Quotation 1: "Horns Below him on Birmingham brought him back to the overpass, and he looked down at the traffic through tear-filled eyes. He gripped the rock, seeking its strength, and chose a target."(Aker 27).
At this time, Reef is remembering his grandma, the most influential person in his life. He felt that the best way to ignore the pain was to inflict pain upon someone else. These feelings that Reef has aren't as rare as you would think among teens. many teens feel like they don't belong anywhere, and let it out through pain and aggression. The only way they feel they can feel powerful, and not weak, is by making others feel weak.
Quotation 2: "She remembers Ellen laughing, her teeth perfectly white. Before the medications darkened them, turning them the sallow colour of legal notepads. Leeza gripped the steering wheel, tried to swallow around a sudden fist in her throat. She stared straight ahead, refusing to look at the other drivers jockeying for space around her"(Aker 24).
Teens are at the age were they still don't really know who they are, they feel that they don't belong, and even some feel that others should join in their pain. During this time in the book, Leeza is driving, and remembers her older sister, Ellen. Many teens have lost loved ones that they are close to, and it changes their lives forever. They always try to to hide it, but they find themselves thinking about that loved one multiple times in a day. this makes them less social, and they gain a feeling of loneliness.
Quotation 3: "Reef nodded. He'd had lots of nightmares like that when he was younger. And a few since the hearing. Since seeing those pictures"(Aker 134).
Reef begins to regret his actions, and he is still troubled by the images that were shown at his hearing. This happens to a lot of teens, where they make a bad decision and wish that they could go back in time and change their decisions, usually due to a negative effect because of the decision.