Echo After Echo by Amy Rose Capetta
Debuting on the New York stage, Zara is unprepared—for Eli, the girl who makes the world glow; for Leopold, the director who wants perfection; and for death in the theater.
Zara Evans has come to the Aurelia Theater, home to the visionary director Leopold Henneman, to play her dream role in Echo and Ariston, the Greek tragedy that taught her everything she knows about love. When the director asks Zara to promise that she will have no outside commitments, no distractions, it’s easy to say yes. But it’s hard not to be distracted when there’s a death at the theater—and then another—especially when Zara doesn’t know if they’re accidents, or murder, or a curse that always comes in threes. It’s hard not to be distracted when assistant lighting director Eli Vasquez, a girl made of tattoos and abrupt laughs and every form of light, looks at Zara. It’s hard not to fall in love. In heart-achingly beautiful prose, Amy Rose Capetta has spun a mystery and a love story into an impossible, inevitable whole—and cast lantern light on two girls, finding each other on a stage set for tragedy.
Disclaimer: I received this book for free from NetGalley and Candlewick Press in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This book is grace wrapped in beauty and I loved it.
Zara has dreamed of playing Echo in Echo and Ariston for as long as she can remember. When she auditions for the great Leopold Henneman, she doesn’t expect to be cast… but here she is, sneaking into the beautiful Aurelia theatre through the alley door, living her dream… and standing over a dying man.
Bit by bit, the players pick away at her, the director builds her up and breaks her down. And there are more deaths in the Aurelia. And, even more unexpected, Zara finds herself falling in love.
Amy Rose Capetta is a stunning writer.
The story was lovely. The writing is lyrical and wraps around you like a summer wind, like sweet lilacs… I found myself dwelling on the words just as much as the characters and the plot. And yet… it was not overwhelmingly wordy or cluttered. The word choices made it magical.
At the heart of this is Zara. She chooses such interesting phrasing, some of her dialogue sounding like butterflies and whimsies instead of idle words. She’s very easy to fall in love with.
The mystery was fabulous.
I wasn’t able to predict the coming deaths or the murderer, though I had theories. You’re wrapped in a world with actors, who are very good at their jobs. I suspected everybody. Sometimes, I got so wrapped up in the love story, I forgot about the murder mystery! You never forget about the love story, though. Love and loss is masterfully woven through the story.
Zara is an LGBTQ+ heroine and I thought she was well-represented. I don’t want to give much away about the love story because I thought it was magical and my favorite bits of the story were between the love story and the stage itself… but I was really pleased with the way the story rolled out in this way.
This book is going to be added to my personal library.
Somewhere between the magic of the theatre and the beauty of the language, I need to add this book to my personal library.
I’m having a difficult time letting this story go. It’s exquisite and I need to have it. I ABSOLUTELY recommend this book, especially if you’re a thespian, or if you’ve ever been in love.