ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Buddy Read with Elise ❤
“This is the Aurelia Theater. It feels like coming home.”
Echo after Echo is an own voices novel, that has such a beautiful f/f romance, surrounding a Broadway theater crew getting ready for opening night, while also trying to solve a murder mystery that may or may not be a curse set on the theater they all love and adore. I devoured this with a smile on my face. I was completely enthralled and immersed by this. I love this story with my entire being.
This theater crew has from November 5th to December 29th (opening night) to perfect the play, Echo and Ariston, which is a very reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet. During this time, two murders happen, but everyone knows these things come in threes, so our main character is slowly trying to piece the puzzle together, while also trying to protect herself at all costs.
Our main character, Zara, is an eighteen-year-old girl, who has lived and breathed this play from a very young age. After she gets the leading role of Echo, she gives up her senior year of high school to move to New York and take a chance on making her dreams a reality. The other leading role of Ariston is played by Adrian Ward, an already very famous and good-looking male, where this is the first thing Zara has ever been in. So, she is constantly trying to better her acting and the play’s director, Leopold, easily directs her to do whatever he or his visions want from the play.
We are also met with a full cast of characters, where you will constantly be guessing who is committing these crimes, and who might be the next victim. Yet, the writing is so beautiful and haunting, you won’t be surprised in the slightest if the Aurelia Theater is just truly cursed.
Zara soon meets the assistant lighting designer, Eli, who makes Zara feels things she only thought were possible in the play she has grown up obsessed with. Yet, Leopold made Zara promise to only focus on the play and her opening night, while he also wants the media to believe in a budding romance between her and her costar, Adrian.
“But here’s the real truth: time doesn’t work in neat, predictable ways. It doubles over on itself. Finds new ways to hurt you.”
And this writing is so atmospheric and is truly a tier above most out there. I mean, I could have probably highlighted this whole entire book. The prose is nothing short of whimsical, even though this is a contemporary thriller. From the actual play being practiced, to the play that is constantly referenced, I am currently dying to see any and all productions of this play.
“But the feelings Zara has been chasing since the day she found that ragged paperback of Echo and Ariston are right here, in a girl who made herself out of tattoos and abrupt laughs and every form of light.”
And the romance, oh boy, the romance. I was living for every scene with Zara and Eli, even though they are both too pure for this world and need to be protected at all costs. I think the reason I read this book so quickly was because I simply could not get enough of them and their perfect growing love. Zara coming to terms with her sexuality is a big part of this book and it really resonated within me, while also really hitting very close to home and how I felt when I was eighteen and realizing I wasn’t straight. I think the bi representation was amazingly done and made me feel all the feels.
“But girls touch each other all the time. Girls have intense friendships that have nothing to do with wanting to tear each other’s clothes off.”
And the diversity is also outstanding. Zara is on the page bisexual (be still, my heart) and Jewish. There are wonderful discussions about how she feels living in a world that predominately celebrates Christmas in December, and it was really insightful and heartwarming. Eli is a lesbian, Puerto Rican, and grew up Catholic. Adrian is that typical, everybody loves me, straight, white guy, but he also talks about how he is Dyslexic and suffers from ADHD. Seriously, this is a well written diverse cast that I really loved and appreciated.
Trigger Warnings for mention(s) of: eating disorders, rape, and suicide.
I loved this. This would be such a perfect fall or winter read. I mean, I could read Broadway murder mysteries about girls loving girls all year round, but I do think this is going to feel ever more perfect for its October 10th release. This story is absolutely beautiful and such a shining light among 2017 publications! I recommend this with my whole heart and hope you pick it up come this fall.
“There is always an imperfection in beauty, some flaw or surprise to remind you that it’s real.”
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The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.