Echo After Echo by Amy Rose Capetta
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
First Published: October 10th, 2017
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, LGBT, Contemporary, Plays, Mystery
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.
Who would have thought playing the dream role of Echo in Echo and Ariston at the theater under the direction of the famous, creative and respected Leopold Henneman would be so dangerous?
And yet it is. Suddenly, Zara does not feel safe in New York anymore. Who would, after mysterious deaths occur, and no one seems to be of blame? Luckily, she has Eli, who works on the production as a lightening assistant.
But her relationship with Eli is precarious, too, seeing that she was forbidden from committing to anything or anyone other than the play.
Forbidden love stories are a huge hit or miss for me. Like love triangles, another YA trope, they can easily become annoying, especially if they start being overdramatic or if the characters start lying their heads off. Like, calm down.
But in this case, I often just forgot Zara and Eli weren’t supposed to be in a relationship. Plus everything is so smooth between them, and very, very lovely. When they’re together, they forget about the world around them, so it was only when Zara would mention it that I would be reminded of the commitment she made.
It’s a lyrically-written story that will surprise the reader continuously. The mystery is not the main focus—the play and love story are—but I still felt interested in uncovering the truth more than anything and putting an end to this silly “curse”.
I’m not one to read books about plays—would rather just read one instead—but this was different. The story itself is a play. A play in which the actors choose their own destinies, instead of having them being dictated to them.
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