Odd Reader Out: That book everyone but me loves.
Goodreads description:No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with “freaky” scars on her arms. Even Echo can’t remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal.But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo’s world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.
Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she’ll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.
Lately I’ve seen a lot of people reading and talking about Dare You To, so I thought I’d check out the first book in the series. I feel like the only person that didn’t connect with this book! I know I’m not the only one, but I do feel like I’m in the minority here.
This book centers on two troubled teens: Noah and Echo. Noah is a known bad boy at their high school, who only has one-night stands and is a known stoner. Echo is from a wealthy family and has good grades but people think she tried to kill herself. The reality is that Noah is in foster care and used to have a nice family and Echo didn’t cut herself but repressed the memory of what really happened. They meet through the school counselor because Noah needs tutoring and Echo needs money.
I disliked most of the characters in this book except for the main characters, and I didn’t love either of them. I don’t understand any of Echo’s friends and family. I know that there are horrible people in the world, but this made me so thankful for the people I have in my life. Even Echo’s best friend, who defends Echo from other horrible friends, doesn’t seem to really want to help her. Echo is going through so much and she seems so alone. It might be realistic, but good friends can be realistic, too.
I’m not sure about how they handled her repressed memories. I don’t know a lot about the subject, but everything that happens in the book seems so shady. The school counselor, Ms. Collins, at least wanted to help Echo. Her father didn’t tell her anything and I think he is one of the worst characters of the book. He just wanted to keep her in the dark, and even if he was doing it to protect her, it didn’t seem very healthy. The way the book regarded Echo’s mom’s bi-polar disorder seemed wrong, too.
While I did think there was some cuteness and hot scenes, Noah was so weird! Everything he thought and said about Echo was just cheesy. Calling her a siren and a nymph? What guy thinks like that? “I could think of plenty of things to do with Echo in a house alone. Hell, I’d fantasized about moments like this, but damn if she didn’t make me want to be a better man” – a quote from Noah’s mind, that just doesn’t feel realistic to me. I’m not trying to say all guys are dogs and no guy could ever genuinely want to be better for a girl, but his incredibly quick change from one-nighters to total devotion seems unrealistic. There was also some contrived conflict between Echo and Noah that can only be described as tired.
Personally, I didn’t enjoy this book and it made me feel uncomfortable. I did like Echo, and I felt frustrated on her behalf. I liked Noah, despite his weirdness, and how much he cared for his family. His persistence in getting what he wanted and not thinking out what was best was frustrating, but probably fitted the situation. I know people have difficult lives, but the way the issues were handled in this book made me uneasy. The suddenly happy ending where everyone learns a lesson and gets along didn’t seem to fit the story. I didn’t hate this book, but it wasn’t for me. I didn’t like Beth much but the Dare You To description does sound intriguing, so I’m not sure if I’ll pick it up or not.