive and dedicated. I found that refreshing in an atmosphere where they are often demonized. The banter between Echo and Noah is very lively and when it turns to romance, things become wonderfully steamy, as well. It was a good balance of tough emotional material and romance.
There were some very weighty issues within this story. Noah is clearly a victim of the foster care system and Echo is dealing with her father’s infidelity, a new half-sibling on the way, her mother’s mental illness and her brother’s death. As Echo and Noah start getting closer, the preconceived ideas that each had about the other turn out to be wrong, but it goes farther than that. It’s not only their ideas about each other, but the ideas they had about each other’s lives that were changed, as well. Painful things can happen to anyone, whether you are rich, poor, neglected or doted upon. As a result of these revelations, they both discover the power of forgiveness and the power that they can each have over their futures. Although some aspects of it were a tad predicable (bad boy and good girl, for instance) I felt that this story took a hard look at some very tough subjects. The result was a fast paced book with strong emotional content.