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Saturday, June 16, 2012

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

Welcome to Andrew Smith Saturdays! Today we'll be discussing the third 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 Three: Pages 130-195 Discussion

1. What do you guys think of Dalton? Seems nice enough, right? Has a decent family, or so it seems. Do you think that Dalton has only good intentions?

2. Also, how would you feel if you were in Jonah's place currently? He is terrified for his brother, Lilly and himself. He obviously had no idea what any of them are thinking. I think he's being more brave than any 16 year old boy I've ever known.

3. I have to ask once again, What are your thoughts on Lilly? We've gotten some background between her and Mitch. I do think that Lilly was/is using Mitch to get to California and also knowing she could easily control him because of his feelings for her, however messed up they might be. All of this aside, is Lilly a bad person? Or do you think she was just grasping at straws and doing things the only way she knew how?

4. Was it just me or did you guys think Mitch was going to kill Walker right then and there when he showed up? Did you think it was kind of strange that this old man just happened to run into Simon and Lilly? Once again, I find myself wondering, is this a man we can trust? I'm certainly hoping so with everything in me because Simon and Lilly do not have a chance of escaping Mitch now without some help.

5. If there were any doubts at all of Mitch and his insanity I think we have that covered. What did you guys think of what happened right before this section ended? Mitch has lost it in every way capable, I think. And he's only out for vengeance.

6. The letters from Matthew are becoming more clear to me as the journey with the boys go on further. It saddens me to no end to read how Matthew's state of mind is disintegrating more and more every day that he's in the battle field. And it does appear to me that he is trying as hard as he can to keep the little family that they do have, together. Sometimes the most important things to you don't seem so significant until you no longer have them.


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. 
Seriously, things could go in so many directions and I am full of questions. 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 Four next Saturday.


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 actually like Dalton... his family seems a bit strange, but I think he might be the one truly good-intentioned/innocent character in the book (at this point, anyway).

    2. He is DEFINITELY being brave. I'm not sure how most people in his situation would react to all that has happened - most of us would like to believe that we'd go back out after our brother, but if he thinks his own brother has joined with Mitch, yet still wants to help him.. yeah, he's a decent guy. Not perfect, obviously, but seems like a pretty good person to me.

    3. I don't think Lilly is a bad person, necessarily, but I do think she puts her priorities first, without necessarily thinking about or appreciating the danger she might be putting herself (or others) in. I'm not sure she really understands consequences, yet. So, a bad person? No.. but naive and selfish, yes.

    4. I'm very surprised that Walker made it out of there alive! I think (I hope) they can trust him, but I'm worried for his safety now, too.

    5. The guy is MESSED. UP. That's all I can say. I don't think even Lilly will be able to calm him down or manipulate him, at this point. If anything, she might be the biggest liability to anyone with her (an "if I can't have her, no one can!" kinda thing?).

    6. The letters are adding a really interesting sub-layer to the story. We have the main story about the boys, survival and family.. but now also a kind of anti-war/PTSD sub-plot, too. I like that Smith includes this layer, as it adds deeper meaning and realism to the overall story.

    1. I completely agree with you, Adam. About everything.

      I do think that the further in the story we get the wider Lilly's eyes are being opened and she is realizing what exactly is going on and what she can cause and prevent with her actions. I do think in the beginning she was being very controlling of the situation because she could but now she is seeing a whole other side of Mitch, one she can't do anything about and I think it's bringing the frightened little girl out in her. You can only manipulate a sociopath for so long...

  2. 1. I like Dalton. My first thought was that Jonah has gone from one crazy situation to the next. But, I think that this might be the break that Jonah needs to go after his brother and not get swept back into the madness. While his family is strange, a part of me wants Jonah to come back to the family with Simon and share their story. I think that they both need a bit of sanity from all that they have gone through. yeah, the family's weird but they love each other in a more normal way than Simon or Jonah have ever known.

    2. I think Jonah is being brave, and yea he's worried about Simon and Lilly. He has not given up on his brother despite the fact that he fears he's following Mitch too much.

    3.Lilly is still a strange character for me. She's deceptive and not very revealing. At first I thought that she was just using Jonah, and then I thought that maybe she really did like him. But I think he serves a purpose for her and that's what it's about. I don't think she's a completely bad person, but I think that she could show a little bit more effort. I want to know why she has not ever really thought about leaving Mitch. In both instances where someone mentions leaving (or attempting to leave) it has been either Jonah or Simon. Maybe she's too far gone to initiate leaving.

    4.I am not sure about Walker. I think that he knows that something's not right. But he doesn't seem like he has it all right either,so he doesn't pick up on it. I think that Mitch needs to kill someone. For a brief moment I don't think he cares whether it's Simon or Walker, but Walker is the smarter choice because that would tie both Simon and Lilly to him longer. I don't think it's a coincidence that Walker runs into Simon and Lilly. Is he a good guy? With the luck that they've been having I hope so. But with the luck that they've been having, I'm preparing myself for another psycho encounter.

    5. While I think that Mitch is completely out of his mind, I don't think he is out for blind rage vengence. He gets off having power over people- look at what he's done to both Simon and Lilly. I think he wants back what he thinks is his so that he can torment them, but I don't think he is ready to kill them just yet.

    6. Matthew's letters are interesting on two different levels. My dad fought in Vietnam but he never talks about it. So I can see how one's mind would start to unravel more vividly. War changes people, sometimes it makes them stronger and other times it makes them weaker. But when they are aware of the changes that are happening to them, I think it's natural to reach out to the only bit of sanity that they have left and warn them away from it. I think the letters are one of the factors that Jonah wants to keep his promise to protect Simon. But I also think that with each letter, he can see Matthew slipping further away from him. But he can also see Simon slipping away from him too.

  3. Agreed! I really hope that Dalton and Walker will be good for the boys and it would be super if Jonah and Simon could end up back at the camp with Dalton's family. You're right about it being the one chance at normalcy in their life. They both deserve that--especially after all they have been through.

  4. 1) Dalton is awesome. Probably the most normal person in this world of fucked up characters.

    2) I don't even know if I'd call it bravery. Jonah just does what needs to be done.

    3) I probably answered the Lilly question in Part 2 based on these pages. Oops.

    4) I definitely thought Mitch would kill him.

    5) Agreed.

    6) You don't know what you've got til it's gone.