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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Andrew Smith Saturdays! Discussion: In The Path of Falling Objects: Part Two #readAlong

Welcome to Andrew Smith Saturdays! Today we'll be discussing the second part of IN THE PATH OF FALLING OBJECTS. Feel free to jump in with any questions or other topics you might want to discuss from this section of the book.

In the Path of Falling Objects:
Part Two: Pages 63-129 Discussion

1. Okay. Matthew's letters are definitely significant. I'm not exactly sure how..yet, but I can feel it. It appears to me that with each letter, we not only get to know a little more about Matthew and the war but we can also see his state of mind being wrecked. So very sad. It's also apparent that he wants Jonah and Simon to realize what they have because Matthew knows they only have one another. Therefore I think Matthew is trying to help hold their family together from afar. Thoughts on this?

2. We were all pretty much on the same page about Mitch last week, right? The dude is seriously psycho. Straight from the crazy farm. I mean, WHAT THE HELL? Playing the boys against each other, threatening to kill Simon if Jonah doesn't walk the line, basically. And all the while Simon is still too doe-eyed to even notice what's happening. Maybe it's just because he's naive and is craving acceptance from a male type figure? I'm just not sure about this sitch and where it's going.

3. Lilly is not completely innocent in this entire mess. However, I still think she continues to just blow things off like they're no big deal. I haven't quite figured out what her motive is.. well, besides the fact she needs a ride to California. She also seems to have some kind of influence over Mitch. Maybe by her acting so carefree and flirtatious with Mitch she's just trying to keep him at bay...from flying off the handle and doing something really crazy? Although, I did sense some serious terror in her tone a few times as she was speaking with Jonah about Mitch. Did you all catch that?

4. Do any of you think that Lilly's intentions toward Jonah are genuine? Like, are they somehow forming some kind of bond or do you think that Lilly is still just trying to manipulate to get what she wants? And if so, what is it exactly do you think she wants from Jonah?

5. Alright. I'm just going to throw this out there. We have now the incident at the store with Chief. The scene at the bridge with Jonah. And then Simon and the rope. What. The. Fuck. What really frightens me the most is that Mitch shows no sign of remorse or regret for anything he's done except when he woke and realized what he did to Simon. I mean really? The lousy son-of-a-bitch starts crying. I'm really at a loss right now. There is no telling what might happen next and I'm really terrified for Simon, Jonah and even Lilly.


Okay. Let's talk! 
There is a lot going on at this point in the book and I have absolutely no idea where things are headed. If there is something else you want to bring up and discuss, please do so. I would love to hear what you think. We will discuss Part Three next Saturday.

Don't forget to enter Adam's giveaway for a copy of STICK --> Here!


June: In the Path of Falling Objects (Hosted by Lady Reader’s Bookstuff)
  • 6/2: Part One: Pages 2-62
  • 6/9: Part Two: Pages 63-129
  • 6/16: Part Three: Pages 130-195
  • 6/23: Part Four: Pages 196-267
  • 6/30: Part Five: Pages 268-323
July: Stick (Hosted by Roof Beam Reader)
  • 7/7: First (Part 1): Pages 2-59
  • 7/14: First (Part 2): Pages 60-103
  • 7/21: Next (Part 1): Pages 107-216
  • 7/28: Next (Part 2): Pages 216-292
August: Ghost Medicine (Hosted by Not Now...I’m Reading)
  • 8/4: Chapter 1 - 8
  • 8/11: Chapter 9 - 15
  • 8/18: Chapter 16 - 22
  • 8/25: Chapter 23 - 29
September: The Marbury Lens (Hosted by Smash Attack Reads)
  • 9/8: Part One: The Amethyst Hour, Chapters 1-17
  • 9/15: Part Two: The Strange Boys, Chapters 18-30
  • 9/22: Part Three: Blackpool, Chapters 21-42
  • 9/29: Part Four: Chapters 43-48
  • 10/6: Part Five: Seth, Chapters 49-59


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  1. 1. I agree - I think, being older than both brothers, he understands their situation better and knows that they don't have much hope, outside themselves. I think he's also feeling guilty for abandoning them, in a way, even though there weren't really any other opportunities or choices for him.

    2. Yeah, Mitch definitely seems like a sociopath to me - homicidal maniac. Anyone who can do unthinkable, terrible things like that and not feel any kind of guilt or shame is 100% certifiable. As for Simon, I do think he's looking for another male role model and, unfortunately Mitch is the only one around. I think he's also at a rebellious age and Jonah, being the parent-figure, is the one Simon has to rebel against.. so naturally he's doing the opposite of what Jonah wants for him. Andrew Smith definitely seems to understand family dynamics.. sibling (especially brotherly) rivalry and such. Loving this element of the story.

    3. I think she knows more about Mitch than she lets on and so I think she knows how to "control" him, in a way. Mitch obvioiusly has some kind of feelings for him (if we can admit to his having any kind of feelings at all?). So, I think Lilly uses that to her benefit.. she keeps herself safe by giving Mitch some sense of hope that they'll stay together?

    4. Lilly seems to me to be the type of girl who always needs a hero or savior. She messes up and then tries to get someone else to solve her problems. I do think she's using Jonah, but I'm not sure that she's not also genuinely falling for him a little bit too... maybe that's to be determined?

    5. I'm not sure what the crying was all about.. I'm not sure it was really remorse for what he did. Seems like it might have been something else - like maybe that eveng with Simon triggered something else that he's experienced and can't get over. I'm not sure... or maybe he really does have certain moments of clarity where he realizes the things he does are not good, but still can't stop himself from doing them in the moment. He's a total nut-job, for sure.

  2. 1. I agree with Adam, it does sound like Matthew feels guilty for leaving and he's doing all that he can to make a hard situation better. Though these letters are ones that were written in the past, I'm curious how Jonah is applying what's said to their current situations.
    2.Yea, Mitch is pyscho, but with everything that's not right there are always those who are attracted to it. I was glad to see at the end of this section that Simon is beginning to fear Mitch, even if it is only a little bit.
    3. I think that Lilly knows more than what she's saying. In this section we see that she has history with him, and that she's even aware of his attraction to her. So the question then becomes why? Why did she convince him to stop for Jonah and Simon? Why did she go along with his plan after finding out all that had happened to set it in motion. She is far from innocent, but I need more of her motivation behind her behavior before I can sympathize with her.
    4. So far the only thing that I can count on from Lilly is her manipulation. I don't think there's any genuine feelings for Jonah. Even in the motel, she knew how Mitch would react. She even points out things that make it easier for Simon to push his buttons to Jonah, so she also knows how to push those buttons. Why is she trying to manipulate? I am not sure, but maybe it's getting too dangerous to allow Mitch to focus only on herself so she's trying to deflect some attention.
    5. I am not sure about Mitch's breakdown. Other then the fact that he's not mentally stable to begin with, I'm not really sure what's going on with that.

    1. "I think that Lilly knows more than what she's saying." <--Definitely!

  3. I agree with the Adam on abandonment with Matthew. I think he is now realizing that the war and resulting death and destruction is pointless, and he would much rather be there for his brothers. I love how his letters parallel Jonah and Simon's journey. Both story lines are getting darker...

    Mitch is definitely a sociopath, straight off the cray cray farm. I assume he lacked warmth and guidance in his childhood and probably has anti-social personality disorder, which keeps him from feeling any emotions or remorse. He's also quite obsessed with Lilly, who remains a puzzle to me! I do think Lilly is playing the part to keep Mitch calm and collected and definitely agree that she is scared of him.

  4. I'm a whole week late! :-/ I'm going to try to catch up though.

    I think Matthew's letters are really the only hope Jonah has left. In that way, they're significant. If he is trying to keep them together from afar, it's not working so well. I'm assuming Jonah's read the letters a million times and more. He knows Matthew wants him to look out for Simon, but he lets Simone slip right through his fingers. I'm not saying it's his fault. I just think he holds some of the responsibility.

    And Smash, I noticed the parallels between Simon and Jonah's journey and Matthew's letters too!

    Mitch is freaking crazy. I want to know how people even get that crazy. And I think a lot of the reason Lilly acts the way she does is to keep Mitch from turning on her the way he does pretty much everyone else. To be honest, I still can't make up my mind about Lilly. I just don't know what to think about her.

    I can't wait to crack this book back open. Hopefully, I can get caught up in the next couple of days.

    1. I totally agree with you about Lilly and Mitch. It's becoming obvious that Lilly is acting in a flirtatious way towards Mitch is only to placate him. Like we all have said.. the question is-- WHY? I guess we'll have to read a long to find out what Lilly's motives are. And the rest of them for that matter.

  5. It's so difficult to answer these in the context of only this section of the book. I'll try:

    1) The whole thing about Matthew is the saddest part of this story for me. It's easy to see how everything is falling apart for him, and how he's pinning his hopes on his little brothers.

    2) Mitch is a psycho, sure, but what makes him such a fascinating character is that he's also a brilliant manipulator. He knows how to play people, and he doesn't hesitate to do so.

    3) For me, Lilly is damaged goods. We don't know all her backstory, but it's obvious it's full of some kind of abuse or suffering. It doesn't justify all her behavior, but it would explain some of it.

    4) I'm undecided. We don't get enough insight into her character to know for sure how much of it is genuine. I mean, I think the attraction is probably genuine, but if she had a chance to get to Cali, and leave them all behind, I think she might take it.

    5) Well, see my answer to number 2, but yeah, Mitch is a raving lunatic. I don't buy his remorse after tying Simon up, but I certainly buy that the character would try it. I also have to admit, I sort of felt relieved that something happened to finally wake Simon up. The kind was being such a douche.