Sometimes I get to read a book I don’t know much about and it surprises me by being entirely different than what I initially thought. (Yes, this is the case, in a very positive way). I knew there was supposed to be a bit of drama surrounding Noah and some mystery in Echo’s life, but for some reason I still got the wrong impression.
This book deals with some though subjects and I deeply enjoy that in a YA book, because as much as I like to read cute love stories, I also need something with a bit more substance.
As usual, I will not provide you with a recap of the action in the book – I like to give my readers the opportunity to find out some things by themselves, so I’ll get to the pros and cons of the story.
I’ll start with something that bothered me, because there was only one thing I didn’t like:
There was a moment when I doubted the fact that I might enjoy this story. It was when Echo tried to take back her old life, to be who she used to be, to date who she used to date. It was forced and I am glad that she realized that some things change while others don’t, but life moves on. Also the lack of real friendship in those moments made me want to punch someone; (view spoiler) .
But if Echo didn’t have good friends (except for one, I guess), Noah had two best friends that were always there for him. They were sometimes playing the good-cop/bad-cop game – with Beth being so edgy and Isaiah being so easy to win over and maybe that’s why they were so fun to be around. I liked many of the scenes with them because they brought a touch of humor into the play, as the situation was pretty tough and hard to handle.
“Nice dent, man” Isaiah rested his hip against the corner of the way as he crossed his tattooed arms over his chest. “I appreciate you choosing my locker to beat the shit out of. I was looking for an excuse to never open it again.”
There is something that most people don’t like, but I really do – it’s the alternating narration between the main characters. I think that it always gives you some precious insights into both characters, such that you can understand their actions and you can relate to their story better. Yes, it also happens for me to not like the way it’s managed in a book, but this is not the case. I loved the alternation and I got to understand both Echo and Noah so well in every situation that I couldn’t be mad when they decided something I didn’t quite agree with, because I was on the same page they were. They both went through difficult times and their actions weren’t always the ones I expected, so I was glad to be able to really see inside them, to follow their thoughts.
What makes a story special for me is to be able get attached to the characters.
… And I cared for Echo, because it was really hard for her to be unable to reach the memories of the one moment that defined her (in her opinion). Also there was so much tension between Echo and her father, with her blaming him for so many things (sometimes not even the ones that mattered) and I loved to find out more about their relationship, about their past and even their present, because – you might guess – nothing is the way it seems to be.
The social hierarchy at school is not something that I could care about, so I couldn’t understand Echo’s choices in taking back her old life, and being friend with some people who want her to live they way they want, who want her to be the one they like, who want her to talk with people they approve. *eyes rolling* Just dare telling me what to do or think, and I’m gonna put you in your place before you can even say ‘reading after midnight’.
… But Noah’s story was painful and hard to digest. It was honest and it broke my heart. Struggling to do the right things, wanting his brothers in his life again, hating the system that brought them apart – well this is something I can understand; him wanting his life back is something I can wrap my head around.
His only problem was that he was so damn cheesy sometimes – guys don’t talk like that, they don’t think like that, and (view spoiler) .
Some other things that I liked:
– The fact that Echo and Noah could still joke and smile and give funny-sarcastic lines even when things were far from well;
– There was no insta-love, in fact the pacing was right. They weren’t “deeply in love” as characters tend to be in YA books – they had some serious things to figure out before getting more serious in this relationship, but it was nice for them to feel loved, as they were both so alone in their troubles;
– I liked their sessions with the counselor. Even though they didn’t want her help, they needed it/her so much. And it also brought them closer which is another good thing;
– I liked how things ended. I usually complain about the endings, but this one worked for me. Some things got to be the way I wanted them, maybe that’s why I am so pleased with it.
… I’ll leave the list open for you, as I am sure that you’ll find so many things to like about this story.
Keep an eye on this book when it comes out and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did and even more.
Book source: ARC from the publisher via Netgalley. Thank you so very much!
Note: The Romanian version of the review can be found here.