Pushing the Limits  - Katie McGarry Oh well, here at last my review. Eyerolley-ness ahoy!After having heard so many good things about this book, I'm kind of confused as to how underwhelmed I feel by it. In fact, like some other people already said in their reviews, I keep wondering if I read the same book as everybody else at all. I am yet trying to decide if it's because YA contemporary romance/high school drama is just no genre for me, or if this was just a completely poor (and failed, because of its high aspirations) attempt by the author."It's me, not you. Or is it?"Let me start with the three things I liked about this book:1. Echo as a character I found sympathetic and liked enought to not be bothered too much by her complete Mary-Sue-ness (honestly, good at EVERY subject PLUS an art GENIUS, PLUS a billards wizard; I wouldn't have been surprised if she suddenly discovered she can fix her brother's car with her own bare hands. When she asked Noah about his X-Box skills, I pre-rolled my eyes in anticipation of her possible talent in that area, too. Thanks for not making her a game console magician, too, at least.). Also, for allegedly being so smart, she sure acted dumb at times, e.g. when her father took away her phone/car.That being said, I liked her voice (it sounded quite real to me, just as a female teenager would talk and think. Not sure about Noah and teenage males' persepectives, though) and could emphasize with her, plus I had a lot of respect for her being a relatively mature, honest, sincere and responsible young adult with quite some courage which I found admirable.Her backstory, while tragic, did not specifically wow me, especially since the "big relevation" towards the end actually was no news at all. Pretty anticlimatic.2. Noah's backstory (not his character). His story I actually found quite touching and the "twist" in the last third was the only part of the book that managed to really deeply touch me. Sad stuff, but thankfully with a silver lining, which I enjoyed.I didn't care for him as a person, his possessiveness ("YOU'RE MINE!" Yeah, whatevs.), his constantly calling Echo "baby" (I rolled my eyes every time. Seriously, one of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to terms of endearment), his stupid actions with respect to Mrs. Collins, etc.I didn't mind his constant swearing, I guess I am kind of desensitized concerning four letter words. However, I did mind his constant referring to Echo as smelling like a cinammon roll fresh out of the bakery. Sorry, but I for one do not believe people smell like cinammon rolls unless they work in a bakery (and I worked there once and even I never smelled like a cinammon roll. Which is quite unfortunate.), plus it got old quickly after the third time. I think I never rolled my eyes more often than during Noah's chapters. Really, the amount of EXTREME EYEROLLING Noah induced in me was quite ridiculous. I rarely physically roll my eyes while reading books, but NOAH MADE ME DO IT. Props to him, I guess.I kind of liked the whole nymph/siren thing which I thought was cute and romantic.3. Mrs. Collins. Basically the only positive and sympathetic adult figure in this novel. I liked her sincerity and how she always tried to help Echo and Noah as best she could, which made me feel especially bad when the teens, especially Noah, gave her the condescension treatment.Now on to what I absolutely didn' enjoy about this book:1. The writing was absolutely uninspired, dry, flat, at times choppy and incoherent. At best, you might call it "functional".I do not enjoy "functional" writing.This together with...2. ... the story, which was all over the place, didn't help my enjoyment of the novel. Sometimes I had to reread sentences and paragraphs because the structure, line of thoughts and proceeding of events didn't make any apparent logical sense and required a lot of twisted thinking exercises. Not good. Then some actions of the characters and trains of thought that made no sense to me at all, like picking up one side arc of the story, getting into it a little and then completely forgetting about it, abandoning it, and not referring to it until way later in the book. This not plotted very intelligently, in my opinion; absolutely no crafty story-telling here.3. The frequent leaps in time with the beginning of each chapter. With a cliffhanger or an especially emotionally evocative scene towards the end of the previous chapter, starting the new chapter few hours, days (or sometimes so much later that you were completely left wondering when the hell "now" was supposed to take place) later, it completely tore you out of the moment which was quite anticlimatic each and every time. At one point the author even writes one chapters as a flashback framed by two "current events" chapters and you only figure this out in the second "current events" one. Very choppy feel that disturbs the flow of the story. Not that the story had a "flow" to it to begin with.4. High-school politics, which I cannot emphasize with and in which I have no interest whatsoever in the first place. Seriously, you guys, try out some single sex education some time. Nothing but advantages.5. The flat side characters and Echo's shitty friends (except, maybe, for Lila, who nevertheless stayed a cardboard character until the end). I didn't see the point in Natalie being included at all, and Grace was just an ass and not a real friend (but at least does something that induces an important step in Echo's development). The author commented on that in her interview at the end of the book (i.e. that people like Grace don't offer real "friendship") but I wished this subject would have been touched upon more in the book. A lot of possibly interesting issues were just alluded to but not satisfactorily dealt with in a valuable manner. Wasted potential.Also, as an example, an umimportant side characters who had a long and quite important relationship with one of the main characters (I am looking at you, cousin-of-Rico-I-completely-forgot-the-name-of) happened to pop up. Seriously, it would have been so much more skillfull and interesting if this character had at least already been alluded to in some of the earlier chapters.6. The dragginess of the plot. Honestly, at some point I just didn' care any more. How many times did you want to get your stupid files again? Still not there? Whatever. In the end, nothing much happened; the "twists" were boring or predictable and the "breakup" completely... uh... pointless? Sorry, you two are clearly brainless, so forgive me if I don't care.7. Their relationship. By the way... was this really love? If anything, I found their relationship more lusty, and although their scenes together were subtly hot enough, I'd rather go read me some "Crossfire" by Sylvia Day or real porn or something for the real deal, if I want TEH SEX (which, *spoiler alert*, there is actually none of in this novel. Quite tame'n'lame.)8. Echo's and Noah's voice sounded so similar I sometimes couldn't destinguish who is narrating the chapter at any given moment. Either only Noah spicing up his narrative with swear words or one of them talking about the other gave me a clue as to who was talking right now. 9. The writing. Did I mention yet how much I didn't enjoy the writing? Ugh, such a chore.In conclusion: this book features some interesting ideas but the execution is very lacking and overall poorly done. It wasn't completely awful, although I found myself rolling my eyes so, so many times, but some more proof reading might have done it good.Around the middle, I just wanted this book to be over; unfortunately due to the over-all-the-place-ness of the story, not even skimming was a viable option.Judging from the excerpt of book 2, it's clear that the author's writing hasn't changed much so I think I'll be done with the series now.