Okay, the main characters have truly messed up lives.
Echo has horrible scars, a mentally ill mother, a control freak father and a dead older brother. Her life is far from perfect. Noah also was an amazing character. His parents are dead and he's not allowed to live with his brothers. Everyone labels him a bad boy, but he isn't on the inside. No one sees the depth of pain and tragedy that he's in.
Both of them are angry with their lives. The book is so well written it's like their worries and problems are yours.
The romance in this book is not a definite love-at-first-sight thing. It builds up really slowly, and unlike lots of other YA contemporaries, it's not the focus of the book. Sure, they end up together, but the book is really about them coming to terms with their lives and helping each other through the difficulties.
The issues that this book deals with are very serious. Abuse. Neglect. Truth. Lies. Love. The bond between family. This is not a light-hearted pick me up. It's very deep and emotional.
A few little things just bugged me slightly about the book. For example, Echo's reliance on her "popular" friends, and her need for approval, although I guess, this is high school. It's understandable. I also wish there'd been an epilogue or something. The ending was kind of happy-for-now, but I think I would have liked an epilogue, maybe like 5 years into the future, so we could see what happened to them, because the next book isn't about Echo and Noah.
Apart from those things, this was an amazing book that was written perfectly. I definitely recommend it, even if you're not usually a fan of contemporaries.