Wednesday, August 01, 2012

{Week One} Pushing The Limits Read-A-Long

Wednesday, August 01, 2012 with No comments

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?

I think that Echo hides the truth more for herself. She doesn't seem to want to face the truth, which is why she chooses to go along with what she believes her father and stepmother want from her. It doesn't help that her father seems to be ignoring the truth as well.

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 like her! She's already come across as someone who really looks deep into her patients' lives, and comes to her own conclusions about people rather than just adopting the conclusions of previous therapists or social workers. This, combined with setting up Echo to tutor Noah, shows that she really does want to help, and comes up with ideas that'll allow for real progress.

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's closest friend prior to the accident, Grace, 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?

I'm not sure. Her friend Lila tries to talk to her, and that doesn't seem to have worked. Her issue is really very internal, and she has to be willing to accept help from others before she can benefit from it. Of course, her friends seem rather superficial, and it may be that she feels like she can't talk to them because they don't really listen to her. It does seem a bit like Lila would rather she skip the coping and just start moving on.

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?

I don't know the significance, but obviously it holds meaning to her. Since she doesn't seem to know why she got a nagging feeling when looking at the ribbon, my guess is it has to do with the accident. Her brother did die during deployment, so my guess is it may have to do with a ribbon or honor they received for that (purple heart?), which may have to do with her mom flipping out on her. Let's find out...

5) Noah and the jacket....Already when Noah and Echo meet for the first time, Noah got angry when Echo forgot her jacket (p. 34). Then at Echo's birthday party Noah gave Echo his jacket when he saw that she forgot hers (p. 54). There is a significance behind his anger when Echo has no coat and it tells already so much about Noah!
  • Why is Noah so fixated on Echo and her Jacket, and what does it say of his character?
Noah's reaction to Echo and her jacket seems like a reflex. That does show he's a good person, because if he truly were the troubled stoner everyone assumes he is, why would he care or even notice about such details?
  • Show us your favorite jacket! Either with you having it on or alone!
My black, zipped hoodie I got from the university bookstore! It's already falling apart with a hole on the wrist, but it's so comfy!

Crappy close-up - you can at least see
the logo. It's otherwise a plain black hoodie,
but that's what I love!

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.
  • Do you think this was the moment he began to see Echo in a different light?
Probably. He just assumed prior to seeing those scars that she was little miss perfect, and didn't understand what real problems were. Now that illusion had been shattered, and he began to notice Echo as an actual person with actual problems.
  • Show us your favorite pair of gloves!
I don't really wear gloves. It would annoy the crap outta me to have something covering my fingers, so if I did wear them they would probably be in this style:

But I haven't really worn those either, so who knows. I have a bit of OCD when it comes to certain things, and the reason for me not wearing gloves is the same reason I can't stand wearing those socks that have separate compartments for your toes (like those rainbow socks). I just hate the feeling I get from them - drives me nuts.


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