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The Echoing Perfect Paperback – August 9, 2016
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About the Author
Jessica Blackburn studied at Brigham Young University--Idaho and graduated from her local community college with an Associate of Arts Degree. She currently lives in the beautiful Columbia Gorge as a stay-at-home mom. When she's not writing stories, she spends her spare time teaching Sunday School and blogging her lessons and personal thoughts at cozybugz.blogspot.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
Genre: contemporary, young adult, fantasy, paranormal
Publisher: Bonneville, a division of Cedar Fort Publishing
Publication date: August 1, 2016
Number of pages: 224
Category: Junior High+
Content Rating: PG, briefly mentioned LDS content, light paranormal activity
Book Rating: 5 stars
A review copy of this novel was provided by Cedar Fort.
The ending of the story is utterly genius!
When I first started reading it, I noticed all the descriptions but didn’t really get to see into Rylee’s personality only what she saw in others. But as I read on I noticed that that is who she is. She is selfless and humble.
Rylee is in high school. She watches how people treat others. She notices the good in people. When she stumbles into an old woman with white covered eyes offering her a chance to be a “balancer” by looking into a mirror, she is first hesitant but then does what the woman says by looking into a mirror made of black onyx. When she does, she knows nothing will be the same anymore. She also notices a man staring back at her in the reflection. She screams and drops the mirror shattering it. From then on, everything is different! However someone treats Rylee, they get the same immediate treatment in return. Like the man she has always known who always helped others, stopped to help her fix her flat tire. The next day she hears that he won this large sum of money. She tests her theory on some bullies in school and they are given a hilarious karma treatment!
But with great gifts comes great responsibility! (Yes, I stole the words) When a man starts stalking her and threatening her things change once again. Her choices will have lasting consequences. I read it fast because I wanted to know where the writer was taking us. What would happen? I couldn’t read it fast enough! I cried! I smiled at her cute little brother! I swooned over her boyfriend!
If you want a book with just a touch of romance and that relationship is not what the book is about; some biblical references, mythological references; suspense, immortals, karma, waterfalls, sacrifices for the greater good, some death, painting, great friends, dogs, woods, good vs. evil, than this might be for you!
The concept of karma in this book is really interesting. Rylee has the power to bring good luck to those who are kind to her, and bad luck to those who aren’t. As she learns more and more about her gift, though, and continues to encounter the mysterious old woman, she realizes there is much more to her gift than she thought. She can’t help everyone she loves in the ways she wants, and there is one who would do anything to get access to her gift.
Rylee’s character was well-developed over all. It was clear the type of person she was, and though likable, she had noticeable faults, making her more believable and easy to relate to.
This book has everything that a reader would want – romance, friendship, cruelty, evil, courage, and suspense. I must say, some of the last events of the book were brilliantly written. I did feel the suspense, the danger, the burdens, and the heartache. Once an adversary was introduced to the story, as well as more understanding of the old woman, the book really took hold on me.
The Echoing is definitely worth reading, but for me, it wasn’t perfect. For the author’s and readers’ benefit, I wish to share what I didn’t like about the book as well:
The book began with a short prologue that was surprisingly spiritual, and I couldn’t figure out why it was there. After reading the book and going back to it, I get it, but I think there was a better option for the prologue. I think introducing us to the supernatural – perhaps the characters of Esther and Nathaniel, would have been a great way to foreshadow events in the book. Instead, I felt like the supernatural aspect was thrown in out of nowhere.
Some of the characters in the book were too perfect. I can’t think of any real flaws in Rylee’s mother or her childhood friend, Merritt. They were really admirable characters, but would have been much more believable had they had faults to overcome.
Shyler was Rylee’s best friend in the book, and happened to be a Mormon. While I admire the author’s courage in sharing her beliefs in a book setting, I felt that it was really random. Shyler being Mormon didn’t affect Rylee’s decisions or life in any noticeable way, so was thus irrelevant to the story. It felt forced. I also thought it very strange that a devout Mormon would be so attracted to the bad boy of the school, especially based on the way he treated her best friend. That didn’t work for me.
Once things started to get really dangerous and intense for Rylee, her character suddenly stopped acting like a teenager. Surely she would become more mature going through what she did, but she should still have had some characteristics of a teen to remind the reader who she really is.
Overall, I recommend reading this book. I think teens will love it, especially the girls. They will undoubtedly fall head over heels for Merritt, and be connected to Rylee.
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.