Thursday, August 9, 2012

Pushing the Limits Read Along Week 2

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 don't know if what I think of this plan is the best question. Since I naturally tend to follow the rules, I would be too scared to read my file. And since I'm also somewhat selfish, I'd read my file first :-)

Other than being rather stupid and self-destructive, I think Noah and Echo's plan is just fine. I admire how Noah is such a selfless person. He has a hard shell, but he puts himself last and we see that in his willingness to help Echo. Echo, while a nice person, is not as selfless as Noah. That's not necessarily a bad thing - she's more normal. Still, I don't think Echo is read to read her file.

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 Noah is humbled by realizing that his brother sees him as a hero. Like I said before, Noah is selfless and vulnerable on the inside. He doesn't realize what a good person he is. I think that Mrs. Collins does know this. She wants to help Noah grow into the person he has the potential to become. Plus, she wants him to learn to trust.

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?

As we read the book, I think it becomes pretty clear why her dad didn't want her to continue with art. Partly he's afraid of her turning into her mother. And partly - unconsciously or consciously - he's afraid that Echo will work through her problems and will hate him for his mistakes.

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?

I continue to find it interesting that Noah is only violent when other people's lives or safety are at stake. Even though his desire to see his brothers is partially out of his own want, he is mainly motivated by the fear that they aren't being well-treated.

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?

I thought Echo was a bad name at first because of the high teasing probability, but after hearing the story, I think it's really cool. I've never been a big Greek mythology person, but I do love the names Athena and Ariadne.

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?

It's definitely a big deal. Part of Echo's need to find a new normal isn't unique to someone who's been through horrible trauma. I think senior year of high school is a very difficult time for teens. You're almost and adult and you're getting to the age where people start to find themselves. Normal starts to change as teens grow up an everyone - but especially girls - need to find a new normal that allows them to build their self confidence.


  1. Thank you so much for joining Alison!
    You describe Noah in the absolutely perfect way: He#s selfless and vulnerable inside. But who wouldn't considering what we went through and now, being separated from his beloved brothers. His wall and shell is the only way he can deal with all this and it breaks my heart ;(

    I agree with you, the plan to read the files is dangerous. Basically Noah risks too much and he can loose so much!

    Also, I think that Echo is not really ready to know the truth, so I always thought she shouldn't force it!

  2. I loved when Mrs. Collins took Noah to his brothers awards ceremony, I just wanted to reach in the book and hug her. And then hug Noah:) Like you, I'm a rule follower, so I know I would chicken out on trying to read my file. I'd get to the door of the office and then turn and run away for fear of being caught!

  3. I thought it was SO SWEET of Mrs. Collins when she surprised Noah by taking him to his little brother's writing ceremony. It was so good for Noah and I just loved that scene. :)

  4. I loved theses questions. I think the social worker is great lady. She knew how to handle it. If they would have had a crappy social worker who didn't give a damn, things would have gone much differently.

  5. I agree with you--it is rather interesting how Noah only reacts violently when he's defending others. Wonder what his file says about that?

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