Thursday, August 9, 2012

Pushing the Limits: Read-Along Week 2 Questions

So I'm participating in the Pushing the Limits read-along, hosted by several bloggers including Candace's Book Blog and Pages Turners. This is the second week's questions. To read my Week 1 answers, click here.

1. ­­­Noah and Echo create a plan to read their files. What do you think of this plan? Would you read your friends file first knowing you might not have time to read your own? Would you want to read your own file? 

I think the plan is very high school, but it's also very desperate. They're smart kids, knowing how to manipulate things, and I think the plan could possibly work. I also think they underestimate Mrs. Collins, but that's to be expected from kids that so obviously don't trust authority figures. In many ways, I might be more interested in what was in my friend's file--especially if it was a guy I was into. Then again, if I were in Echo's position--with no memories of a horrendous experience, I might give my own file first dibs.

2. Mrs. Collins starts to earn Noah’s trust by taking him to see his brother win a writing contest. What do you think of how she’s handling Noah? How would you feel if you were in Noah’s position, hearing that your brother sees you as his hero? 

I think Mrs. Collins is doing an excellent job. She's going above and beyond her eight-to-five job description. In order to know what she does about Noah, and know how to connect with him in a way that will work, she obviously does her homework (no pun intended) and she obviously cares. Nothing could have gotten Noah's attention the way that did. If I had been Noah in that scene, I would have sobbing hysterically (definitely had moist eyes just reading the scene!). It was really touching.

3. Echo is starting to draw and paint again. She’s starting to express the feelings and what she’s seeing as she’s starting to remember what happened that day. Art therapy seems to be a popular way for people to deal with their feelings, why do you think Echo’s dad didn’t want her to continue with art since it was such a big part of her and is part of so many people’s therapy in dealing with similar issues? 

There could be two reasons in my opinion: 1) Echo's dad seems like the no-nonsense sort. Especially considering how hard he is on her for already-above average grades/test scores, and the fact that he's already decided she'll be applying to business school, he may be the sort of guy that doesn't put much stock in art. He can't understand it's importance or relevance in his daughter's life, because it doesn't have any in his. More likely, though, 2) I think art must have something to do with the terrible thing that happened to her. She remembers inviting her Mom to her art exhibit, but nothing about what happened at the exhibit itself. She can't imagine why her mother would have missed it, but no one's seen fit to explain it to her. I guess I'll find out as more is revealed, but it seems to me that he doesn't want her dabbling in art anymore because it may lead to her remembering the truth of what happened that day.

4. We see how crazy Beth’s home life is and we start to understand why she is not as keen to be trusting with people in her life. At the same time, we get to see how fiercely loyal Noah is. What do you think of the way Noah reacted to Beth being beaten by her mother’s boyfriend? Do you think it’s showing bad behavior that could get Noah in more trouble or the act of a true friend? 

Unfortunately, I think it's both. This kind of behavior will DEFINITELY get him into more trouble with the system, but he showed true loyalty to his friend by reacting this way. As someone who has brothers who would react exactly this way to this situation, this was a very realistic depiction. And, uh, side note: if at any point charges were filed and he told his story to any judge that was a woman, a father, a brother, or a husband, let's just say he'd probably get off with a few hours' community service. I HAVE heard of just such a thing happening before. :D Unfortunately, Noah and his friends are too afraid of being screwed over by the system yet again to trust anyone to help them or fight for them.

5. Echo has an unusual name. What do you think of the story behind it? Is there a Greek Myth or other story that would inspire you to name a child after a character? 

Greek myths tend to be very tragic. That's why we all like them so much. I really like the story behind Echo's name, but I would be reluctant to name my child after one of them. Every kid, especially as a teen, will experience angst and probably some heart ache, and I would never want my kid looking at the origin of their name as some kind of destiny. Luckily, Echo doesn't seem to be taking that approach. She actually loves the Greek mythology because it was a gift her mother gave her, and that's sweet. :D

6. Echo’s big thing is trying to find “normal” again. She doesn’t want to be the scared girl or the girl who can’t remember what happened to her, she just wants to be normal. This goal impacts her relationships with her family, friends, Noah and her ex Luke. But at the end of this section, Echo is starting to figure out that there’s no going back to old normal and she’s going to have to find a new normal. How big of a step is it for Echo when she realizes she’s not “in” love with Luke and figures out that she does need to find a new normal?

In terms of anything she's actually DOING, this is just a baby step. Yet emotionally, and in terms of how it will effect her life, it's HUGE! I was so glad to see her recognize certain truths and changes that needed to be made. Recognizing them is the first step toward a happier life and a "new" normal. (Hopefully with Noah! :D)

I'm loving this book! If you haven't read it yet, I'd highly recommend it! :D

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