Title: Echo After Echo
Author: Amy Rose Capetta
Genre: Literature, Contemporary, Mystery, Romance
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
It's so rare to find a book where the main characters are LGBTQ and their love story isn't engulfed in stigma or cultural acceptance. For me what makes Echo After Echo so wonderful is that at its core it's a love story that is not contrived, forced or surrounded in stigma.
The Love Story
Perhaps this will not make sense to some, but I just have to say that for me (a bi-sexual woman), it is so refreshing to read a story where a woman falls in love with another woman and the basis of that love has nothing to do with discovering their sexuality, determining their 'preference' or even circumstance. Instead it's just an easy, natural love story. Whether it was between two women, two men, or a man and a woman it wouldn't matter. It's clear that Amy Rose Capetta has experienced true love and understands that it's not about what type of person you fall in love with but who. The actual person and personality of that person, not their sexuality. It has so much less to do with gender than most people are likely to understand. Capetta takes this knowledge she has and translates it to the reader in a natural and perfect way.
Having never had the desire to be an actor (of any kind) I was concerned that Echo After Echo would be too 'theater-y' for me. In the past I've read stories where knowing or caring about theatre culture or the culture of whatever niche group is involved have been all encompassing and made the book dull. That is definitely not the case here. While you may learn a number of things about the theatre including: auditioning, lighting, rehearsals, memorization, costuming, etc., the only really important thing to know is that this group of theatre folks is very close to one another, like family. I would compare the theatre portion of the book like the ballet in Black Swan, while important it could easily be replaced by any niche, professional group and the core story would not change.
I'm not big into reading murder mysteries and certainly that is not why I was interested in Capetta's story. However here the murder mystery side of the story, while very relevant to the overall plot arc and our lead gal's character development, is not the focus of the story. Whether you determine any part of the mystery out in advance is mostly irrelevant (until the last couple chapters). As at its core, Echo After Echo is a story of a teen acting on her dream and falling in love where love wasn't looked for and may not be safe to engage in.
I'd easily have give Echo After Echo 5 stars just for it's brilliant love story. However I can also say that at no time did I want to put it down, or avoid picking it back up. It's a solid read that I think almost anyone can enjoy. Because it hits on many different novel genres I believe there is something here for anyone that may want to find it.
I truly hope that many people pick this up without knowing it's a LGBTQ love story and find themselves suddenly enamoured with Capetta's brilliant story only to realize much later that the love story was between two women (and that maybe there was relevance to their lack of 'noticing'). Capetta has truly done her community justice by creating a love story that is irrefutable and genuine.
Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.