Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Review Copy Cleanup 2.0

Back in March I participated in the Review Copy Cleanup that Nyx Book Reviews and Books, Biscuits and Tea hosted. Well they are back again hosting another challenge for August. As I'm feeling particularly overwhelmed with review books, my own fault for requesting so many, I plan on once again participating. This time around there will be two Twitter parties and two mini readathons to participate in. It sounds like a lot of fun to me!! If you think this sounds like fun, you can sign up HERE to join in!

I'm not sure yet which books I will be reading, but there are a lot for me to pick from!

Review: Otherkin by Nina Berry

Otherkin #1

Author: Nina Berry

Publication Date: July 21, 2012

Publisher: K-Teen

Genre: Paranormal



I thought I knew myself. Then I met Caleb.
Dez is a good girl who does as she’s told and tries not to be noticed. Then she rescues a boy from a cage, and he tells her secrets about herself.
Now inside her burns a darkness that will transform her.
Everything is about to change -- and neither Caleb, nor the Otherkin, nor those who hunt them are prepared for what Dez will unleash.

My Thoughts: This is not your typical were/shifter novel.  Berry brings fresh ideas to an ever growing genre.  Otherkin are humans with the ability to shift into an animal by drawing powers from a dimension parallel to ours.  There used to be all kinds of Otherkin before a secret organization that was once part of the Catholic Church began hunting them down and performing genocide in the name of God.  Now, only few types of Otherkin survived.

Desdemona (Dez) is just your typical girl.  With the exception of the massive plastic back brace that she has to wear twenty-three hours a day to keep her spin from twisting further.  When, in anger, she suddenly shifts into a giant tiger only to be shot by a tranquilizer dart and abducted she has no idea what is going on. 

Caleb is a mysterious boy who Dez meets in an adjoining cage.  When Dez busts them both out, he seems to know what to do and where to go.  Fueled by fear of those who are hunting them, they flee to a safe haven for Otherkin where Dez learns more about what she is and how to control it.

I like the idea that these two meet in adjoining cages - romantic, right?  They were just such a cute couple that they had me hooked from the start.  I really enjoyed this book.  It had twists that I wasn't expecting and managed to catch me by surprise, which is a rare and welcome quality.  The foreshadowing for the next books in the series are dark and blatant and keeps you guessing.

Overall, if you like books about shifters, werewolves and the like you will probably love this fresh take on a similar universe/concept.

Teaser Tuesday (22)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by  MizB at Should be Reading.

To Participate you:
-Grab your current read
-Open to a random page
-Share two 'teaser' sentences from somewhere on that page
-Share the Title and Author, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR if the like your  teaser :)

This week's teaser comes from:

"Stories need hope," she said. "Stories have room inside them for everything, for every bad thing that the world has ever known, but only when they have hope too. Just a little thing, just a bird singing when the morning comes. You know?"

This book so far has been a really great read, and I really just love this quote! I highlighted it and saved it and I knew it would be perfect to share with you guys for teaser Tuesday. Hope you like it as much as I do!

What are you teasing this week?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Review: The Pixitres by Basil Sprig

The Pixitres

Author: Basil Sprig

Publication Date: April 3rd, 2012

Publisher: Createspace

Genre: Middle-Grade/Fantasy



As the fairies of Camp Fae investigate the disappearance of one of Alley Willowwood’s closest friends, they discover that the entire magical world is on the brink of war. Someone is stirring up Pixies tribes not only against one another, but against the Fairies. Join Alley as she tries to find her friend and uncover the true villain behind it all in an adventure that takes her across several continents, deep under the sea, and to the other end of our solar system. Alley confronts kidnapping pixie tribes, dragons, a demonic beast from the underworld and more importantly her own fears as she tries to solve the mystery. Who are these mysterious new strangers that have appeared at Camp Fae and what are their intentions? Who has kidnapped her friend and why? And worst of all, what is she going to do now that she's inadvertently made an oath of allegiance to one of the pixie queens and quite possibly given her the ultimate magical weapon?

My Thoughts: The Pixitres is a pretty good magical adventure, full of tons of exciting events and fantastical experiences. If you like fairies, pixies, any of that good stuff, you'll definitely like this book. It seems to me that is kind of inbetween YA and Middlegrade, so I think you'll like it regardless of your age, or genre preference.

The thing that struck me most about this book were the similarities to Harry Potter. Don't get me wrong here though. Harry Potter is one of the ultimate stories ever told and I'm not comparing their greatness but certain points in the plot just had me thinking this was almost Harry Potter but with Fairies instead of Wizards. Alley is the main character, she's a young girl that discovers she is a fairy in her pre-teens, she goes to a camp every summer that is pretty much like a fairy school, and of course only fairies know it exists. Alley herself lives in the human world though, where no one knows what she is or that fairies even exist. While the rest of her friends, with one exception, live in fairy houses with fairy families and such. Alley and her close friends are part of a special group that essentially fights bad and evil. The main bad guy in this story just had me thinking Voldemort, except he was nearly as amazingly evil. But he had the same aspirations ultimately. He wanted fairies to rule, to dominate over piddly humans and he was prepared to conquer all those in his bath, and he had his own little band of fairies to back him up. Am I crazy to see the correlation here? I don't know haha, maybe I am, but the likeness really seemed to jump out at me.

But apart from all that, it was a good story and was very unique it lots of ways. It was fun reading about fairies and how they use their powers and what kinds of things they are capable of. It seemed to me the Author put a lot of work into his story, as it contained lots of information behind his characters and beings and that is always an awesome thing in a story. Especially one about magical or fantastical creatures. Everyone tends to put their own spin on things, so it's nice when the Author gives you lots of information on their own unique twist. The story also carried a pretty detailed plot line that you actually had to pay a bit of attention to if you wanted to keep up. I also like that in a story. The only thing that bothered me was that I didn't really develop a connection with the main character or any of them really. It didn't really seem like there was time to with every thing that was constantly going on. But maybe that's because I didn't get to read the first book in this series. I'm sure if I had things might have been different.

But in the end, it was a pretty good story, and I did enjoy it. I would probably recommend it, but I feel like I should go back and read the first one so I can get to know some more about Alley and the other characters :). Thanks to Basil Sprigs publisher for offering me this book, I enjoyed the read!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Owl Post (12)

Owl Post is a weekly feature at Owl Read It where we let you know what new books we got that past week as well as recap what reviews we've posted the past week. It's inspired by The Story Siren's In My Mailbox meme. 

Jenn's Haul:
Sorry for all the rambling at the beginning of the video..lol

Books Mentioned:
Wake by Amanda Hocking
Glitch by Heather Anastasiu
Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

People Mentioned:
Raincoast Books
Thank you for the review copies!!

Meghan's Haul:
I don't have any books this week either, but I had the same idea as Kristal haha, we recently moved and I took a picture of most of my books, so here's a peek haha. And my handsome little 5 yr old boy <3

Kristal's Haul:
No books for me this week. We are currently packing for a move and I probably shouldn't buy more until we get to the new place. This is what my books look like this week:
3 of the 5 book boxes...


Reviews this week:
We also have a giveaway happening, you can enter HERE


What new books did you get this week?

Review: Awkward by Marni Bates


Author: Marni Bates

Publication Date: January 1, 2012

Publisher: K-Teen

Genre: Contemporary



Mackenzie Wellesley has spent her life avoiding the spotlight. At Smith High, she's the awkward junior people only notice when they need help with homework. Until she sends a burly football player flying with her massive backpack and makes a disastrous - not to mention unwelcome - attempt at CPR. Before the day is out, the whole fiasco explodes on YouTube. And then the strangest thing happens. Suddenly, Mackenzie is an Internet sensation, with four million hits and counting. Sucked into a whirlwind of rock stars, paparazzi, and free designer clothes, she even catches the eye of the most popular guy at school. And that's when life gets really interesting...

My Thoughts: I picked his book up on a whim and decided to give it a go.  It is about Mackenzie Wellesley who becomes known as the "Queen of Awkward" when a YouTube video of her basically beating a guy with CPR (in an attempt to help him) goes viral.  It follows the life of a young, awkward teenage girl dealing with sudden fame, infamy and high school life as she tries to stay herself and figure out how to deal.

Mackenzie is a girl who likes to rely on no one - especially men of any sort after she caught her father cheating with the ballet instructor during her recital.  She is a completely independent, geeky bookworm and loves it.  She is an Invisible in her high school and she intends to keep it that way.  The only thing that seems to keep the Notables (popular kids) off of her back is the fact that she tutors uber-notable Logan.

Ever wonder what happens to those YouTube sensations when their videos go viral?  Mackenzie finds out first hand.  It is hard for a girl to figure out life when she is being thrown to the paparazzi, boy bands and coming home to find boxes of free designer clothes dropped off by UPS. It is hard to just be yourself and continue to be invisible when everybody has a camera and video recorder in their phone.

I enjoyed this book from start to finish.  I had an idea of how some things were going to turn out but I was glad that they didn't.  This book defied all of my predictions and that is why I loved it so much.  I'm am not going to say why - because that would be telling - but I would recommend picking it up and giving it a try for yourself.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Random House of Canada's Olympic Readathon!

In an attempt to burn through some of my ridiculous reading list, I've decided to join Random House of Canada's Olympic Readathon. I have a huge reading list and I still haven't quite finished all of the books I had planned on for July. If you want to sign up, you can HERE! It should be a lot of fun!

You can join in the Twitter fun by using #OlympicReadathon

I'll be updating my progress here throughout the Readathon which runs from today, July 27- August 12th

My Goal:
2500 pages

Books Read:
The Iron Knight - Julie Kagawa
Spirit Bound - Richelle Mead
Seraphina - Rachel Hartman

Pages Read:

T.G.I.F. (7)

Thank Great Illustrators Fridays is a book meme created and hosted by Owl Read It.

They say don't judge a book by it's cover, but a lot of the time the cover is what draws you to the book in the first place.  This meme is to show appreciation to the artists who put their time and effort into creating the great book covers of our beloved series.

To Participate:
  • Pick a book cover you love (any book will do - released or not)
  • Post the picture of the book along with the author, publisher & the illustrator of the cover (if you can find it, if not, that's okay too!)
  • Post a brief summary of why you like the cover.  
  • Take the pic above and link back to us :)

This Week's T.G.I.F. Cover:

Published: August 30, 2011
Publisher:  Tor Teen
Illustrator(s): Can't find a name. If you know, please tell me :) And thank you, whoever you are!

My Thoughts:  The front of this book is so eerily chilling.  It goes with the theme of the book and is just gorgeous. The old Victorian house in the background, Anna's flowing hair, the blood on the bottom of her dress and calves - it is all spectacular.

What are your favourite book covers? Leave us a link to your own T.G.I.F! :)

Review: What I Didn't Say by Keary Taylor

What I Didn’t Say

Author: Keary Taylor

Publication Date: April 30, 2012

Publisher: CreateSpace

Genre: Contemporary/Realistic Fiction



Getting drunk homecoming night your senior year is never a good idea, but Jake Hayes never expected it all to end with a car crash and a t-post embedded in his throat.
His biggest regret about it all? What he never said to Samantha Shay. He's been in love with her for years and never had the guts to tell her. Now it's too late. Because after that night, Jake will never be able to talk again.

When Jake returns to his small island home, population 5,000, he'll have to learn how to deal with being mute. He also finds that his family isn't limited to his six brothers and sisters, that sometimes an entire island is watching out for you. And when he gets the chance to spend more time with Samantha, she'll help him learn that not being able to talk isn’t the worst thing that could ever happen to you. Maybe, if she'll let him, Jake will finally tell her what he didn't say before, even if he can't actually say it.

My Thoughts: What a beautiful story! It also teaches a great lesson, there are always consequences for your actions. I tend to really enjoy realistic fiction since it's somewhat easier to imagine, therefore I get really emotionally involved with the characters. What I Didn't Say was no exception to this. Keary Taylor crafts a wonderful story that makes you realize how quickly your life can change. It's scary really, but a great story nonetheless.

What I Didn't Say is from the point of view of Jake Hayes, hooray for male protagonists! Jake has been forever in love with Samantha Shay since he saw her, but has never had the courage to tell her. Well, add a little liquid courage and a couple of friends egging him on and the three of them take off to go to Sam's house so Jake can proclaim his love for her. Well, with the three of them being drunk and a deer jumping out in front of them, Jake's life is changed forever. He completely loses his voice box, so he'll never speak again. But it could be worse, he could be dead. He feels like his life is over though and he never got to tell Samantha how much he loved her, now he never can.

One of the things I dislike more than anything else is drinking and driving. Nothing good ever comes of it and you put others at risk when you make the decision to get behind the wheel drunk. Jake was extremely luck, that accident could have been much worse. He definitely learned his lesson and decided not to drink after that day. Although, he does have to live with never being able to talk again. But somehow, his accident brings him even closer to the girl he's been in love with forever, Samantha Shay. He soon realizes that something is going on with Sam and she won't tell anyone what it is. People are not always who you think they are.

I thought that this book was very well written. It was pretty hard to put down and I really enjoy Keary Taylor's writing style. It makes you realize that you can't take anything for granted. Life is always changing, not always for the best. What I Didn't Say is definitely a book that I will be recommending. It is an adorable love story, but not everything goes smoothly. It's fairly quickly paced and I enjoyed that there were flashbacks and it that it's written like a countdown. If you like realistic fiction, you definitely should read this!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Lazy Days of Summer Giveaway Hop!

That's right, we're participating in another giveaway hop! This one is hosted by Colorimetry and I Am A Reader, Not A Writer. Thank to both of you for hosting!!

So what can you win this time? Your choice of book(s) from the Book Depository, up to a value of $15!!

Good luck to everyone who enters!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

Ruby Red
Edelstein Trilogy #3

Author: Kerstin Gier

Translator: Anthea Bell

Publication Date: May 10, 2011

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.

Genre: Fantasy/Science Fiction



Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!
Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon--the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.

My Thoughts: I would just like to start off by saying: Oh my God! I loved this book so much! It had an original plot-line, interesting characters and enough back story to span several books on their own. I am so glad I purchased it.

I will admit, at times it was a bit predictable. In fact, I had the ending worked out around the middle of the book - but I am a stickler for grabbing onto foreshadowing and mystery and coming up with ideas of how it will go. However, regardless of that it still kept me drawn in and entertained. Maybe it is because I love history and time-travelling has always been my secret wish, but this book enthralled me from the first pages.

Gideon and Gwyneth both have the X-factor gene that allows them to travel through time. Everyone had predicted that Gwen's cousin Charlotte would be the gene carrier, and thus Charlotte had been trained all of her life to be able to adapt to different time periods she would encounter. The whole family was shocked when they discovered that while they were pampering Charlotte and watching for signs of time-travelling Gwen had already gone to the past more than once. Now Charlotte feels as though her world has been ripped away and Gwen has been thrust into something she is wholly unprepared for.

Gideon was trained for nothing but time-travelling. After school everyday for the past two years he would travel to the past by himself - either to do his homework in 1956 or to complete part of a super secret mission. He was used to doing it on his own. When Gwen joins him he is rude, stuck-up and commanding and it takes him quite some time to warm up to her. After all, he was trained with Charlotte and expected her, not Gwen.

I can't sing the praise for this story enough and can't wait for the next one to be released. Ruby Red is chalk-full of mystery, suspense, secrets and even a little bit of romance. I simply cannot wait to see how the whole thing turns out! It is definitely worth the read.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

St. Vladimir's Summer School: Blood Promise

Ashelynn at Gypsy Book Reviews, Jen at Jen Ryland/YA Romantics and Steph at The Fake Steph Dot Com  started the St. Vladimir's Summer School. So I figured I would tag along and read some Vampire Academy since I still hadn't read it!! Lauren at The Headless Owl has also joined us this week!

Blood Promise
(Vampire Academy #4)

Author: Richelle Mead

Publication Date: August 25th 2009

Publisher: Razorbill

Genre: Urban Fantasy / Paranormal



Rose Hathaway's life will never be the same.

The recent attack on St. Vladimir's Academy devastated the entire Moroi world. Many are dead. And, for the few victims carried off by Strigoi, their fates are even worse. A rare tattoo now adorns Rose's neck, a mark that says she's killed far too many Strigoi to count. But only one victim matters . . . Dimitri Belikov. Rose must now choose one of two very different paths: honoring her life's vow to protect Lissa—her best friend and the last surviving Dragomir princess—or, dropping out of the Academy to strike out on her own and hunt down the man she loves. She'll have to go to the ends of the earth to find Dimitri and keep the promise he begged her to make. But the question is, when the time comes, will he want to be saved?

Now, with everything at stake—and worlds away from St. Vladimir's and her unguarded, vulnerable, and newly rebellious best friend—can Rose find the strength to destroy Dimitri? Or, will she sacrifice herself for a chance at eternal love?

My Thoughts: Ok, I'm not really sure where to start with this one. This series is just so amazing, I still can't believe I've never read it before. I loved Blood Promise almost as much as Shadow Kiss, but not quite! There was a lot that happened and it was fairly fast paced, always a good thing. I can say that once again it was extremely hard not to pick up the next book immediately after finishing it. Richelle Mead is quickly becoming one of my new favorite authors, I just love her writing style and characters so much!
It pretty much started off where Shadow Kiss leaves off.  Rose leaves school to go in search of Strigoi Dimitri. She hears that he went back to Russia and so she goes there and starts looking. She leaves lots of other dead Strigoi behind her, but there is no sign of Dimitri.  Eventually she meets Sydney, an Alchemists, who isn't very happy about Rose's trail of bodies since she's the one who's been cleaning them all up. Sydney takes Rose to Dimitri's hometown and Rose meets Dimitri's family and feels right at home with them. She delivers the bad news and they have a funeral for Dimitri. Eventually, Rose continues on looking for Dimitri, and finds him! But can she really kill him?

Rose grows even more in this book. She realizes more about her relationship with Lissa and Dimitri. She realizes that her mom  isn't so different from her after all and that sometimes duty does have to come first. She loses the man she loves, nearly loses her best friend, she almost even loses her life. I like her character a lot more than I did when I started out the series, she just matures so much with each new book. I'm still holding out for her and Adrian, but after the ending of Blood Promise I'm not to sure what's going to happen with them anymore. Dimitri is absolutely psychotic in this one, of course, he is a Strigoi so it  is expected.

Blood Promise is an amazing read. You really should read the series if you haven't. As I said, Richelle Mead is a wonderful author and she has created this cast of characters that I can't get enough of. Luckily, there is another series based in the same universe, so I'm looking forward to reading that one as well. Seriously, read. It. Now! You won't be sorry you did! I'm off to read the next book now!

Waiting on Wednesday (29)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly awaiting.

Clockwork Princess
by Cassandra Clare
Expected Publication: March 19, 2013

Synopsis: In Clockwork Princess, Tessa and her companions travel all over the world as they race to stop the clockwork army before it’s too late. As Jem’s health worsens alarmingly and his friends search desperately for a cure, can Tessa choose between the two boys she loves—even if it means never seeing the other one again?


March can't come soon enough! I am beyond excited for this book, and omg the cover!?!? Gorgeous!!


What are you waiting on?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (21)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by  MizB at Should be Reading.

To Participate you:
-Grab your current read
-Open to a random page
-Share two 'teaser' sentences from somewhere on that page
-Share the Title and Author, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR if the like your  teaser :)

This week's teaser comes from:

"It was such a thrill to be a fairy. Yet at the same time it gave you a feeling of dread to think of all the powers the fairies and other magical creatures had. Powers she hadn't even heard of or dreamed of yet."

I received this book for review and so far I am really enjoying it! I haven't read to many books about fairies, unless you count the Sookie Stackhouse novels haha =P. But this one is really good so far :).

What are you teasing this week?

Review: The Goddess Legacy by Aimee Carter

The Goddess Legacy 
Goddess Test #2.5

Author: Aimee Carter

Publication Date: July 31, 2012

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Genre: Mythology/Fantasy



For millennia we've caught only glimpses of the lives and loves of the gods and goddesses on Olympus. Now Aimée Carter pulls back the curtain on how they became the powerful, petty, loving and dangerous immortals that Kate Winters knows.Calliope/Hera represented constancy and yet had a husband who never matched her faithfulness.
Ava/Aphrodite was the goddess of love and yet commitment was a totally different deal.
Persephone was urged to marry one man, yet longed for another.
James/Hermes loved to make trouble for others but never knew true loss before.
Henry/Hades's solitary existence had grown too wearisome to continue. But meeting Kate Winters gave him a new hope…

My Thoughts: Let me just start by saying that The Goddess Test series is worth the read! The novellas are also incredible - The Goddess Legacy being no exception.  This book rocked how I viewed all of the characters in the series, giving them more depth and dimensions than I ever thought possible.  Just thinking about it makes me want to re-read the series with this deeper understanding.  I believe it would change the way I look at everything.

The Goddess Legacy starts at the beginning.  I mean the very beginning - immediately after the Gods won the battle with the Titans and were deciding what they were going to do next.  Who had jurisdiction in which area?  And how would they be ruled and rule the mortals.

Hera (aka Calliope) is the first character we learn about.  Reading Hera's story made it hard for me to remember just how bad she was.  I feel as though I completely understand where she was coming from, and it freaks me out a little because she becomes pretty psychotic later.  Poor Hera, Zeus treated her so poorly no wonder she went so sour and twisted.  In Hera's mind, almost everything she did was to help.  As soon as I had finished her section of the novel, I knew that I was going to re-read the series before the next book is released.  It was very moving.

We also learn about Aphrodite (aka Ava), Persephone, Hermes (aka James) and Hades (aka Henry).  All pivotal characters in The Goddess Test series and whose pasts had been hinted at, alluded to and slightly explained upon occasion, but never had the opportunity to explore and expand upon.  I loved all of the stories and just knowing what happened before Kate came around makes me love the series more (even when I didn't think it was possible).

By far, my favourite story was Hera's.  Followed very closely by Persephone.  We got an intimate look into the relationship and marriage of Hades and Persephone, which had always been a slight mystery to me.  Both Hades and Persephone explained it to Kate as best they could, but actually reading it through Persephone's point of view really gave us an in-depth look about what happened and what went wrong.

Overall, all of the stories were remarkable and touching in their own way.  I feel more attached to all of the characters now than I ever have before.  This book is an amazing read and I highly recommend it if you are a fan of The Goddess Test series.  If you haven't read the series yet, I suggest you do! It is brilliant.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Double Review: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Pushing the Limits

Author: Katie McGarry

Publication Date: July 31, 2012

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Genre: Contemporary Romance



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 Thoughts: Reading books in this genre always leaves a lasting effect on me.  It gives the readers a look into situations that we often hear about and hope that we never have to experience.  Pushing the Limits deals with two teenagers on the brink of becoming adults and they have to work through their own issues in order to deal, move on and live healthy lives or choose to wallow in the past and let it destroy their lives.

Both Noah and Echo are both scarred, mentally, emotionally and physically.  They avoided each other in school, falling prey to the prejudices they heard about the other.  That is until their new school counsellor thrust them together unexpectedly.  Noah needed to get his grades up and Echo has good grades and had to earn some extra money for a special project she was doing.

Noah Hutchins lost his parents and he and his little brothers were forced into the foster care system. After the first house, where Noah was labelled as dangerous, the boys were separated and Noah lost all faith in the system and adults.  He is determined to get his little brothers back at any cost so they can be a family again.

Echo Emerson has a rough family life. She has horrible scars from a night she can't remember, a dead brother, an absent mother - oh, and her dad married the babysitter.  Her father is commanding and over-bearing.  He expects absolute perfection and Echo feels as far from perfection as one can get.

These characters (and the side characters) all touched me. I read the whole book in a day because I simply couldn't put it down. I was sad when this book ended because I fell so in love with the characters that I could have read about their whole life. I found myself on many occasions wanting to yell at most of the adults in the books, who just didn't seem to "get" the children that they were responsible to take care of and protect. In fact, despite the end of the novel, I am still mad at almost every single adult in that book - which speaks for itself on the quality of the novel.

I would recommend Pushing the Limits to pretty much anyone who asks. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

My Thoughts: I think in the future that I should refrain from reading these types of books at work. Why? One of my co-workers became increasingly concerned when he glanced over and I was completely lost in the book and my eyes were starting to water. After repeatedly letting him know that I was indeed okay, he continued glancing at me. Come on, it's not my fault that there are so many emotions to go through whilst reading Pushing the Limits. I mean Echo and Noah both have the most heartbreaking stories! Katie McGarry has written a wonderful and heart wrenching story that proves you can move on from the most horrifying experiences.

Pushing the Limits has two protagonists. The first one, Echo, has terrible scars from a night that she has repressed from her memory. She needs to know what happened that night, but can she face it? Every time someone tries to help her remember, her mind snaps and she can't handle the emotional trauma. Her parents are divorced. She lives with her controlling dad, who is distant and remarried her nanny! Her mom is bipolar and gone and her older brother Aries died. She it's safe to say she has a terrible life and I felt so terrible for her the entire time I was reading her thoughts. She is looked at as a freak at school and everyone thinks she's a cutter.

The second protagonist is Noah. He is in the "system". He's been in and out of different foster cares for the last 2 1/2 years. Why? Because there was a horrible house fire that killed his parents. He managed to save his two younger brothers, but they were separated and live with another family. All he wants is to get his brothers back, so he tries to prove that their foster parents are abusing them. He's very troubled and lost everything the night of the fire.

I loved watching Echo and Noah's relationship grow. It wasn't an immediate thing, they are two very different people. Echo's not about to let Noah use her for a one night stand, like all of the other girls. But why can't she stop thinking about him? And Noah knows Echo is smoking, does he ever want her. But for some reason, he can't get his mind off of her, even though she's completely out of his league. Their relationship blooms slowly and it's far from perfect. They have their ups and downs. Together, they can heal from the emotional trauma that happened to them. Maybe they can even become happy eventually.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading Pushing the Limits. The whole time I was reading, all I wanted to know was how exactly Echo got her scars. When you finally do find out, it's absolutely horrible and you can't help but want to hug her close. The characters were very realistic and easy to connect with. The adults kind of sucked though. It just irritated me to see how selfish some of them were. It's a heartfelt, horrifying, wonderfully written story that I was practically unable to put down. It definitely is a book that I highly recommend. You should read it if you haven't already. In the meantime, I'll be looking out for more by Katie McGarry.