Echo's arms are scarred by an event which Echo can't recall, related to her mother, wo suffers from a bipolar disorder. Echo is haunted by nightmares and suffers from being torn between knowing her mother tried to kill her but still loving her mother. She turned herself into an outcast at school, trying to avoid stares by having lunch in the library. Her best friend had only one wish for Christmas. For Echo to start eating in the cafeteria again and opening up to high-school life. She is thrown into a tutoring job with Noah, who is smart but behind their algebra class due to many missed days at school. He is trying to get the guardianship of his 2 little brothers, who live with foster parents after their parents died in a fire.
Noah and Echo feel drawn to each other and team up to get the information they are looking for. She wants to know what happened to her and he wants to know where his brothers live, both information are in their files in the office of the school psychologist who made Noah and Echo her top priority.
I really enjoyed this book, even though I read a few books with not too different plots lately. The writing is fresh and the characters with all their faults very lovable and real. There were also some really interesting characters apart from the main couple. (And the sneak peak at the next novel confirmed my hopes that a very interesting character will be in the focus of her next book.) The counselor was heart warming and I loved the way Echo and Noah were annoyed by her, while she was so clearly helpful and unconventional. The author also made me fall in love with some characters who died before the story even started, like Echo's brother Aires, who died in Afghanistan and Noah's parents who were clearly wonderful persons.
I loved the light and funny language which acted as a nice counterbalance to the dark and sad baggage the protagonists carry from their respective pasts.
It is wonderful to see the characters grow throughout the story, learning from their mistakes and moving forwards, although it was highly frustrating to see them make choices for the wrong reasons in the beginning.
Part 2 will be published in May 2013, but the story of Echo and Noah was brought to an end (Yay, no cliffhanger!), a minor character of this book will be in the focus of „Dare you to“, which went onto my „Wish List“ as soon as I heard about it.
(I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley.)