Author: Katie McGarry
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: January 14, 2020
Copy: Purchased personal copy
It took twelve months for me to finally pick up Only A Breath Apart and I wasn’t going to allow that to happen again. I jumped straight into Echoes Between Us on the day it arrived, this was another Katie McGarry title that I pre-ordered and waited far from patiently to arrive.
I hadn’t read as much about this release as I usually do so it wasn’t until I was reading Only A Breath Apart that I discovered Echoes Between Us is linked. I hesitate to call it a sequel because the stories aren’t as intrinsically linked as McGarry’s other series. It has left me hoping that maybe we will get a couple more books in this arc, I would love to know more about some of the other characters.
Veronica, V as we knew her in Only A Breath Apart, is a unique character who simply seemed extremely quirky until we got her know her and understand her a little better. A fiery pocket rocket with a unique sense of style she has a very small circle of friends but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t hear the terrible things that everyone else is saying about her, and it certainly doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt. But Veronica is accustomed to the terrible things they say and for the most part refuses to acknowledge.
I loved Veronica for her style and her convictions but there were times that I wished she wouldn’t make things so hard for herself. Veronica is embarking on her senior year and she’s basically doing it solo with her best friends Jesse and Leo already graduated and Nazareth on an accelerated plan. This would be something she could take in her stride except for the year long senior thesis which has to be done in a group, and her group is gone.
Sawyer is one of the popular golden boys at school, member of the swim team and surrounded by the in-crowd, who also happen to be quite well off. Sawyer, along with his mum and sister, have had to rent a place while they wait for their house to be built. The place they rent is the lower floors of Veronica’s house, bringing these two very different teens into the same space.
Sawyer is a complex character with a lot going on under the surface, things in stark contrast to the people pleasing good boy façade he shows the world. He was a character that I really felt for from the beginning; carrying the weight of responsibilities he shouldn’t have to shoulder is slowly smothering him and his way of dealing with that may be out of the ordinary but it’s certainly not healthy.
Veronica gets a closer look at Sawyer’s life than even his friends because she lives upstairs and her father is his landlord, and that gives her a little leverage to encourage him to partner her for the senior thesis. Her senior thesis topic is a little out there, though no-one would expect anything less from Veronica. Sawyer agrees, partly from rebellion and partly because Veronica knows things he would prefer she didn’t. The partnership gets off to a rocky start but the two characters find that perhaps they aren’t as different as they thought.
Echoes Between Us takes a further step into the paranormal with the senior thesis planning to prove the existence of ghosts. Veronica has it all planned out and how she wants to approach the research and as the story progresses we understand more about why she has chosen this topic and it’s enough to break your heart.
A lot about this story broke my heart, but at the same time it was heart warming to watch both Veronica and Sawyer work through their issues.
Echoes Between Us is a story of hauntings; by ghosts, memories and responsibilities. McGarry explores each of these hauntings with warmth and sensitivity which helped bring me closer to the characters, helped me get to know and understand them better.
I loved the research into ghosts and hauntings almost as much as I loved Veronica and Sawyer learning about each other, and themselves.
Another thing I love about McGarry and her work is the relationship her writing has with music. In the back of her books she has a playlist of songs that are a companion to the book, songs that speak to the theme and the characters of the story. A beautiful thing to have playing in the background as you read, and in my case as you review. I have seen these playlists in many of her books but it’s only been these last two that I have had a Spotify account, which has given me easy access to all the songs in one place. I would love to question her about how she selects the songs one day.
Echoes Between Us is a story of growing up, letting go, choosing new paths and looking beyond the surface. I love the story, I love the characters and I love the different path McGarry has chosen with this one. It is a story that is raw and gritty, as are all her books, but this one seems a little darker, a little grittier and adds a deep vein of the supernatural. I loved it and would definitely recommend.