Book Review: Pushing the Limits

pushing the limitsIt’s a little 50 Shades (minus the kinky bondage) + Sweet Valley Easy. I had a love-hate relationship with this book. Like 50 Shades, there’s so much repetitive imagery (girl = siren, nymph, goddess. She hides in her hair, his mouth twitches up in a smile etc). Someone on my Twitter timeline called it ‘mommy porn for teens’ and while I did enjoy it, I rated it three stars because the way it handled a cutting/suicide left me a little…shouty. And wanting to stab things.

Echo doesn’t remember the night that shattered her whole world and left her scarred – emotionally and physically. With a distant father, a step-mom she can’t stand and a half-sibiling on the way (plus an absent mother and a dead brother), she’s struggling to put the pieces of her life back together. Enter Noah, the damaged foster kid who lost his parents, but is determined to get his brothers back from the system. A crazy attraction and the desire to uncover the secrets that are holding them back from the lives they want will bring them together, but can it keep them together?

Like I said, mommy porn for teens. I enjoyed the angst, the sexual tension and the mystery aspect, but the way Echo’s physical scarring was handled pissed me off. Several other characters in the book assume that Echo is ‘a cutter’ or ‘attempted suicide’ (both of which are framed by the characters as ‘bad’), which is fine in terms of story progression, but there was a layer of judgement that seems to come from the author herself. The issues are put down, made to be a thing that ‘crazy’ people do, to be so far from right they’re almost…disgusting? Reprehensible? And I don’t think that’s an appropriate attitude to take in a YA novel, regardless of personal beliefs.

Cutting/self-harm is a huge issue for teens, especially teen girls, as is suicide. To deal with these issues so flippantly and to dismiss them so easily as ‘wrong’ is a terrible thing to do. A reader struggling with these things would only feel judged, alienated and put off. They’d be made to feel more alone when what they need most, is to feel understood. To have a book that judges you so easily and heavily… it just pisses me off.

Nice try, Katie. But no.

For more on my reading list, check out my Goodreads profile.



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