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My Favorite NA Series: Katie McGarry’s Pushing the Limits (Reviews of books 1 and 1.5)

I was insanely excited when book three in this series–Crash Into You–became available on NetGalley. The three days until my request was approved were some of the longest days I’ve lived through in a while. I’ve got it now, though, and will be reading it really, really SOON. In the meantime, everyone who hasn’t read them already has plenty of time to get caught up in the series before Isiah’s story comes out on November 26!

Title: Pushing the Limits
Author: Katie McGarry
Series: Pushing the Limits
Genre: New adult, contemporary romance
Published: 2012
Pages: 392
Format read: audiobook
Rating: A

Blurb:

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.

Review:

Why did I wait so long to read this one, why?

Oh, wait–so I could immediately read the novella that comes next (Crossing the Line) and don’t have too long to wait for the next in the series (Dare You To). See? There is a method to my madness. Sometimes 🙂

Fantastic book. I definitely recommend the audio version–it’s very well done by the two narrators who read Noah and Echo’s parts. I was desperately looking for mindless stuff to keep me busy (laundry! dishes! dusting!) just so I had an excuse to keep listening and could still pay attention to the novel. The dual-narrator format seems to be really popular in romance these days, and the way it’s done here (two narrators on audio, different fonts for print/ebook version) really adds something, I think–especially when the narrators do a good job, as these two did. (When one or both of the narrators drops the ball, though, it’s a whole other story…but I digress.)

Can I call this book a page-turner if I listened to it? It really was. The characters, the situations they find themselves in, the mystery behind Echo’s repressed memories–the more I read the more I needed to read. Katie McGarry was one of the first new adult authors I’d read, and she really set the bar pretty high for the genre. I was really glad I had two more in the series to read when I finished Pushing the Limits–because waiting is not my strong suit.

Title: Crossing the Line
Author: Katie McGarry
Series: Pushing the Limits
Genre: New Adult contemporary romance
Published: 2013
Pages: 67
Format read: ebook
Rating: A-

Blurb:

Lila McCormick, Echo’s best friend from Pushing the Limits, first met Lincoln Turner when tragedy struck both their lives. But she never expected their surprise encounter would lead to two years of exchanging letters—or that she’d fall for the boy she’s only seen once. Their relationship is a secret, but Lila feels closer to Lincoln than anyone else. Until she finds out that he lied to her about the one thing she depended on him for the most.

Hurting Lila is the last thing Lincoln wanted. For two years, her letters have been the only thing getting him through the day. Admitting his feelings would cross a line he’s never dared breach before. But Lincoln will do whatever it takes to fix his mistakes, earn Lila’s forgiveness—and finally win a chance to be with the girl he loves.

My really, really brief review:

Great characters, good story, but short! The length fits the timeline (Lila and Lincoln only have a few days together), but it still left me wanting more of their story. Still, it’s a nice filler between Pushing the Limits and Dare You To, and definitely worth the read. I enjoy when letters, emails, and/or diary entries are featured prominently in a book–they always seem to add that extra something to the story, letting you see a little more into the characters who write them.

Note to self: use this idea in this year’s NaNo novel! Letters between Jane and Frank? Jane’s journal? Frank’s notes to self to remind him of what stories he’s fed Emma re: his relationship/non-relationship with Jane? Hmmmmm….

Tomorrow: my much longer review of Beth’s story, Dare You To–book two in the series.

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