August 2, 2012

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry: Harlequin Blog Tour!

What’s in a Name? Everything! (explanation of book title)

Want to know a secret? The original title of Pushing the Limits was Redefining Normal, and for a long period of time, I thought that was going to be the actual name of the book.

See, normal is a theme in Echo and Noah’s story. Both of them had experienced something very traumatic and both were searching for what their lives had been before those events—they were searching for their “old” normal. My goal in the story was for them to realize that they were never going to get their old lives back and that their idea of normal was something that needed to be redefined.

After I sold the book, my publisher became a little concerned that while Redefining Normal did encompass the book’s themes, it might not catch readers’ attention or capture the realism and grittiness of the story.

So, we started the game of “What else should we call it?”

It was actually kind of fun to play. Sort of like playing Boggle or Wheel of Fortune. What correct combination of certain words would explain my book and make it shine? For a couple of weeks, there was an e-mail trail of phrases and words all of us liked and didn’t like and one day someone came up with Pushing the Limits.

This was one of those heavenly moments for me. You know…like when lights shine down from the sky and entire oceans part and a choir of angels sing.

Pushing the Limits—how come I didn’t think of that?

So why the angels singing moment? Because one of the songs I listened to while writing Pushing the Limits was Push by Matchbox Twenty. If you listen to the song in terms of Echo and Noah’s personalities, it is absolutely perfect. The first chorus fits Echo like a glove and it’s as if the second chorus was written specifically for Noah.

While Echo and Noah don’t push each other physically, they do push each other emotionally. Both characters have a difficult time trusting anyone and each of them emotionally challenges the other—almost demanding the right to be trusted and the security to trust in return. On top of that, love is an emotion that isn’t entirely familiar to them, so as they fall for each other, they push past their known boundaries into the unknown.

All in all, I think Pushing the Limits is a fabulous title for the book and I look forward to hearing whether my readers agree!

Check out the rest of the tour for more great posts!
Monday, July 30th -
Tuesday, July 31st * Book Bday* –
Wednesday, August 1st –
Thursday, August 2nd –
Friday, August 3rd –
Tuesday, August 7th –
Wednesday, August 8th –
Friday, August 10th –

Publisher: Harlequin Teen (July 31, 2012)
Book: 384 Pages
Genre: YA Contemporary
Katie McGarry's Website | Facebook | Twitter
Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | IndieBound
From Goodreads. So wrong for each other...and yet so right. 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 by Jess
PUSHING THE LIMITS by Katie McGarry is a heart pounding new Young Adult contemporary that follows the lives of a girl who has gone through something so unimaginable she has repressed the memory and a bad boy who has seen too much and would do anything for his family. This novel is not one you can put down once you've started.

Wow! I must say, there is not a single thing bad about this book. I haven't read a good contemporary in a while and I'm glad this was the one I picked up! Katie McGarry captures the reader from the very first page to the very last. Her writing is spectacular and she really gave each character a really strong voice which was wonderful!

Speaking of characters...I absolutely loved the characters! They all had so much depth! Even the background characters! Echo was so easy to relate to in a lot of ways and most importantly she was so believable! I loved Noah...I think I actually fell for him a little bit. I really enjoyed the whole opposite ends of the spectrum for them as a couple and McGarry wrote it so well. In my mind they were a REAL couple.

The story is actually a very tough one to tell, but it was done so beautifully. The problems these kids have are harsh and heart breaking. I found my mouth gaping open and sometimes even gasping at the memories these characters carry with them. Even the background characters were simply amazing. They weren't headlining the story, but they were ever present and had specific traits to them that makes them as unforgettable as the main characters.

This was an amazing stand alone and I look forward to reading more of Katie McGarry's work. This is not a novel that I will easily forget, it has wound its way around my heart and really left an impression. This book is so intense and so sweet all at the same time. Well done, Katie McGarry.

Echo and Noah both attend the same high school, but that’s where their similarities seem to end. Their paths cross however, when, on the first day of school after winter break they both meet their newly appointed school social worker. Katie McGarry wrote Pushing the Limits in alternating points of view, one chapter by Echo, the next by Noah. Check out the excerpts below, taken from the first chapters of Katie’s debut novel. Want to read from the beginning? Every stop on the blog tour features new excerpts – the complete tour schedule can be found here.

My father’s BlackBerry vibrated. With exaggerated effort, he pulled it out of his pocket and scrolled down the screen. Ashley drummed her fingers over her bloated belly and I read the various handpainted plaques hanging on the wall so I could focus on anything that wasn’t her.

Failure is your only enemy. The only way up is to never look down. We succeed because we believe. How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Okay—so that last one didn’t make the wall of sayings, but I would have found it amusing.

Not a cinnamon roll in sight, but damn if she didn’t smell like one. We had several of our main courses together and last semester one of our free periods. I didn’t know much about her other than she kept to herself, she was smart, a redhead and she had big tits. She wore large, long-sleeved shirts that hung off her shoulders and tank tops underneath that revealed just enough to get the fantasies flowing.

Like always, she stared straight ahead as if I didn’t exist. Hell, I probably didn’t exist in her mind. People like Echo Emerson irritated the crap out of me.

******Please visit Mundie Moms for the next excerpt from Echo and Noah.******

Giveaways: The GRAND PRIZE will be a Kindle Fire! Click HERE to enter at Katie's site.

The DAILY PRIZE is a copy of PUSHING THE LIMITS and a blue ribbon (there is book significance), enter below in the Rafflecopter widget.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks for the chance to win this really cool book..

  2. Thanks for this giveaway!! :)


  3. I definitely prefer the final title. The book sounds like a great read. Thanks for sharing about it and for the giveaway opportunity.


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