M: I’m sensing a theme in our discussions. Hot boys that make us swoon! So, yea….Noah, shall we add him to the ever growing list?
A: Noah, Noah, Noah, Noah!!!! So in love with him! Reading the description of the book I was nervous that it was going to be another Perfect Chemistry thing with the boy from the wrong side of the tracks falling for the popular princess, but Noah was so much more than that. There was nothing truly bad boy about Noah. He was just a kid that got the bum end of the deal in the game of life. Everything he knew was taken from him and he just had the reputation then. But honestly he had to have been the most loving, feeling boy. The love he had for his brothers made me melt! Melt I tell you, into a pile of Andi-goo! Be still my heart.
M: YES! Echo wasn’t any luckier in the game either. Poor thing got stuck with a truly epic set of crap parents. It wasn’t surprising to me that she and Noah bonded over their dysfunctional families. I can’t decide who I liked more really. I thought Echo was amazingly strong given what it was she’d had to endure. But Noah really touched a soft spot with his overwhelming love for his brothers and his dedication to bringing his family back together.
What did you think of the two different stories with their respective families?
A: Despised Echo’s father and step-mother! Like wanted to jump through the pages and strangle them for how they behaved. I got that they were trying to ‘protect’ Echo, and I can appreciate the sentiment. But the way her father went about it was pretty vile and obnoxious. And I could totally understand Echo’s reaction to her step-mother because that whole thing was just eww! And Noah was on the complete opposite end really. He was legit from a broken family but yet they were all still a family. He would have done anything for his brothers he loved them that much.
The funny thing is that you would think Echo was the one that had the strong nuclear family background based on the way people perceived her, but it was really Noah that had a real family even without his parents. If that makes any sense.
M: You hit the nail on the head with that one. It was all about the outward perceptions. That’s why Echo was so troubled, she was screaming for people to recognize that her life and her family weren’t that perfect picture. That there was these troublesome relationships underneath. that she had real problems.
Then you have Noah, who looks the total bad boy but really underneath the faux swagger he’s just this typical good student, good sportsman and good boy who cares about his family. He just makes people work hard to get to see it.
These are the reasons the two of them worked so well together. They were both broken in similar ways but still had goodness in them that needed to be discovered.
So, speaking of families I couldn’t stand Echo’s. Even with the best of intentions her father was just an overbearing ass. Seriously, who treats their child like that after the kind of trauma she lived through?
A: OMG seriously! He was just awful! I have read a lot of YA books with god awful parents, but Echo’s dad takes the cake! He didn’t want to protect her, he wanted to control her. It drove me insane! And the stepmother was so super annoying! All she wanted to think about was the new baby with no thought to anyone’s feelings at all. It was like Echo didn’t exist in either of their worlds. And Echo’s mom was an obvious piece of work. True, she was mentally unstable but the fact that she never apologized or had any remorse for what she did to her own daughter showed she was a sociopath on top of everything else.
M: That’s really one of the interesting parts of the story that I would have liked to have had explored a little bit more. The idea of Echo’s mother being so completely oblivious to anyone’s feelings but her own. That she honestly didn’t love Echo the way a parent typically does. Granted she had issues with mental instability but I would have been interested to see some of the complexities between Echo and both her parents play out a bit more.
I also think it would have been interesting to see more out of the parallel between Echo’s father’s behavior towards his child and how Noah acted as a father figure to his brothers. At such a young age Noah had more maturity to do right by kids than Echo’s father.
A: Noah was by far the more mature. Actually he was probably the most mature person in the book and he was the one labeled as the screw-up. Kind of goes to show you you really never know a person until you know them.
M: True that! Overall a great contemporary romance that I enjoyed a good deal. I’m interested to see what the next one has in store.