I just couldn’t put this down! From the very first moment I began this book I was drawn in and it literally became an addiction to finish. I stayed up late into the early hours of the morning to finish this book and I can safely say it has been an awfully long time since that happened! The last book I remember doing that with was one of Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress books.
Whilst I wouldn’t call this book the perfect piece of literature (which I don’t believe there is) and it did have faults, I found that this book really evoked a response and an eager need to read in me, which I feel like I’ve been lacking in quite a few of the books I’ve read lately. So the refreshing feel this book brought me, certainly moves towards its appeal!
The models on the cover are close to how I depicted Noah and Echo in my mind, and I think it represents their relationship well.
Noah and Echo were two fantastic characters! Echo is a troubled teen girl, but I didn’t feel any of the usual rather annoying teen problems. Through Echo we tackle the issues of mental health and the view of the world. We look at the social pariah status she obtains from rumours and how popular people who were once her friends discard her for her choices. I think McGarry crafts Echo’s character to tackle issues in society in an emotional and realistic way. Not only does Echo move along a real journey over the book, I felt like I connected with her whilst reading.
We constantly split between both Echo and Noah’s perspective and this disrupted me at first, but then it began to flow really well and integrate the emotional response of both teens to get a rounded view on the plot.
Noah is a bad boy. However he has a side that is really in need of comfort. I’ve seen people point out that not everybody in foster care can end up in such a situation, but obviously his parents death had a profound effect upon his life and thus crafted his lifestyle choices. I don’t think Noah is a stereotyped foster care case, but he is a representation of a population of children that fall through the cracks in the care system. I found Noah suave and cheeky and whilst his mind might have been sex focused, he never pushed Echo passed a point she didn’t want to. He also stopped things when he recognised her inexperience which I really enjoyed seeing because it showed that teenage guys can be responsible.
They are two very endearing characters and their search for “normality” and a place to call safe and home is something that everybody wants and McGarry really brought this contemporary young-adult novel down to a level that could connect across the young to the slightly older generations! Whilst I wouldn’t recommend this book to my nan, I’d say anybody up to your thirties/forties is still likely to enjoy this!
This book is certainly emotional so be prepared for a roller coaster of a ride. You might need a tissue or two because I know I did! Also, be prepared to hate Echo’s parents. I can safely say, Ashley was the wicked step-mother in this story. She pretended to be nice and friendly, but somewhere beneath that it really felt like a facade and even by the end of the story, my feelings towards Ashley were not ones of kindness. Her father has redeemable moments and I could appreciate his character by the end, but they are certainly not loving parents that you could wish to be your own!
However, my favourite adult figure has to be the therapist Mrs. Collins who was smart and witty and always had Echo and Noah’s best interests at heart. I had to laugh at her road rage and driving skills, especially upon Noah’s many recommendations to teach her how to drive. For me Mrs. Collins was the saving of both Noah and Echo and she really was my third favourite character!
The only think I’d have to say against this book would be sometimes the pet names Noah seemed to create for Echo could be a tad overbearing. However, I think this is more McGarry trying to reflect teenage thinking because it seems the rage for you to call you girlfriend “baby” or “cutie-pie” or something else sickeningly sweet.
I can safely say I adored this one! It has to be one of my favourite young-adult novels of the year and I will be rushing out to get a copy for my shelves when it comes out. I suggest you do the same too! All I can say is, McGarry has certainly made an entrance with her debut novel.
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Let me know what you think!