Title: Echo After Echo
Author: Amy Rose Capetta
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ+
Page Count: 432
Release Date: October 10, 2017
Debuting on the New York stage, Zara is unprepared—for Eli, the girl who makes the world glow; for Leopold, the director who wants perfection; and for death in the theater.
Zara Evans has come to the Aurelia Theater, home to the visionary director Leopold Henneman, to play her dream role in Echo and Ariston, the Greek tragedy that taught her everything she knows about love. When the director asks Zara to promise that she will have no outside commitments, no distractions, it’s easy to say yes. But it’s hard not to be distracted when there’s a death at the theater—and then another—especially when Zara doesn’t know if they’re accidents, or murder, or a curse that always comes in threes. It’s hard not to be distracted when assistant lighting director Eli Vasquez, a girl made of tattoos and abrupt laughs and every form of light, looks at Zara. It’s hard not to fall in love.
In heart-achingly beautiful prose, Amy Rose Capetta has spun a mystery and a love story into an impossible, inevitable whole—and cast lantern light on two girls, finding each other on a stage set for tragedy.
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way effects my overall rating of this book.
This is shamefully the first book I’ve ever read with a f/f relationship as the main focus. I’ve read books with female couples on the side but not as the center focus of the story. That’s the main reason I decided to read this book since I’ve never read it before.
The book also follows a young actress trying to make it in the theater world, another topic I haven’t read about. On top of all of that there’s also the mystery of crew members dying in ways that make it seem like accidents.
So basically I was really excited to read this book since it ticked off a lot of the boxes of books I haven’t read before – something I’ve been trying to do this year. I’d like to say that I really enjoyed this book. It did take me about 50-100 pages to get engaged in the story, but once I was I couldn’t keep my eyes off the book!
Our main character Zara is bisexual and has been obsessed with the Greek play, Echo and Ariston, most of her life. When she auditions and get the part as the title character Echo at one of the biggest theaters in the world, she is ecstatic. But. Then people start dying and she doesn’t think that they’re accidents like they’re made to look.
“People who truly need to hurt you don’t make a show of it. They find quiet ways.”
I really enjoyed the mystery aspect of this book because although there was also a romance plot and the entire play going on, Capetta was able to evenly distribute each part of this story throughout the novel. She never gave away too much to where you could figure out who was murdering the crew members but she also didn’t keep the readers completely in the dark, as she switched perspectives.
That’s also something I really liked about this story, the multiple point of views. This book was written in third person, which worked well for the way she told the story. We had Zara’s point of view, Eli’s, Leopold’s, and nearly every other member of the theater crew’s as well. Every person had a secret that you kept on trying to guess as you read.
The relationship between Zara and Eli felt a bit rushed to me, as there weren’t very many memorable interactions between them before they decided that they liked each other, which I didn’t like all that much because something I always look for in a romance is growth and slow build. But when the girls were actually together my heart fluttered with them. I absolutely loved their relationship and I thought it was written very well. I think this might be because this book is an own voices book.
“Being an actor is all about finding keys from the real world that open imaginary locks.”
As much as I think the characters were great and uniquely fleshed-out, I felt a disconnection from myself and Zara. This might be due to the third person it was written in but I could never quite connect with Zara during any moments of the book, which is sad because I really wanted to.
That aside, I loved the diversity in this book. Zara, like I mentioned earlier, is bisexual, though Eli is the first girl she’s been with. She’s Jewish as well! Eli is Puerto-Rican and gay. There’s also a side character that’s gay. Though the diversity was great and I thought it was written perfectly, I wish there had maybe been more.
The plot moved at a perfect pace but by the end I felt like there should have been more closure. The ending shocked me even though I probably should have seen it coming. There were a few loose ends that weren’t tied up like I wish they had been – it would have only needed another 5 pages or so.
My Rating: 4 Stars
Overall a really great read if you’re looking for something mysterious and gripping, but light and fluffy at times. If I weren’t such a slow reader I would have been able to breeze through this in a mere day or two.
TW for mention(s) of: suicide, eating disorders, rape, homophobia
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What are some of your favorite books with a f/f couple? Have you read this book? Do you think you’d enjoy this book if you read it?