1. The story starts out with Echo’s thoughts on how she wants to answer her therapist’s questions (snarky and caustically truthful) which are quickly juxtaposed to how she does (milque-toasty and banal). Who do you think she hides the truth for more, her parents or herself?
If you asked her (and if she was willing to answer), I think she'd say her parents. And that's true to an extent. She doesn't trust them, which you'd expect given how much they've betrayed her. But subconsciously, she hides the truth from herself. Getting real answers will bring up horrible pain and her mind is afraid of exposing itself.
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?
I immediately liked and trusted Mrs. Collins. There was no reason to do so at the start of the book, but something about her felt right. I think she's a very smart woman. She knows the system and how to find all the loopholes needed to get the best help for her students.
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 only has one close friend, and Lila will barely speak to her in school. Do you think Echo would have had an easier time coping and moving on if she had friends like Noah does?
Noah has had a very painful few years since his parents died, but in many ways his life has always been better than Echo. Noah's only enemies are Social Services and some of his foster parents. Echo's "enemies" are those closest to her - her parents and stepmother, and her best friends.
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!
Well, after reading the book, I know that it has extra significant. But it's probably also something to focus on. It's all the subconscious mind versus the conscious mind.
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 do you think is Noah so focused on Echo and her Jacket and what does that tell you about Noah’s character?
It shows that Noah's edginess is just a front. He focuses more on other people's needs than his own.
b) Show us your favorite jacket! Either with you having it on or alone!
|Anthropologie Duple Leather jacket|
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?
Probably. I'm not sure if he had a strong opinion about her before seeing her without her gloves, but her scars definitely shows that Echo has faced just as extreme difficulties as Noah.
b) Show us your favorite pair of gloves!