Pushing the Limits

Pushing the Limits - 2.5 starsAnother one of those times where I felt like I was reading a completely different book from everyone else. According to my GR friends, most loved it. Like, really loved it, but there were a few that really hated it. Though I don't fall into either of those categories, I can see points from both sides.First, what I did enjoy. The premise was wonderful. It always seems to grip me to read about emotional situations in books--I guess the kind of angst that lots of people have a hard time with. And you'd think I would, too, considering my delicate petal heart ;) but I generally don't. And while there were emotional situations, I never felt that pull. I didn't cry or feel sad or discouraged. I mostly felt mad. For the situations these kids were in, for the shitty adults in their lives, and for all the drama. (But more on that in what I didn't like.)I also liked Noah, for the most part. I don't know what it was about him, exactly, but I really enjoyed his character--generally. Other times, I thought he was being a stubborn block-head and I wanted to smack him. I'm giving him a pass because he's 18 and that's what 18 year olds do.Now for what I didn't like... As I said above, I never felt in this story. As Stephanie pointed out, I found McGarry's writing to be hollow. It seemed as if I was spoon fed every emotion, every thought, every turning point. The best parts of the story were Echo's flashbacks, as they brought some life to the rather drab way the author wove this book. Second, the amount of drama and the extreme of which it was depicted was waaaaaaaaaaaaaay over the top. It's like she took the extreme cases of everyone (bi-polar mother, foster kid, foster parent, art teacher, counselor, popular girl, jock, etc, etc, etc) and threw them all in the book. Life isn't made up of extremes like that. It's just not. If she had balanced things a little more delicately, I think it would've helped her in the long run.Finally, the ending. Well. That was a nice little bow we got, wasn't it? The resolution with her family made me rage beyond belief. The entire book--THE. ENTIRE. BOOK.--was about how awful her family life was, and woe is me, and no one loves me anymore. And then POOF! WHAMO! everything is perfect again. Um. No. That was a cop out and a cheap way to "resolve" the conflict in this story. (Please notice my quotation marks because they're there for a reason.)In the end, while I enjoyed Noah, and did indeed swoon as I was told I would, he just wasn't enough to save this book for me. Also, for the record, if someone continually ran their fingers through naturally curly hair, this is what they'd get: