Series: Pushing the Limits #1.5
Publication Date: April 1, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin TEEN
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 66 (eBook novella)
Katie McGarry captivated readers with her “riveting, emotional”* Young Adult debut, Pushing the Limits. In this gripping novella, she tells the story of Lila and Lincoln, who discover that sometimes it’s worth crossing the line for love…
Lila McCormick, Echo's best friend from Pushing the Limits, first met Lincoln Turner when tragedy struck both their lives. But she never expected their surprise encounter would lead to two years of exchanging letters—or that she’d fall for the boy she’s only seen once. Their relationship is a secret, but Lila feels closer to Lincoln than anyone else. Until she finds out that he lied to her about the one thing she depended on him for the most.
Hurting Lila is the last thing Lincoln wanted. For two years, her letters have been the only thing getting him through the day. Admitting his feelings would cross a line he’s never dared breach before. But Lincoln will do whatever it takes to fix his mistakes, earn Lila’s forgiveness—and finally win a chance to be with the girl he loves.
Both PUSHING THE LIMITS and DARE YOU TO completely blew me away, so I finally decided to purchase the novella for myself because of my immense love for Katie McGarry's writing. Book three is still a ways away, but I wanted something to tide me over.
This novella is meant to be read after book one because Lila was featured in book one. Admittedly, I was so caught up in Noah and Echo's story that I had to think about Lila's plot line in book one. As long as you remember her involvement of being Echo's friend and standing by her side, you're pretty much fine. Because of how close they are, Echo's older brother was like her own older brother, so she naturally went to his funeral and the funeral of his training partner, who happens to be Lincoln's older brother. That night, they cried and suffered together. After exchanging contact info, they wrote letters for the next two years until Lincoln lied and devastated Lila. He would have to show up on her doorstep and beg for her forgiveness to fix the hurt that he inflicted in her.
Overall, I think this was an interesting story, but it was fast. I wish that there was more letters, more details, but I get that a 66 page novella is supposed to be fast. However, this novella was completely full of emotion and it was slightly overwhelming because it was such a short story. I barely had time to connect with the characters before their emotions were all over the place. I think that this would make an amazing story because the novella left something to be desired.
Lincoln's characterization was great. He was cracking and suffering the way that only guys can because they have trouble venting their feelings. He was desperate to just get away and make everything right with Lila since she was the only good in his life since his family was falling apart at the seams. And then there's Lila. Lila is supposed to be able to stand on her own two feet and be independent. I understand that Lincoln hurt her and she fell apart, but she seemed like an emotional mess that over-reacted. In this short 66 page story, she changed her decisions several times because everything she did was emotionally-fueled. She struggled with staying home alone out of fear of being alone. She was slightly hypocritical, childish, and impulsive. I didn't like it. I think I would have connected with her more if the story was longer, so I can feel as if there was true cause for such immense pain instead of childish over-reacting.
Everything that happened with Stephen and his cronies lent an air of stupidity to the story because I can't imagine people doing that out of boredom. If you want an ex-girlfriend back, you don't try to terrify her back into your arms. Stephen, you're an idiot. Go take your new $250 shoes and frolic in a big puddle of mud.
All in all, this left me curious. I love McGarry's writing and I enjoyed this one, but I think I need more in order to really love this story as a whole. I loved Lincoln and his characterization, but I had a few issues with Lila that can only be resolved by further background knowledge and more time.
With that in mind, this will certainly tide you over between books. McGarry's always amazing, but such immense emotions need more background in order to really make you feel the way her two novels are able to make me feel. While feeling these emotions ooze of the pages are amazing, I wish I had a better connection to the characters.