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Saturday, June 23, 2012

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

Welcome to Andrew Smith Saturdays!
 Today we'll be discussing the fourth 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 or the previous three parts of the book.

In the Path of Falling Objects:
Part Four: Pages 196-267 Discussion

1. Okay guys. I have to say that this has been the most difficult section of the book for me to read. Maybe because I am a mother. Maybe because I've been in several of the same situations. I honestly think it's because I'm human, and have a heart and I feel compassion for other people. Honestly, I think every single page I read broke my heart more and more. Do you guys have any of the same feelings?

Photo credit: Andrew Smith

2. Let's talk about Matthew. I am seriously broken apart by this boy. I could feel his pain in his letters and I can not fathom going through those situations. I know men and women do it every day. It is just really breaking my heart to see him fall apart letter after letter. His mental stability is questionable at best. Still he urges Jonah to hold on to Simon, to realize what they have in each other. To really love one another.
"Knock Knock. You say, who's there? Matt. Matt who? Matthew whose dad is a junkie and whose mom is a tramp for any guy that buys her a meal, that's who. Matthew who killed a little kid yesterday."
I felt the pain from that deep down in my soul. Especially after his best friend is killed so brutally. I can only imagine these things that are happening that he says he won't tell Jonah. Thoughts on any of this and Matthew?

3. It seems to me that Simon has matured several years in this section. He has stopped sulking and is now finally doing the right thing. Even if that is something no one, especially a boy his age should have to experience. I'm really glad that Simon and Jonah each realized how childish they were being and also how much they do love and mean to each other. It is a damn shame that it took an adventure straight through hell for them to get to this point.

4. What do you think it would be like to live in the desert, out in the middle of nothing, literally? Do you think that Simon and Jonah will go back to live with Dalton and his family?

5. I wonder what conditions Mitch is actually suffering from. He is absolutely terrifying yet almost interesting at the same time. Everything he does is so beyond anything close to normal, I'm on the edge waiting to see what he will do next. I also wonder what his fascination is with calling himself "Black Simon".
"The ash and dried blood, the lines he's cut, the tattoo of a cartoon skeleton on his flesh.."

6. Lilly is gone. For the first time in this novel I feel so many feelings for and about her. I'm an emotional wreck. It must be how Jonah feels. Well, maybe not, but still... I don't exactly know yet how I feel about this. I'm terribly sad-of course. I think that Lilly was a good person, as good as she knew how to be. I think that she did manipulate people to get what she wanted. I also think that she deep down had a good heart and her feelings for the boys were real. If anything I think maybe she fell for Jonah because he was probably the only male she'd ever known that was respectful to her and treated her right.
"I knew what I was doing all along, making Mitch crazy. But I needed him to get me out of Texas. I'm sorry for what I did to you and your brother."


Okay. Let's talk!
 If there is something else you want to bring up and discuss, please do so. I would love to hear what you think. Our last discussion is next Saturday where we will be talking about Part Five.
Ciao Bella!


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. The letters from Matthew in this section make me so sad. I think I'm too close to the situation to go into it much.

    I really like Simon so much more after he wakes the hell up. He really was an annoying little shit in the beginning. I could never hate him, because I felt for him, but he was annoying.

    I've never spent much time in the desert, and for me I don't think the boys would live with Dalton forever, but I do think the desert can be a beautiful, terrible place.

    I don't think Mitch has any easily diagnosable conditions like schizophrenia or anything, but he's obviously a psychopath, a sociopath, and probably a narcissist. The Black Simon thing always fascinated me too, and I suspect it's about jealousy.

    Did Lilly die? For some reason I don't remember that. I remember her being very sick, but then it's been a couple years since I read it.

    1. Yes. Lilly died.. from an Ectopic (tubal) pregnancy. I wasn't sure what she died from the first time I read it. Maybe I wasn't paying close attention to the details. My father read it and that was his only question.. How/what did Lilly die from. So, I asked Andrew. Then when I re-read the book, I noticed the signs. Being a female that's been pregnant before I should have picked up on them the first time.

  2. Simon & Jonah MUST go back and live with Dalton. It MUST happen. I cannot picture life for them any other way. I think it is the perfect opportunity for them to experience a stable family with love and compassion.

    I think Mitch has antisocial personality disorder, which is the what your common sociopath usually has. He's charming as hell (ie. manipulation), disregards the law and safety of others, and does not show guilt or remorse. I also think he's obsessive over Lilly. Just a bit.

    And Matthew. *sigh* His letters paralleled Jonah & Simon's journey pretty well, no? I had a feeling that would happen, and I'm just disgusted and enraged by what all 3 of these boys had to endure. It hits home hard for me because of my line of work. No one should ever have to endure such tragedy and hardship. Blah.

    1. I thought this book would be interesting for you. It must be difficult working with children that have these types of disorders. Especially the ones that don't have anyone to care for them. I'm sure that makes everything spiral out of control even more. I'm quite sure Mitch has some or several disorders that he suffers from. It's obvious he has a form of OCD. And come on--painting yourself with blood and ashes after you cut the shit out of yourself? No, he doesn't have everything in tact upstairs.

      And Matthew. *sigh*

  3. OH. And Lilly. How could I forget about her! Being the elusive character she is, it was really difficult to come to grips with her demise. You care because it is a terrible thing to happen but you aren't sure why you care, since you aren't sure if you connected with her. It was pretty conflicting and confusing emotions, which goes right a long with her character.

  4. Yes I know it's a late post, this has been an incredibly crappy week, but it has gotten better. So now I can focus on the good stuff (reading though this section was really sad).

    There was a lot of emotions during this sections, and while there were moments of triumph (Simon has turned around) there were also so many moments of heartbreak. So many that I can't focus on any one that stands out. I've worked with kids that have had some pretty horrific and unfair childhoods, so unfortunately Simon, Jonah and Matthew's experience is totally believable.
    As far as Matthew's letters, I am not sure which is worse, what he's going through or the fact that Jonah doesn't honestly believe that he will ever see/find Matthew.
    Simon, oh Simon. I'm excited for him. He's no longer the hopeless punk of a little brother. In situations like this, there has to be hope if there is to be survival. While I am still unsure if they will all make it out alive, I am hopeful that Simon will not be out doing something stupid with Mitch that would lead to this dark fate.
    It's a hundred and something outside (well it's about midnight so it may have gone down to 90) and I hate it. Something tells me that living in the desert would be hotter so I would rather not imagine living there right now. But if I had to, I think it would be cool to live with Dalton's family. I am hoping that Jonah and Simon end up there with D's family. Mitch is a character that I am leery of, because he obviously has issues and he's unpredictable. From experience, I know that this is a deadly combination and I don't see anything good coming from Mitch.
    Lilly, so sad that she fled her life and got entangled with Mitch for a baby that killed her. Tubal pregnancies are sad in their own normal light, but to know that she is where she is for an unborn child is even sadder.