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Echo

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Francesca Lia Block has charmed and amazed young audiences with tales of the mystical and ethereal. This outstanding story is no different. Following the life of Echo, an L.A. baby born to an artistic dad and a mom who's an angel, this enthralling story offers more than fairy dust and the supernatural. It tells the tale of a girl who feels doomed to be less than angelic, a Francesca Lia Block has charmed and amazed young audiences with tales of the mystical and ethereal. This outstanding story is no different. Following the life of Echo, an L.A. baby born to an artistic dad and a mom who's an angel, this enthralling story offers more than fairy dust and the supernatural. It tells the tale of a girl who feels doomed to be less than angelic, at least in comparison with her mother. Mom's startling beauty and aura enchant all who meet her, and Echo can never keep up. Desperate to be loved as much, and maybe find her own identity, she escapes to the boys in her life. Ultimately, she must rely on herself for the strength to survive. Simple text ands story lines do not appeal to Block, who weaves a tale with amazing grace and the flowing energy of a true genius. Images of vampires, ghosts, and fairies fill these pages, daring the reader to believe. Told from the point of view of Echo and the key players in her life, the story imparts a dreamlike quality to Echo's life. This a novel layered with pain beauty, and triumph, all which will appeal to young readers.


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Francesca Lia Block has charmed and amazed young audiences with tales of the mystical and ethereal. This outstanding story is no different. Following the life of Echo, an L.A. baby born to an artistic dad and a mom who's an angel, this enthralling story offers more than fairy dust and the supernatural. It tells the tale of a girl who feels doomed to be less than angelic, a Francesca Lia Block has charmed and amazed young audiences with tales of the mystical and ethereal. This outstanding story is no different. Following the life of Echo, an L.A. baby born to an artistic dad and a mom who's an angel, this enthralling story offers more than fairy dust and the supernatural. It tells the tale of a girl who feels doomed to be less than angelic, at least in comparison with her mother. Mom's startling beauty and aura enchant all who meet her, and Echo can never keep up. Desperate to be loved as much, and maybe find her own identity, she escapes to the boys in her life. Ultimately, she must rely on herself for the strength to survive. Simple text ands story lines do not appeal to Block, who weaves a tale with amazing grace and the flowing energy of a true genius. Images of vampires, ghosts, and fairies fill these pages, daring the reader to believe. Told from the point of view of Echo and the key players in her life, the story imparts a dreamlike quality to Echo's life. This a novel layered with pain beauty, and triumph, all which will appeal to young readers.

30 review for Echo

  1. 5 out of 5

    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.

  2. 5 out of 5

    saguaros

    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 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 be in, how desirable and beautiful you are if the weight of the world seems to be about to crush you. So many people I know love Francesca Lia Block, but for me it's often love or hate. I guess I picked the wrong book this time around. I'll try another one, and we'll see.

  3. 5 out of 5

    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!

  4. 5 out of 5

    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 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. (not because I was sad but it was so clever and beautiful) My favorite chapter was "Thorn". It reminded me of flat stomachs, late nights, leather jackets, and acid trips. My one wonder is why on earth this book is rated YA. There are things in this book (in my opinion, of course) that I'm not too sure I would want my teenager daughter to read... but then again... if I was a 14-15 year old girl, I would probably be carrying these books around as though they were Psalms written just for me. I guess it's your call if you want to let your kids read these or not. -- THe only reason I say that is because of the reference to drugs. --- again -- You're call ;) But still --- this book was brilliant. It makes me want to write original stories. It gives me hope. It's an inspiration and a lesson. I do hope this author is still writing. I would love to see how modern society has effected her words. 5 stars!! Great read!!

  5. 5 out of 5

    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 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 of love. It is Echo's story but it is also a story about Los Angeles and how to survive in this beautiful and cruel world. I think it is a very inspiring book. It's even poetic in a sensual way. Block has the talent to describe the things in such a beautiful way, as if she was the fairy of the words. I love her style and I recommend her novel to everyone!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    Beautiful writing, but I didn't care as much for the story itself.

  7. 4 out of 5

    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 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 own best self, systematically recycling the language and plot elements from her earliest work. (If you're a music fan, think Stevie Nicks -- that's basically a perfect parallel.) Somewhere in the middle of that journey from pure inspiration to contrived commercialization, however, is a sweet spot where there's still a lot of the rawness of youthful anguish and passion, some of the magic of uncontrolled artistry that needs and accepts no editor, and some of the more sophisticated and controlled craft of the veteran writer. I think Echo sits right in that sweet spot. It's a stand-alone book that has all the signature elements of Block's fiction -- a dreamy young female protagonist living a sophisticated LA life who drifts between stark reality and stunning fantasy, blurring the lines on both sides until dreams seem like they're possible to live, for real, every day, and every day seems as though it's ever only a blink away from turning into magic. Every once in a while, Block gets a little bit self-conscious and precious, but nowhere near as often as she does in her later books, and there's a focus to the storytelling that her earlier books lack. There are more than a hundred sentences and passages in this book that I would have been proud to have written. It's a glorious, romantic, trippy, sweet, edgy, unique, and special book. I'll give you more thoughts on Weetzie Bat in another review someday soon, but for now, I would say read this book when you are feeling particularly receptive to magic and awe, and if you only ever read one book by Block, make it this one.

  8. 4 out of 5

    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 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 to the condition of poetry, but the cloying poetry of Swinburne rather than the bracing poetry of some of Block's American fellow writers. The plot also crams a lot into a short space. We have angels, mermaids, vampires, demons, devils, fairies swirling about our central character. In the end, we have a sort of True Blood removed to Los Angeles. Los Angeles is the protagonist of this book, as perhaps it is of all Block's books. The city of glamour and sin, of celebrity and anonymity, of hopes, dreams, and nightmares. Characters try to forge relationships, both familial and social, in an environment that thrives on superficiality. Something painful speaks from the pages of Block's work.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jess the Shelf-Declared Bibliophile

    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 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. However, by this time, you were so confused with who was who that it barely matters. In the end, they all somehow tied together, but the characters just were names by then & you didn't remember their backstory for it to matter. I would read more by this author, hopefully with the same writing style but easier to comprehend.

  10. 5 out of 5

    April-lyn

    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.

  11. 4 out of 5

    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.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mizuki

    2.5 stars, the writing is nearly dreamly but the story is not very engaging but I don't hate this book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mr. Blevins

    Hands down one of the worst books I've read. There is virtually no plot, character development is non existent, and the jumps in point of view are awkward and difficult to follow. I disliked that their was no dialogue. It was a master class in telling not showing. The characters are flat and unlikable the whole way through. Plus, their names are Thorn, Smoke, Echo, Valentine, etc...It's supposed to be magical realism, but I'm not buying it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Amber Canty

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Echo is a different kind of book, its very vague but clear at the same time(if that makes any sense). From what I've read so far, this book seems like a combination of short stories that are about people, from all different age groups who have magic powers, healing powers or are considered angels. After reading one short story I find that this book will really have you thinking and wondering about what the story is really trying to state, rather than what its literally mentioning. The first shor Echo is a different kind of book, its very vague but clear at the same time(if that makes any sense). From what I've read so far, this book seems like a combination of short stories that are about people, from all different age groups who have magic powers, healing powers or are considered angels. After reading one short story I find that this book will really have you thinking and wondering about what the story is really trying to state, rather than what its literally mentioning. The first short story I read was very easy to understand in the begining but when it reached the apex it became clear what the main character was stating but I knew that there was an underling meaning. The first story is called "My Mother, The Angel". Basically, this story was about a young girl whos mother has very exotic healing powers and her father considers her mother an angel. Her parents are madly in love with eachother and because of that they tend to neglect her. She feels they do that because she isn't as pretty as her mother and she'll never be and because her mother in her eyes actually is an angel and thats one more thing she'll never be. But at the apex of the book her mother finds out her father is dying,the main character attempted to kill herself and she meets a boy because of it. At the end of the short story we figure out that her mother could not heal the diease that her father was dying from and that this boy that she met was an angel. But was he really? Was this a figment of her imagination? Is she schizophrenic? Did the author leave you with these questions on purpose? We will never know, but thats the best part about books/stories like this. It leaves you with many thoughts and from those thought you can form your own ending to the story. My ending to this unusual story is that her mother wasn't actually an angel. I feel that she only thought that because her father constantly told her that since she was young and she actually started to believe it. I also think that she was may have died as a teenager because in one part of the book she states that her father painted pictures of her (as an infrant) with her mother but as she grew older she never once saw herself in these paintings. Constantly, she mentions that her parents never once address her, at one part she said that her mother walks past her as if shes transparent. I don't agree that her parents were negleting her and just believe she was never really there, she was dead.

  15. 5 out of 5

    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 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 night, when she was feeling very nostalgic and sad, she took a trip down to the beach. She sprinted to the water and dove in. Then, she started to sink. Deeper and deeper she went. Then, all of a sudden, someone was saving her. A boy. He was her guardian angel... One connection that i can make to this book is that sometimes I feel jealous of the people around me. Whether it's because of looks, or something they have that I want. And jealousy is natural. However, her case was very extreme. It all began when she became jealous of her mother. She wished she could be beautiful like her. But then, everything went downhill. So even though everyone gets jealous in one way or another, it's never healthy to dwell on it for too long. I gave this book two stars. The main reason for this ranking is because I was very confused. I kept getting the characters mixed up, and there were too many to keep track of. Also, the plot was not much better. It was very scattered and unorganized. I think I would have liked this book much better if these aspects would change. It's a shame because Echo and her mother's relationship were really interesting. That's he reason why I gave "Echo" a two star ranking.

  16. 4 out of 5

    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 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 other is at first confusing. As I read, I mapped out the characters and their relations to one another and then it all clicked. From that point on, I realized how much of a masterpiece this book is. It defines life in an abstract way, from living to dying, from drugs to sex to anorexia and finally to self-respect. What I first thought was a children's book turned out to be a book with many adult themes that I didn't know I needed to read. This book proves to the reader that magic doesn't die in adulthood.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Joshua

    And then I cried a flood of tears as if I really were a mermaid who had absorbed too much sea into herself. The tears spilled like a balm, like a potion, like a charm. In them swam a little girl whose father was dying without ever having seen her Echo, cannot be read like a typical YA novel. It reads like poetry or a dream. It's mystical and silly and heartwrending all at once. Mrs Block writes lucious, beautiful prose. This book is one to savor. Page by page. Breathing in the beautiful words And then I cried a flood of tears as if I really were a mermaid who had absorbed too much sea into herself. The tears spilled like a balm, like a potion, like a charm. In them swam a little girl whose father was dying without ever having seen her Echo, cannot be read like a typical YA novel. It reads like poetry or a dream. It's mystical and silly and heartwrending all at once. Mrs Block writes lucious, beautiful prose. This book is one to savor. Page by page. Breathing in the beautiful words and letting them seep into the marrow of your bones. This is the kind of book you finish, and hug close to your chest with a big sigh before putting it back on your shelf. If you like clear, plot driven, tell-it-like-is books; Echo is not for you. If you want a heartbreaking coming of age story, full of fairies and angels and other magic; You will love this book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    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 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 fathom why i finished it. I think that the writing wasn't as bad as the book overall, but I'm a plot person, so that didn't really matter to me.

  19. 4 out of 5

    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 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 meets fictional characters. For instance: a vampire and she wonders if they are reality.

  20. 4 out of 5

    C

    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 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 read another book by this author, but I probably wouldn't actively seek one out.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lorena Walker

    Something about the way the author writes-it is so poetic but in such a simple way. I LOVED the way this book was written but I don't think it is a book everyone will love and it is probably not suitable for anyone under the age of 15 because of some of its content (from what I recall). My favorite by this author!

  22. 5 out of 5

    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

  23. 4 out of 5

    MB (What she read)

    Reading Francesca Lia Block is so spacily weirdly weird! I feel like an xenobiologist spying on an alien culture. Reading this is more like viewing a kaleidoscopic slide show than reading a novel. (It would probably help if I were closer to the target demographic in age and NOT completely opposite in personality to her characters.)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    A captivating storyline, this books seems almost bewitching, each line read seemingly converting plain, simple words into pure magick. Although some of the contained texts are clearly not intended for audiences beneath the age of 8, this author has still managed to capture the spirit of youth, fantasy, and innocence and project it through dynamic characters gracefully within this book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Guillermo

    Easiest read ever. I don't recommend it if you get annoyed with strange writing styles--the book's written for what seems to be a teenage, but has content that I wouldn't allow my niece to touch.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Shelsey

    This book was difficult to follow along as focus shifted from Echo's story to other characters in the novel. I appreciate the author's prose, but the story itself did not hold my interest.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Stuti (Turmeric isn't your friend. It will fly your ship

    ms block don't like her commas and i read this book and it was my first block and i read it and i absitively posolutely loved it and i'm never going to stop reading her books.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rita

    chaos and grasping and the usual flb, but the nostalgia always pulls me in.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tahni

    Every time I read this book, it's the first chapter which stands out most to me: it feels as though the heart of this book lies within the first chapter and the descriptions of the titular character's parents, her perceptions of them and her relationships to them. The rest seems always to fade quickly from my mind, which is unfortunate because there is a lot happening in this book. "Echo" explores illness, eating disorders and self image, trauma, and the meaning of love between family members, fr Every time I read this book, it's the first chapter which stands out most to me: it feels as though the heart of this book lies within the first chapter and the descriptions of the titular character's parents, her perceptions of them and her relationships to them. The rest seems always to fade quickly from my mind, which is unfortunate because there is a lot happening in this book. "Echo" explores illness, eating disorders and self image, trauma, and the meaning of love between family members, friends, and romantic partners. By all accounts it should be powerful, moving, and engaging. The subject matter are perfect for Block's poetic style, which is on full display here, and yet the story seems to just deflate as the book goes on, and the ending falls flat, seeming abrupt, out of nowhere, and unsatisfactory. To its benefit however, this is another of Block's books which somewhat breaks her mold. Rather than being about a hotel struggling to feel okay in her own skin due to sexual abuse or other sexual trauma and then seeking to remedy that pain through substance abuse and frantic sexual and romantic seeking, this is about a girl who feels uncomfortable in her own skin because she can't stop comparing herself to her mother; she can't stop comparing her father's obvious love for her mother to his relationship to her, and feel inferior. The entirety of the book is essentially about a little girl growing up in her mother's shadow and struggling to find her way out of that shadow, which is a wonderful story to tell...yet it just doesn't feel fulfilled.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Amara

    Francesca Lia Block writes luscious modern day fairy tales with eccentric, esoteric characters. Her stories are bright and bursting collages of West Coast hipster and pop-culture, especially as they relate to women and girls. Echo is another reliably charming little book crammed full of story and mood. It weaves between the titular character's own thoughtful first person point of view, and third person narratives of important people in her life, historically and as it unfolds from Echo's youth i Francesca Lia Block writes luscious modern day fairy tales with eccentric, esoteric characters. Her stories are bright and bursting collages of West Coast hipster and pop-culture, especially as they relate to women and girls. Echo is another reliably charming little book crammed full of story and mood. It weaves between the titular character's own thoughtful first person point of view, and third person narratives of important people in her life, historically and as it unfolds from Echo's youth into adulthood. Everything about Block's writing is sensuous and rich, especially the food. I'm ravenous, dreaming of the: "lemons that taste like oranges, tamale pies, spinach lasagnas, coconut and mint Thai noodles, persimmon bread puddings, lemon-raspberry pies, almond enchiladas, garlic-tomato tarts, powdered sugar donuts with colored sprinkles, croissants that soak buttery stains through napkins, carrot juice, miso soup, cold cold salads with grated vegetables, buttery corn-on-the-cob, quarts of vanilla-bean ice cream, potato latkes with applesauce and sour cream, blue corn tamales and kiwi margaritas." Echo is a coming of age story told with fantasy and dreamy allegory. There are almost-mermaids, angels and ghosts, real vampires, empaths, and witches. Themes include eating disorders, terminal illness, substance abuse, depression, exploitation, humanity, the Holocaust, loss, healing, art, family, parenthood, romance, motherhood, Hollywood, and love.

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