Angsty & Tough! Breaking the Rules by Katie McGarry [Book Review]

Posted August 2, 2018 by Zeee in Reviews4 Comments

Genre: New Adult Romance

Angsty & Tough! Breaking the Rules by Katie McGarry [Book Review]Breaking the Rules written by Katie McGarry
Publisher Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: December 8, 2014
Genres: New Adult
Series: Pushing the Limits #1.5
Format: eBook
Pages: 304
ISBN: 1460341430
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Flame Rating: two-flames
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A summer road trip changes everything in this unforgettable new tale from acclaimed author Katie McGarry

For new high school graduate Echo Emerson, a summer road trip out west with her boyfriend means getting away and forgetting what makes her so... different. It means seeing cool sights while selling her art at galleries along the way. And most of all, it means almost three months alone with Noah Hutchins, the hot, smart, soul-battered guy who’s never judged her. Echo and Noah share everything — except the one thing Echo’s just not ready for.

But when the source of Echo’s constant nightmares comes back into her life, she has to make some tough decisions about what she really wants — even as foster kid Noah’s search for his last remaining relatives forces them both to confront some serious truths about life, love, and themselves.

Now, with one week left before college orientation, jobs and real life, Echo must decide if Noah's more than the bad-boy fling everyone warned her he'd be. And the last leg of an amazing road trip will turn... seriously epic.

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My Thoughts

Don’t want to read the whole review?  Click to jump to the Skinny Review.


I had a hard time finishing Breaking the Rules. In fact, I was contemplating on DNFing the thing, but I hit a chapter where the story captivated me.

See, I’m not a fan of YA contemporary romance since they’re just too young for me (I know it’s a YA book) but Pushing the Limits was so good, I decided to read Echo and Noah story. This is the in-between story of what happened after they finished high school and before the events of the second book.

Breaking the Rules is indeed a story about coming of age. Especially between Echo and Noah. Both of these characters had a lot of baggage and really growing up to do and this trip really helped them in more ways than one.

I love Echo and Noah’s character growth. Both really needed growing up and reevaluating their relationship. As a lot of people have said, finding true love in high school isn’t as common as books may want you to believe it is. But it is possible to find THE ONE at such a young age. The one thing that I loved about Breaking the Rules was the uncertainty in Echo and Noah’s relationship. For a while, it did seem that they weren’t strong enough to overcome each of their own baggage, believe me, both had it in spades!

I love Echo’s arc, as well. She was still trying to deal with her brother Aires’ passing while also trying to prove that she is an individual artist and not just her mother’s daughter.

Noah, on the other hand, is trying to be the person that Echo deserves. He has dreams to go to college, be with his brothers and be with Echo. And also be a man that Echo is proud of.

It’s really interesting how these two solve their relationship struggle and it struck a chord in me. I do remember a time that having a relationship was just too full of uncertainties and I felt that this book showed a truth.

I loved that the events during this summer seem to point to a time where Echo and Noah will be in the future – TOGETHER. I think that this period in their lives will really result in an HEA. Yes, this book does end with an HFN. I wish that they had an epilogue set 10 years later or something.

Noah’s situation still touches me in a way that I was ugly crying for most of his POV – especially his POVs in the last half of the book. Here are a couple of quotes that I could not help but highlight.

“You once hugged me like that,” Noah says. Moisture fills my eyes, and I blink it back. There’s no accusation in his voice. No anger. Just hurt. “I brought Isaiah to work on your brother’s car to impress you. You were dating that ape Luke again, and each time I saw you with him, it got under my skin. When Isaiah told you that he could get it running and you hugged me…” Noah trails off, and I close my eyes, permitting the sweet memory of that day in the garage to caress my skin. “I didn’t understand it at the time, but I loved you then. I fell for you the moment you called me out in the guidance counselor’s office, and I’ve been yours since.”


Echo’s finding where she belongs, and it’s not with me. My problem—I don’t know how the hell to be man enough to let her go. Loving her like I do, I don’t know how I can keep her.


Aren’t these quotes heartbreaking?!

I definitely recommend reading Breaking the Rules right after reading Pushing the Limits.


Rating Report
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Overall: 5


Breaking the Rules Skinny Review


Books in Series

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Let's Discuss

Do you love emotional and angsty romances?

What are the favorites that you can recommend to me?


About Katie McGarry

Author Katie McGarry

KATIE MCGARRY was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, and reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

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4 responses to “Angsty & Tough! Breaking the Rules by Katie McGarry [Book Review]

  1. I am impressed that this went from an almost DNF to 5-stars. I love this series, and this is the only book I have not read (yet I own). I will have to try and get to this sooner than later. Great review.

    • Oh, you should read it!! It’s really good! However, I have to warn you that it is a very slow start and I was pretty annoyed with Echo. But it was good to put that in because she actually grows up throughout the book.

  2. I have heard such great things about this author and her books, and I have yet to pick on up :/
    Contemporary normally isn’t my thing, but I also really like books that making me ugly cry lol

    • This book was an awesome follow up to the first book Pushing the Limits. I really love the angst and the realness of the story!