Iowa City Public Library's Reviews > Echo

Echo by Kate Morgenroth
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Jul 15, 2010

bookshelves: jason, young-adult

I came to this book much like the typical teenaged reluctant reader. I saw a bold, clean, somewhat mysterious cover. I was curious. I picked it up and saw it was under 200 pages. SOLD!

The story starts in a prologue. Two brothers, older Justin and younger Mark, are lazily passing time after school. Mom and Dad are still at work. Mom has taken to locking up the TV in a cabinet because Mark watches too much. Mark is quite fidgety this day and ends up breaking into Mom & Dad’s room to watch their TV. Justin follows, ‘cause what else is there to do? He commandeers the remote in a typical big brother fashion. Mark pulls out Dad’s handgun from the bedside drawer and jokingly tries a "stick-up" to get the remote back. Unfortunately, the gun goes off after Mark had changed tactics and put the gun towards his own head.

Needless to say, things aren’t the same in the house ever again.

Flash forward a year. Justin is sleepwalking through his days and occasionally hears voices in his head spurring on his day-to-day actions. His friends are gone. His parents act removed. He can’t figure it out. We are walked through one excruciating day where he gets into a fight with his former best friend, his former girlfriend calls him names while simultaneously flirting with him, all culminating in yet another deadly accident and suicide.

Justin drifts off…wakes up…it’s that same day all over again. He’ll live this pivotal day three times, in three different ways, but each time it ends with the same results (physical and emotional confrontation, horrible tragedy).

A gripping suspense story for teen reluctant readers, or just those that want a fast read. --Jason

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