Welcome to the first week of the
Pushing The Limit’s Read-A-Long!!
Please check the intro post about the “Rules” and the Grand Prize (which is the cutest prize ever). If you do not have a copy yet,
Pushing The Limits just came out today!! Happy BookBirthday!!
And… for those who would rather win a copy and join the discussion later, we have a finished copy for you to win!
Now onto the Read-A-Long:
- July 24 – Intro Post for the Read-A-Long – Linky for Participation!
- July 31 – Bewitched Bookworms Pages 7-84 - Today!
- Aug 7th – The Page Turners Pages 85 – 162
- Aug 14th – Candace Book Blog Pages 163 – 239
- Aug 21th – Dazzling Reads Pages 240 – 316
- Aug 28th – The Book Swarm Pages 317 – 392
Special Event: Evening of August 28th – Live Twitter Chat with Author Katie McGarry!!!!
1. The story starts out with Echo’s thoughts on how she wants to answer her therapist’s questions (snarky, caustically truthful) which are quickly juxtaposed to how she does (milquetoasty and banal). Who do you think she hides the truth for more, her parents or herself?
Danny: I think Echo has a hard time admitting the truth to herself. She doesn’t want to deal with all those horrific happenings. She’s full of grief over Aries death and then those mysterious incident, she cannot recall. Clearly, she’s not ready to deal with it. Also, it’s clear she doesn’t trust her father nor her stepmother, so there is not a single person Echo could truly open up to…
Heather: Echo’s hiding from her parents, therapist, and herself. She’s having such a hard time coping with the loss of her brother and her regular life while not being able to remember her own incident, and this is how she’s coping–by being compliant with how she thinks everyone wants her to act. The poor girl just wants to fade away, but her father won’t let that happen and is pushing his agenda on her.
Danny: I was actually quite angry with her father at this point!! *frowns*
Pushy: Ditto! None of the adults come of looking good in these first few chapters! And I completely agree that, like almost every other teenager alive, she’s hiding some part of the truth from the adults around her, but I can’t help feeling, that she’s not ready to know the truth herself, which must be SO FRUSTRATING because clearly some part of her does want to know, but a deeper part of her is hiding the truth from her. It’s no wonder she feels crazy when she can’t control her own mind!
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?
Danny: I think she truly believes she can make a difference and that she really is determined to help those kids. From those initial chapters though, I was not sure if I truly liked her…
Heather: She certainly seems like she’s trying to make a difference–by being very pushy and a bit domineering, and also a little manipulative–but how else can you successfully deal with teenagers? What do I know? My son’s three and I’m basing everything off what I remember being a teenager was like, and television–this is all from iCarly and Victorious. No wait, there’s no angst in those shows.
Pushy: At this point, I think this woman’s all talk. I have to admit that even the first time I read this, I felt like there was just something a little to eager to help about her and I had some serious concerns about whether any of the adults in Echo’s and Noah’s lives have Echo’s and Noah’s best interests at heart. Time will tell though….
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 incident” was Grace, and she will barely speak to her in school now. Do you think Echo would have had an easier time coping and moving on if she had friends like Noah does?
Danny: OMG Don’t get me started on Grace… I was shocked to see how Echo’s friends treated her! It broke my heart and I couldn’t believe how selfish her friends acted. To answer this question, yes I truly think if Echo would have some really good friends, who would only think about Echo and not themselves she would be in a better emotional state…
Heather: There’s no doubt in my mind that Echo’s state of mind and situation would be greatly improved if she had some friends who support her and weren’t embarrassed to be seen with her in school. Her friends’ abandonment, and especially her best friend Lila’s cold shoulder while they are at school, has left Echo with absolutely no one that she can really rely on.
Pushy: I’m not sure. Echo REALLY pulled into herself after “the incident” and I’m not sure that she wouldn’t have pushed her friends away, even if Grace had been willing to stand by her side. And these kids are just kids. Not all of them can be like Lila, who loves Echo no matter what even if she’s faded back a bit while Echo sorted herself out, or Beth and Isaiah, who have issues like Noah and KNOW what he’s going through. But I liked the way that Echo’s friends act like real teenagers, especially Grace, who’s clearly got her own issues going on. Still, I do wonder if it would have made a difference to have everyone around her having her back….
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!
Danny: Oh there is definitely something about this ribbon, but I cannot wrap my mind around what could be so super important about this!
Heather: I don’t think it would be brought up so much if there wasn’t something to it, but I have no clue what’s up with it yet. Guess we’ll have to wait for Echo to figure it out.
Pushy: It’s definitely intriguing. And if there IS something to it, do you think it’s there by accident on the therapist’s desk?
5 . Noah and the jacket… Already when Noah and Echo meet for the first time, Noah got angry when Echo forgot her Jacket pg 34. Then on Echo’s Birthday party Noah gave Echo his jacket when he saw that she forgot hers. pg 54. There is a significance behind his anger when Echo has no coat and it tells already so much about Noah!
a) Why is Noah so fixated on Echo and her Jacket?
Heather: This just shows the nurturing side of Noah–he can’t stand to see her freezing. He’s already wanting to take care of this hurting, pretty girl, and he sees that she isn’t really thinking about the more practical things that she should be thinking about right now. Plus I think he just might be marking her as his, just a little.
Pushy: Totally agree! I’m not sure why he has such a soft side, when he seems like a total tough guy, but I have to admit, I melted just a little. *sigh* I ADORE a protective guy!!!!
b) Show us your favorite jacket! Either with you having it on or alone!
Love this Leather Jacket! It has the softest leather and the most awesome cut!
Heather: I’m the rebel here–I don’t break out the jacket until it’s absolutely necessary. I have a collection of hoodies that I wear year round due to an Antarctic-ly frigid train ride from the burbs to downtown for work, and my lab at work has unpredictable temperature swings. Wearing a t-shirt and something with long sleeves are a must. The hoodie above is my latest addition to the collection, and I got it from Old Navy for the wallet busting price of $12. (Click the picture for a link for more colors if you’re interested). No point in wearing super nice clothes when you’re a chemist and there’s a chance you might ruin it with chemicals.
Pushy: I’m so preppy! I LOVE a cute blazer! It’s perfect no matter what season and everyone looks good in one.
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.
a) Do you think this was the moment he began to see Echo in a different light?
Danny: I think this was an important moment for Noah. Before, Echo was just this popular girl and Noah puts some kind of label on Echo. When he sees her scars his horrified and I think this was one of the moments that changed his view of Echo.
Heather: Noah really had no idea just how horrific an ordeal Echo had gone through until he saw those scars on her arms. Until that moment, he didn’t think that her trauma could match–or even eclipse–his own.
Pushy: For me, I think there was something there from the moment they met in the office, when he notices that she smells like cinnamon rolls (YUMMY!) and he’s already seemed protective of her, despite his hard exterior, but yes, Heather’s right that when he sees the physical evidence of what she’s been through, it changes the way he sees her.
b)Show us your favorite pair of gloves!
You know why they are my fav gloves? Because Heather made them for me herself!! (Heather’s edit–And I’m dittoing these because I made a pair for myself–superwarm fingerless mittens while still being able to do stuff that you can’t with normal mittens.) (Pushy’s edit — I’ll double down on that ditto because gloves aren’t normally my thing!)
And, as promised we have a Giveaway for you guys!
From all entries for this first week, we draw 1 winner for this cute Prize Pack sponsored by HarlequinTEEN!!
Copy of Circle of Silence, Temptation a Goddess Test Beachbag and Suncream!
Giveaway is open Internationally as long as Book Depository ships to you! Winner will be announced in 2 weeks from now!
So now, we are excited to read your answers and discuss with you! Link up your posts with the answers so that we can come and visit you! Or just comment below if you do not have an outlet where to post! *winks*
And here are the Questions for next week, which is hosted by the awesome Page Turners !! ( Love those questions!):
Questions Week 2 Pages 85 – 162
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?