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Echo After Echo Hardcover – October 10, 2017
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A complex cast of suspicious characters, a relentless undercurrent of fear, sophisticated plot development, and the lyrical language Capetta uses to describe Zara’s and Eli’s passion for their work and for each other make this an exceptionally compelling read.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
What do you do when all your dreams come true? What happens if those dreams have a nightmarish edge? Capetta explores the consequences of soured dreams in her latest....this tale will appeal to older teen audiences and likely some adults who enjoy their thrillers steamy, with more than a dash of romance. A twisted tale of theater, conspiracy, and romance.
This novel has it all, from the ancient costume designer to the movie star lead to the disappointed chorus girl...classy, this is a theater tale and murder mystery for passionate readers.
—School Library Journal
With timeless, literary prose, Capetta spins a tale that is haunting indeed. Part love story and part mystery, this eerie offering studded with intriguing, secretive characters is beautiful and strange.
Capetta writes with an awareness that is smart and progressive...Echo After Echo is a diverse, confident romance that brings to life the powers of young love in a New York City theater.
About the Author
Amy Rose Capetta studied theater at the Stella Adler Studio as a teenager before spending four years in a Shakespeare troupe. Echo After Echo is her first book with Candlewick Press. Amy Rose Capetta lives in Michigan.
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“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.”
This book is grace wrapped in beauty and I loved it.
Zara has dreamed of playing Echo in Echo and Ariston for as long as she can remember. When she auditions for the great Leopold Henneman, she doesn't expect to be cast... but here she is, sneaking into the beautiful Aurelia theatre through the alley door, living her dream... and standing over a dying man.
Bit by bit, the players pick away at her, the director builds her up and breaks her down. And there are more deaths in the Aurelia. And, even more unexpected, Zara finds herself falling in love.
Amy Rose Capetta is a stunning writer.
The story was lovely. The writing is lyrical and wraps around you like a summer wind, like sweet lilacs... I found myself dwelling on the words just as much as the characters and the plot. And yet... it was not overwhelmingly wordy or cluttered. The word choices made it magical.
At the heart of this is Zara. She chooses such interesting phrasing, some of her dialogue sounding like butterflies and whimsies instead of idle words. She's very easy to fall in love with.
The mystery was fabulous.
I wasn't able to predict the coming deaths or the murderer, though I had theories. You're wrapped in a world with actors, who are very good at their jobs. I suspected everybody. Sometimes, I got so wrapped up in the love story, I forgot about the murder mystery! You never forget about the love story, though. Love and loss is masterfully woven through the story.
Zara is an LGBTQ+ heroine and I thought she was well-represented. I don't want to give much away about the love story because I thought it was magical and my favorite bits of the story were between the love story and the stage itself... but I was really pleased with the way the story rolled out in this way.
This book is going to be added to my personal library.
Somewhere between the magic of the theatre and the beauty of the language, I need to add this book to my personal library.
I'm having a difficult time letting this story go. It's exquisite and I need to have it. I ABSOLUTELY recommend this book, especially if you're a thespian, or if you've ever been in love.