Posted 31 July, 2012 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | | 11 Comments

This fabulous event is hosted by Candace Book Blog, Natalia @ Dazzling Reads, The Page Turners, Mary @ The Book Swarm and Bewitched Bookworms.
Please check the intro post about the “Rules” and the Grand Prize (which is the cutest prize ever). If you do not have a copy yet,
Pushing The Limits just came out today!! Happy Book Birthday!
Get a copy: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound |Book Depository
Find Katie McGarry:  website | Facebook | Twitter
And… for those who would rather win a copy and join the discussion later, we have a finished copy for you to win.


  • July 24 – Intro Post for the Read-A-Long – Go HERE if you haven’t signed up.
  • July 31 – Bewitched Bookworms Pages 7-84 ends with a Noah Chapter
  • Aug 7th – The Page Turners Pages 85 – 162 – ends with a Noah Chapter
  • Aug 14th – Candace Book Blog Pages 163 – 239 – ends with a Noah Chapter
  • Aug 21th – Dazzling Reads Pages 240 – 316 – ends with a Echo chapter
  • Aug 28th – The Book Swarm Pages 317 – 392

Special Event: Evening of August 28th – Live Twitter Chat with Author Katie McGarry!

Week 1 Questions:

1. The story starts out with Echo’s thoughts on how she wants to answer her therapist’s questions (snarky and caustically truthful) which are quickly juxtaposed to how she does (milque-toasty and banal). Who do you think she hides the truth for more, her parents or herself?
Ooh, good question. Echo has had to become adept at hiding things from everyone, blending in and not drawing any attention to herself, if she can help it. But I think she hides the truth from herself more than anyone else because she can’t face that truth. Even though, at this point, we don’t know what happened in the past with Echo and her mother, we can guess it’s something terrible, scarring, and traumatic. I’m pretty sure I’d want to hide from the truth, if something like that ever happened to me.
2. We see Mrs. Collins, the school therapist, interact with both Echo and Noah in the first few chapters. From those interactions, what do you think of her? Is she a prototypical caricature of state care? Or do you think she’s there to make an honest difference in the lives of those she’s there to help?
I really like her. While she’s stuck within the confines of her job and all the red tape it entails, she seems to want the best for her kids. She’s a bit pushy but I think it’s what both Echo and Noah need. They’ve been just surviving for so long, they need someone who’s going to show them what they’re capable of.
3. Noah has two friends, Beth and Isaiah, who have his back no matter what–through thick and thin–and he has theirs. Consequently, his life is a little easier because he has two people who know about his situation. Echo only has one close friend, and Lila will barely speak to her in school. Do you think Echo would have had an easier time coping and moving on if she had friends like Noah does?
Oh, most definitely. Life is always easier when you have someone to talk to, someone who knows what you’re going through and is there to support you through thick and thin. Her life is made so much more difficult because of her parents and her friends and, really, those people should be the ones she can count on. God, Lila is a horrible friend! I mean, I understand peer pressure sucks but your friend needs you quite badly and you won’t even talk to her at school. Horrible.
4 . Echo fixates on a colorful ribbon that sits on the school counselor’s desk during their one-on-one sessions. Do you think this is a case of “Oh, look at the pretty ribbon. Let me zone out while staring at it” , or could it have a deeper significance!
A little of both. Lectures totally make me zone out and I usually focus on one object when I’m doing so. But…because Echo has so many repressed memories, I think that ribbon draws her eye more than it normally would because there might be some significance there.
5. Noah and the jacket… Already when Noah and Echo meet for the first time, Noah got angry when Echo forgot her Jacket (pg 34). Then on Echo’s Birthday party Noah gave Echo his jacket when he saw that she forgot hers (pg 54). There is a significance behind his anger when Echo has no coat and it tells already so much about Noah!
a) Why do you think is Noah so focused on Echo and her Jacket and what does that tell you about Noah’s character?
With the missing jacket, Echo is inadvertently sharing bits of herself with Noah, telling him things like she’s not really aware of the world around her (doesn’t notice when it’s cold or that she doesn’t have a jacket) and she’s also not aware or doesn’t care about her personal health. Because Noah, despite his very prickly demeanor, is at heart a caregiver, he worries about Echo not taking care of herself. (So sweet!)
b) Show us your favorite jacket! Either with you having it on or alone!
I’m not a big jacket/coat wearer (living in the South, I can usually get away with something light or avoiding one altogether) but, if I were, I’d love this Kate Spade coat:
Kate Spade Website (ah, if only…)
6. Echo wears gloves all the time to hide her scars. Not only for her sake, but obviously also for the others. When Noah sees Echo’s scars for the first time he’s shocked.
a) Do you think this was the moment he began to see Echo in a different light?
He always knew she was hiding something but when he saw her scars, he knew it was more than he expected. Having something like that right in his face, really made him acknowledge it on a deeper level so, yes, I do think this is *that* moment.
b) Show us your favorite pair of gloves!
My hands always get so cold in the winter and, because my house is old and hard to heat, I wear gloves much of the winter (yeah, I don’t wear jackets but I wear gloves inside. I’m weird. I admit it.). These aren’t mine, since mine are packed up (yeah, a small, old house with little closet space) but this is what I wear:

You can get a pair like this on etsy!

For next week’s questions, visit BEWITCHED BOOKWORMS (this week’s host) or THE PAGE TURNERS (next week’s host)!

About Mary @ TheBookSwarm

11 Responses to “PUSHING THE LIMITS Read-A-Long: Week 1”

  1. I forgot it was today to post the read along questions. I’m going to do it tomorrow instead. I love the coat you chose. Now I’ll have to figure out what to choose 🙂

  2. Oh my gosh this coat is so damn cute and I can actually see you inside :)))

    I also think that Echo hides the truth more from herself. She’s just too scared and broken to face all those traumatic experiences just yet.

    You made such a great point about Echo and the Jacket. Initially I just thought this would be significant for Noah’s Character but you are so perfectly right! It also shows how careless Echo is about herself, she doesn’t even feel right in her own skin at this point… It’s so heartbreaking.!

    But oh Noah!!! He’s so sweet underneath all this bad boy behavior!

  3. Look at that jacket Mary! I want it! I’m sure since it’s Kate Spade we can get it for the bargain price of $1200. Awesome. And I’m in love with your gloves as well, I could definitely use those in the winter, it gets so cold in our house sometimes that I can’t feel my fingers to type:)

    And Echo’s friends really irritated me as well! I know teenagers will be teenagers, but I can’t imagine only being someone’s friend when no one is looking. That’s just cruel.

  4. I really liked Mrs. Collins. She was great for Echo and Noah and they wouldn’t have been able to really open up I don’t think if it wasn’t for her. Also, that is a really cute jacket!! I wish I could afford it. 😛

  5. Thank goodness it’s hardly ever cold in Texas or I might have to sell an my dog for that coat! LOL

    Mrs. Collins did seem kind of caricature-ish to me, but only for being the stereotypical scatter brain who’s more insightful that anyone gives credit for, but I’m glad she decided to take a chance on Noah, right when he needed it most.

    I really struggled to understand Echo’s friendship with Lila. Why on earth would she even want her around? She wasn’t worth it!

  6. LOVE that coat! LOVE! And those are some gloves that I saw (and loved!) too!
    I definitely think they both need someone like Mrs. Collins to push a little, so she seems really good for them.
    I too was so angry that Echo’s ‘friends’ weren’t even true friends. They made me SO furious!

  7. I am thinking I must have totally misread Echo…It is so nice to read what others think and good thinking on that riboon! I like your theory. I love your jacket pick. I don’t hardly ever wear jackets here in Oregon either,,, I grew up in Idaho and it never feels that cold to me here. Thanks so much for stipping by post. I have been so busy today and haven’t had a chance to comment!

  8. OMG! I love the jacket!! holly cow!! totally gorgoeus!
    I also agree about Mrs. Collins! I love her so much! she’s one of my favorite charcters and even though she is pushy as you said, she does it because is what Noah and Echo need. 🙂

  9. I just finished reading this book last week and I’m supposed to review it tomorrow!
    I loved your answers and since I’m not doing this in my blog, I’m gonna answer here *insert evil laugh*

    1. I thought Echo’s silence had a lot to do with not drawing attention to herself, and she kind of didn’t want to deal with her father – who doesn’t seem to listen well – so a little of both.

    2. At this point, I thought Mrs. C was a bit kooky, but meant well.

    3. I thought Echo’s friends SUCKED. And they didn’t make anything easier on the girl.

    4. Could go either way, 🙂

    5. a) I agree with you that he’s a caregiver at heart, plus, he just notices things about her. and b) I have this purple and gray Roxy jacket that I got a few years back for, like, 20 bucks. It’s warm and fluffy.

    6. a) I think it starts to dawn on him that her life isn’t as perfect as he thinks it is. b) I’m a glove collector, but I love my gray mittens, they got a similar wave to the ones you showed!