julianna ➹'s Reviews > Echo North

Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer
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it was amazing
bookshelves: on-my-shelf, physical-arc, favorites, 2018-favs, full-review


I want to get lost in the woods during a winter storm if it means I can have the experience of going to a magical sentient house that provides me with immersive mirror-books. Down to have fun times in the forest, 10/10

seriously this book needs to be hyped up more!!!! It’s so amazing and wondrous and just!!!! It deserves more attention

Also, while reading this book I freaked out so much that I created recordings of myself talking about the book while reading it. Will the world ever get to see sleep-deprived me rambling about wolves? No, unfortunately (truly, a loss 😔)

When I was a third through this book I immediately knew that it was going to be one of my favorites and uhhh not to exaggerate but Joanna Ruth Meyer is clearly an actual, literal god sent down to us from the heavens to bless us with this book.

This book is a retelling from East of Sun, West of the Moon and it also pulls from Beauty and the Beast, the tale of Eros and Psyche, Tam Lin, and Cinderella. And she pulls from these stories in such an amazing way that creates such an atmospheric world that made me feel like I was there.

This gave me very Spinning Silver vibes without the jumping from perspective to perspective so if you enjoyed Spinning Silver, then I highly recommend this book because it’s just as beautiful and lyrical.

so what the heck is this book about?
Echo is a highly intelligent girl who was attacked by a wolf when she was younger, leaving her with scars across her face that cause anyone who sees her to be disgusted. First of all, I want to fight everyone in Echo’s village who DARED to make fun of her for her scars. I’ll be meeting those villagers in the freaking town square, ok???

Furthermore, the one that I really want to fight is Echo’s terrible, terrible stepmother. Can she leave forever pls?

So basically, the only person that doesn’t really judge Echo for her scars is her father. I stan one (1) man and that is Echo’s dad. When Echo sees her father injured and on the brink of death, she immediately jumps at the chance to save him-- but in order to do that, she needs to stay with a wolf in a mystical, magical house for a year.

The house that they stay in is made up of amazing, magical rooms. One in particular, that’s both Echo and my favorite, is the room of book-mirrors: you can jump into a mirror and travel into another virtual world where you can either watch the story unfold or simply relax and have some tea in a tavern. But the marvelous house that they live in comes with a problem-- the house is falling apart. Earthquakes occur every so often, and it becomes Echo’s duty to collect silk from the spiders and sew the rooms together. Oh, and Echo isn’t allowed to look at the wolf during the nighttime-- otherwise, she’ll be kicked out of the house to face the woods all alone.

The thing is, you think you know what’s going on. And yes, a lot of the plot twists that I predicted did occur, but also… the ending unfurled in a way that I did not expect, and I was NOT ready for it.

the writing
I’m sorry, I need a moment.

This section is literally just going to be me gushing about how beautiful the writing is, because it just captivated me from the first chapter and yea, I did suffer sleep deprivation after reading until 2 am but it was worth it. *blinks at you through half-closed eyes*

You’re just pulled into the storyline, and I just??????? I think Joanna Ruth Meyer is officially my writing idol because I lowkey can’t comprehend how she really did this.

It’s just this! Fairytale world! Which we’ve all probably experienced before! But this book just does it so beautifully that I think it’s going to be The Standard for all western fairytale worldbuilding that I read from now on.

This book can have my heart and more. Any body part, really

the characters
Echo is a strong female heroine, and I would fight everyone for her. She’s been mistreated and bullied all throughout her life because of the scars on her face, and her character arc was really so moving as she spent time with the wolf- who didn’t care about her scars- and she learned not to yearn for the attention and approval of others and instead find strength in herself. She learns to stop wishing that her face was normal and perfect and embraces herself for the way she is.

Strong and empowering self-image messages are built into this book in an artful way that I only just realized. When you travel into a book-mirror world, your appearance is how you wish to be. And in the book-mirrors, Echo looks as if she has no scars.

Hal is someone that Echo meets within the book-mirrors (people can meet within them if they’re in the same story) and I think literally 80% of my notes were just gushing over how much I loved Hal. He’s a tricky, cocky boy who zips in and out of the book worlds so often that he’s been to every story multiple times-- all he wants is a friend and I just want to give him a HUG okay. He acts happy and clever but secretly he wants to find out what his past was while also trying to run away from the pain that always shadows him.

Mokosh is also someone that Echo meets in the book-mirrors and she’s just. Amazing. (view spoiler) SHE NEEDS HER OWN NOVEL IN MY OPINION. JUST SAYING. She has her own, dark flaws, but I still love her so much?? She deserves the world. Also, I pictured her as South Asian when we first met her, but… I don’t think she’s South Asian.

seriously, this is so amazing?
I expected a lush fantasy and this book delivered and more.

This book is told in three parts, and each part is so meaningful and I kind of screamed when I reached part three. The only bad thing about this book was that it ENDED. (how dare)

I think others have said this already but this felt like it was a real fairytale, like it wasn’t just a retelling but something that’s been part of folklore for years. If you uhhh like to breathe, then you’re going to like this book.

Trigger and content warnings for sickness, animal attacking a human (specifically a wolf attacking a human’s face), and death.

// this was a buddy read with my super secret fav, Mith <3

Thank you so, so much to Page Street Kids for sending me a copy of this book. Seriously you guys are the best I love you guys so much for blessing me with this book
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Reading Progress

July 29, 2018 – Shelved
December 17, 2018 – Started Reading
December 18, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-5 of 5 (5 new)

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message 1: by prag ♻ (new)

prag ♻ i'm here for spinning silver like 🙌

julianna ➹ prag ♻ wrote: "i'm here for spinning silver like 🙌"


*Stani* oh wow! this sounds amazing...on to the reading shelf it goes :) thank you for the great review.

julianna ➹ Stani wrote: "oh wow! this sounds amazing...on to the reading shelf it goes :) thank you for the great review."

yes!!! you won't regret it omg <3 also, thank youuu so much lovely bean

Recho I love Hal so much-
Btw, anyone have his full name rn?

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