What I liked about this is that it has real and raw substance that tug at your heart strings. The guy isn't of the typical and overused egotistical brooding popular/jock/billionaire/playboy/rock star type. And the girl isn't the overplayed awkward shy girl either. She's got fire under all the pain she harbors. Echo started off as the well-known school club hopper until something life threatening changed her that makes her hide in a shell. All of which happened in the span of a few months after losing her brother. As for Noah, he not only lost loved ones of his own, but also was thrown in a foster care system separated from his brothers. What these two opposites don't know is that they share more common ground than they thought. Echo and Noah both have had a rough life, though circumstantially different cases, who are still living with the affects afterwards.
A life that no teenagers in high school should have to go through. Both loners in their own way from broken homes, with the small circle who stuck through it all, they find their way to each other. Although it may have been fate -- or a meddling school counselor -- that's responsible for their unlikely bond. They opened up and connected on their desire for normalcy and their love for their brothers. Echo lost hers in battle, while Noah lost custody of his. They form a connection that changes their dynamic somewhere between the tutor sessions and devising a plan to look in their school file in search for answers. It's refreshing that their love was not instant whatsoever, it slowly developed. And Noah isn't that egotistical guy who tries to deny or fight his feelings for the girl. As their relationship grows, they find themselves changing their ways -- in some cases not -- for the better and break free from their reigns together.
The author's use of great analogies and metaphors to relate to their problems helps readers understand the characters. Katie really goes into each challenge and obstacle in thorough detail to help readers understand what the characters go through and feel exactly what they feel. Mental illness like bi-polar and manic depression are heavy topics to cover, and Katie weaved it into the story really well. What Echo goes through is very real and tough to go through, and she finds an anchor in the one person you least expect to find -- and fight -- by your side through it all. Such raw emotions that will leave you teary-eyed and your heart strings securely tugged. Katie McGarry takes readers through lives of Echo and Noah as they deal with demons of the past, and a messy custody battle.
After fighting through their personal hellhole, they realize that their families aren't as broken as they thought. Even though there's a lot of deep situations going on, the characters dry humor lightens it up the mood and will leave you in a laughing fit. I was a bit bummed that the sex didn't happen [spoiler alert], but there was no need because their love was palpable.
I grew to like Beth. Like she said about Echo, "She grew on me. Kind of like moss." I don't condone use of marijuana, but when she's under the influence, her humor adds for comedic relief. As heavy as this story is, it can sure use some. Beth is also hilarious when she's completely sober too. I like all the sides to her solely because they rooted from her rough home life, the relationship she has with Noah and Isaiah, and it's also a part of her personality.
I loved the Greek mythology reference behind Echo's and her brothers names, and how well it fit. The ending turned out to be a bit different than I imagined and found the epilogue short and fast-paced, and wish it continued for a little bit longer. They learn to fight through and for everything important to them, and to let go of the pain and biased views on their aspects in life. However, I was happy with how the characters found peace, acceptance, and their HEA after the storm.