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Wild Awake
Hilary T. Smith
Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera
Bryan Peterson
Pushing the Limits - Katie McGarry 2.5 starsPart way through Pushing The Limits, I put down my kindle and thought: Am I (gasp) too old crotchety and cynical for this? I wanted to like this book, but ultimately I just ended up feeling like I’d been caught in a stampede of drama llamas. Contemporary YA is probably my favourite genre. And I like books that challenge me emotionally. But while I had no real problem with Noah and Echo’s respective Issues-with-a-capital”I”, something about this just felt off to me. It didn’t feel sincere, and therefore it didn’t resonate with me. Don’t get me wrong – McGarry’s characters have valid, realistic obstacles and conflicts to contend with. It was just something about the execution that didn’t work for me. It felt too overwrought, too obvious, too overwhelmingly angsty for me to really engage with the story. The treatment of several of the (abundant) issues fell flat for me – it read more like an grab for an emotional reaction than a really nuanced discussion of serious topics like mental illness and abuse. On a scale of Elkeles (Chain Reaction) to Echols (Going Too Far), Pushing The Limits falls somewhere in the middle for me. There’s probably a time when I would have adored this book, and I can honestly see why others love it, but it was a problematic book for me on a few levels. The lack of subtlety for one (which is probably just a personal taste thing), and the reliance on over-used clichés for another. I feel like I’ve met all of these characters before, I’ve heard the same bad-boy meets former popular girl angst too many times before. (Also, Noah’s repeated use of expressions like “siren”, “nymph” and “seductress” produced more snort-laughs than swoons from me. For example:"A ghost of that siren smile graced her lips as she tilted her head closer to mine, creating the undeniable pull of the sailor lost at sea to the beautiful goddess calling him home." If that quote just made you melt, go read this book immediately. However if, like me, you just stifled a pterodactyl-like screech of hysteria, this book might not really set your loins on fire. )Definitely recommended for fans of Perfect Chemistry. Just not really my thing, unfortunately.