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Echo

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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  4,211 ratings  ·  209 reviews
Maybe I would become a mermaid....I would live in the swirling blue-green currents, doing exotic underwater dances for the fish, kissed by sea anemones, caressed by seaweed shawls. I would have a dolphin as a friend. He would have merry eyes and the thick sleeked flesh of a god. My fingernails would be tiny shells and my skin would be like jade with light shining through i ...more
Hardcover, 215 pages
Published August 7th 2001 by HarperCollins Children's Books (first published August 1st 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Audreyanna
I didn't like this book too much. The back of the book made it seem like the book was all about the supernatural and this girl wanting to become a mermaid. It was really about a girl who smoked and went to clubs and slept with a million guys.
MJ
I didn't even finish it.
While the prose was absolutely beautiful, I couldn't stand the glamorization of, well, everything from drug abuse to eating disorders, to feeling fragile and hopeless.
I didn't like that all the characters felt that their doom and salvation was in finding a boyfriend/girlfriend. That to feel whole and human and yourself you need someone to love you desperately.
I didn't like how being fragile and soft and breakable is made to sound like it's the prettiest state a girl can b
...more
Greta is Erikasbuddy
I loved this book!! This author has such a way with words. It's like your listening to a song rather than reading a book. I hope to one day read every little thing out there she has ever written. SHe is definately my kind of storyteller.

In ECHO, you meet a girl named ...well... ECHO. You go through her life and every chapter somehow either revolves around ECHO or is a story that will someday effect her.

It's really brilliant the way it is done and the ending actually brought a tear to my eye. (no
...more
Jenny
Beautiful writing, but I didn't care as much for the story itself.
Roderick Mcgillis
I like the Weetzie Bat books and I Was a Teenage Fairy. I like the manner in which Block folds faerie into contemporary America, especially southern California. As for Echo, I am less certain because the book departs from my memory quickly. It is an ambitious book with its shift of perspective and time throughout. I think what works less for me is the prose. Here it has less of the quirky Valleyisms and more cloying description - of foods, of flowers, of painting, and so on. This novel aspires t ...more
Gorfo
The book started in confusion and ended in confusion. I'm not sure what it was about! Was it symbolic or meaningful? If so the symbolism was completely lost on me. Unicorns and vampires exited and entered the book on a whim and I'm not sure if this was a realistic fiction about a girl who had serious mental issues or a sci-fi or what. The book was peppered with sex, drugs, and melodrama and though the writing was beautiful the story line was definitely lacking a lot!
April-lyn
Jan 29, 2008 April-lyn rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to April-lyn by: Grace
When Grace lent this to me, she told me that it read like poetry. And she wasn't joking. The best word I can think of is "ethereal". Gorgeous and dreamlike, and over and done with as quickly as a favorite song. I read it in less than two hours - I can't remember the last book I read in one night. Just the thing for a night when I was feeling mopey and lonesome.
Ali
This book is about a girl named Echo. Echo has a mother who is the most beautiful thing to grace the planet. She is perfect in every way. Since she was little, Echo couldn't help but compare herself to her. She was a perfect cook, a fantastic gardener, and she had healing powers. On top of all of that, she was naturally beautiful. Since Echo knew she could never be anything like her mother, she began drinking and smoking at a young age. At the age of sixteen, she was going to night clubs. One ni ...more
Jessica
Sadly I missed the hype on this book. The author was very much all over the place. The author truly beautifully described everything, however the actual storyline was somewhat hard to follow. I think the author had really high hopes but I'm not sure she completely pulled it off. She would spend long chapters telling the backstory on one character, then jump to a seemingly unrelated character. She did this with about 5 characters until you could finally see how they started to know each other. Ho ...more
Mackenzie
This book hits on all of the usual F. L. Block themes, but is a little less grimy/ethereal/wonderful than some of her other works. At 14 I would have loved this book just as much as Weetzie or Girl Goddess #9. However it doesn't stand up on its own merits to someone a little (haha, a lot) older with more literary experience under her belt.
Kristin
Echo wasn't a long book, and it wasn't hard to read either, but I thought it was hard to understand. On the surface, Echo was just a teenage girl with troubles. She lives in her beautiful mother's shadow and feels as if even her own father sees her as a disgrace. She will never be as great as her graceful mother who can heal and make flowers bloom just with her touch. Echo with all her frustration sits at the beach one night, and meets an fallen angel. They quickly fall in love, but he never spo ...more
Sara
I have been a longtime Block fan since my youth, and I recently revisited her work with this book. It's in her signature style alright, lovely and highly visual language, often surreal. But I also noticed flaws. I don't know whether to attribute them to this particular book, or to simply being older. This book was disjointed, switching between characters, narrative mode, and place with every chapter, often without giving any information to the reader about whose head they're in now. Many charact ...more
Amber Canty
Oct 07, 2010 Amber Canty is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura Morrigan
Please help save Francesca's home so she does not lose it! sign this petition!!!
http://www.change.org/petitions/save-...#

This novel was beautiful but terrifying. It is the story of people living a wonderfully idyllic life that I long for, but their happiness is destroyed by cancer. Perhaps Echo always felt invisible next to her beautiful mother, but their house was filled with love and light, her mother's amazing cooking and her father's gorgeous paintings. When her father becomes ill she loses
...more
Amanda Butler
I finished this book on the day I started it. From the summary, it seems like an otherworldly adventure book. Upon reading it, it is discovered to be reality; seen as an otherworldly, adventurous perspective. It has many underlying themes that truly bring the book to life. The otherworldly perspective of mermaids and angels and vampires is just how Echo herself sees life.

Since the book is told from many different perspectives, remembering who the characters are and how they are related to each o
...more
Julia
Amazing is too small a word for what I feel for this book. I love Block's way of writing. It is full of passion and music and magic. It's like the whole world is a glittery, shiny, wonderful and terrible place.
Echo is a girl with issues, just like everyone else, but in a unique kind of way. She falls in and out of love, meets and looses people and wants to be loved and to be beautiful. This novel is about love - not just the romantic kind of love, but the accepting and respecting yourself-kind
...more
Maggie
It's the same thing as her other books, characters indicated by their clothes, their art, where they go, what they eat/cook/drink. Which raises the question: what do I want that I'm not getting here? Some depth, some good dialogue, some complexity. Oh, and a plot or story of some kind.

This book is a connected series of stories that are deliberately obscure as to the main character in each one. Seriously, it is hard to figure out who is in each one and how that story is connected to the others. O
...more
Melissa
I probably would've enjoyed this book much more if I hadn't read Moral Disorder and Other Stories by Margaret Atwood not long before it.

Both have the same flavor, many short stories lumped into one volume that somehow weave in and out of another but in a very disjointed way.

Whereas Atwood presents the ordinary in an extra ordinary way in Moral Disorder (and a almost creepily quiet way that resonates for reasons that I, the reader, cannot quite place), Block presents a gritty underbelly of the w
...more
Merredith
Aug 29, 2010 Merredith rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: magical realism lovers
Shelves: 1-or-2-stars
This book was really weird. it was more like a giant poem, even though it's not poetry. it's a bunch of kind of disjointed stories about a girl named echo, and people she meets in her life. some are from her point of view, some are from others points of view. the printing is quite large, and the book is short, so it was a fast read, but most of the time reading it, i was bored, or confused. id call this a magical realism book, and ive never liked that particular genre much. but if you do, you sh ...more
Claire
This was a bad book. It was one of those books that you read because you're stuck on a plane for six hours with nothing else to do. It was wayyy to artsy. I feel like Francseca Lia Block was either trying too hard to be artsy--and as i've said before (and will say again), if you TRY to be artsy, it's not going to be artsy, just weird--or maybe she was just stuck in the convoluted inner workings of her mind that nobody wants to see. Whatever it was, this book just made me uncomfortable. I can't f ...more
Emilia P
Yes: Francesca Lia Block's entirely predictable, but for me, entirely comforting outlook on the world as full of spirits and beauty and haunting and bones and gauze and glitter. Where love is hard to come by but when you find it it is magical. And where pain is worth something. It is just a thing that makes me feel okay. Plus individually a lot of these stories were good.

No: Tying the stories together. It was pretty unnecessary, and when I realized halfway through that that's what was happening
...more
Craig
Another YA novel that was recommended to me here on goodreads.

I'm not sure what to say about this one. It seemed overly melodramatic and trite at points and much of the sex/drug use/anorexia seemed there for shock value (which it didn't provide) rather than a realistic part of the character. Many of the surreal twists, also, seem thrown in for the sake of creating a false sort of 'magic.'

On the other hand, some of the prose was beautifully written - melodic and haunting.

I would be willing to rea
...more
Wai Lin
Each chapter was similiar to short story to me. I found this book a little boring because usually I would read a book with a straight plot line but each chapter seems to jump into a new topic and/or place. Also, almost each chapter introduced new characters and some didn't pop up again throughout the book. The first chapter was about her mother. She related her mother to an angel that she saw as perfect. All the while, she didn't see herself as anything like her mother. Throughout the book, she ...more
Rita
chaos and grasping and the usual flb, but the nostalgia always pulls me in.
Brandi Burford
I like this book, but there were times when things didn't seem to make sense. It would go from Echo being the narrator, to someone else telling a story about someone else's life. It all ended up falling together, but it just annoyed me how it did that. The story itself was good though, even though it was really about nothing except for her life. There's really no sense of time in the novel. If you like the supernatural, this book is for you. It has a heavy emphasis on art and death. All in all, ...more
Leah
An authentic coming-of-age story, inspired by mythology and fantasy, yet filled with relevant real-world experiences.

It took me about 10-15 pages to really sink into Block's style, which walked the fine line between lyrical and self-indulgent. After that brief adjustment period I was fully committed to Echo's journey - a dramatic journey to self-discovery and acceptance paved with envy, heartbreak, and poor choices.

Echo was my first experience with Francesca Lia Block, and it was good enough th
...more
Julie Decker
Echo feels ugly and imperfect next to her angelic mother. Seeing how entranced her father is with her, she craves that kind of love from someone--wants to be seen with reverence and beauty of a type she knows exists in the world, but can never personally attain. Through holding herself to unrealistic standards that force her to first starve herself, then work herself into an exercise routine that leaves her raw, Echo throws herself into perfection and only feels emptiness. And though the people ...more
snowplum
If you particularly enjoy lyrical prose and magical realism, at some point you must read a book by Francesca Lia Block. I am probably in the minority because I would recommend Echo before the far more famous Weetzie Bat (the book of that name or the entire series, Dangerous Angels, of which Miss Weetzie is the title character.) Here's why:

Block is a perfect example of a writer who begins a charmed career with raw talent and a distinctive voice and who eventually ends up trying hard to mimic her
...more
Nicole Field
I read almost all of this in one day, both because it is relatively short, and because it is just that good.

Francesca's usual style of whimsical and literary writing is here again in this story that follows Echo from a troubled teen to a young 20-something woman. But it was the chapters written from over the shoulders of other characters that first captivated me.

Each chapter is like a snippet of time and life and expertly sets the story forward. If some scenes seem to be skipped, it is only in f
...more
Morning
At first I was confused on the sudden jumps that the author made is certain seconds. Then the stories started to jumble together. Sometimes I would start to follow along track and even attempt to guess at what was going on, but others times it was just too confusing because not only the stories jumped, but the characters Personalities did as well. I wasn't even aware they could do that
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Francesca Lia Block was born in Los Angeles to a poet and a painter, their creativity an obvious influence on her writing. Another influence was her childhood love of Greek mythology and fairy tales.
She has lived in the city all her life, and still resides there with her daughter, Jasmine Angelina (about whom she wrote her book Guarding the Moon), her son Samuel Alexander, and her two dogs: a spr
...more
More about Francesca Lia Block...
Weetzie Bat (Weetzie Bat, #1) Dangerous Angels (Weetzie Bat, #1-5) The Rose and the Beast: Fairy Tales Retold I Was a Teenage Fairy Violet & Claire

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“If death is your lover, you don't got to be afraid ever that he will ever leave you” 56 likes
“I wanted him to hold me, to take care of me. To make the pain dissolve away. I know that this was part of what had ruined everything but I wanted it once more anyway.” 55 likes
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