Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Echoes by Alice Reeds

Synopsis (via Goodreads): They wake on a deserted island. Fiona and Miles, high school enemies now stranded together. No memory of how they got there. No plan to follow, no hope to hold on to.

Each step forward reveals the mystery behind the forces that brought them here. And soon, the most chilling discovery: something else is on the island with them.

Something that won't let them leave alive. 


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I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

I love how simple the synopsis is! It says just enough to make you curious, but not enough to give anything away. That's definitely a good thing with this one, because there is a lot going on. I had so many questions and only a vague idea of what was happening. I felt just as lost as Miles and Fiona.

However, the romance felt forced and unnecessary. They were two teens that disliked each other but found themselves tossed together under dire circumstances. Flirting, feeling zings of electricity, and doing anything even remotely romantic felt wrong. They were stranded and fighting for their lives, unreliable hormones should have been the furthest thing from their minds. Although, a truce that turned into a friendship would have been understandable and more likely in their situation.

I also didn't like how many times Fiona made a reference to her kickboxing. Yes, you have fighting skills and know how to stay calm in stressful situations, but you do not have to compare every single scenario with how it related to your training. I loved how strong and determined Fiona was, but I felt like that fact was thrown in my face way too often. Miles is an arrogant asshole, Fiona is strong and quick on her feet... I grasped the concept in the beginning and didn't like how frequently it was repeated.

There were a few times I had to go along with something I didn't believe or agree with, but it was necessary to keep the story moving forward. Miles and Fiona did a few things that likely would not have worked in real life, but needed to work to get them out of one situation or another. Most adults wouldn't be that gullible or oblivious.

Echoes was a weird, trippy story that left me guessing the entire time. The information we're given was vague and only enough to keep me curious about the ending. I wanted to know why these two teenagers were abandoned and unable to reach anyone that mattered. From the beginning we know something creeptastic is going on, but it isn't until the very end that we discover exactly...

Exactly what? What happened at the end? I have no idea. I think I have more questions now than I did at the beginning. Have you seen Lost? It feels a lot like a YA version of Lost, but the ending isn't really an ending... or is it? I don't know if this was intended as a stand alone (it should be), but the ending was ugh. I did not go through that mindfuck to get to an ending that wasn't an ending. It didn't even feel like a cliffhanger, but like the story was left unfinished.

In the end, Echoes will make you question everything and everyone. The characters were okay, but I never felt attached to them. The author tells you a lot about who they are and why they act a certain way, but I would have liked drawing those conclusions for myself. I like it when I'm able to discern things based on how a character acts, rather than being told what makes them who they are.

I don't think I'll read the second book (if there is one), but this was a quick read with a somewhat interesting story. I did want to know what happened to them, but since that wasn't really answered, I feel like I wasted all the time I invested in this book.

35 comments:

  1. I heard this book isn’t for everyone. I decided to not ask for the arc. If you like open ended stories, this book is for you. Sort of a teen thriller. Neither idea is appealing to me. Though, I appreciate your honest review, Lindsi! ♥️

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    1. I didn't know much about it going in, but I noticed a few of my friends giving it positive reviews. Maybe it's just me? One of those black sheep scenarios. Normally, I don't like open-ended stories. They CAN be done well, but it really depends on a lot of factors. Like, did the story wrap up for the most part and the characters have an unexplained future? I'm a big fan of epilogues, but I'm also okay if most of the story is concluded/resolved before the end. I don't even know if this book is going to have a second book, or if this is really how it's going to end.

      It wasn't a terrible read, and there were things I enjoyed about it, but in the end I felt like I invested a lot of time in something that didn't give anything back.

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    1. Occasionally it was a little weird, but you have to just go with it. I know a lot of people don't like to do that (me). I like for things to be clear and believable even when they're fantastical and crazy. It's all about the author's ability to make me believe something, even if it isn't real. There was a lot about this story that I had to be okay with simply to continue the story.

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  3. Sounds like there was a lot in this that just didn't work or didn't even need to be there. That's too bad, it sounds like it could of had a lot of potential.

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    1. I liked and disliked it equally. I didn't think the romance was believable or realistic. It really shouldn't have been there at all... they were not in a position to discover their hidden feelings for one another. They should have been more focused on surviving and figuring out what the hell was going on. I liked the mystery and the not knowing... until it became clear that we would likely not know anything conclusive by the end of the book.

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  4. It does sound like an interesting concept, but a bit lacking in execution. I would've been irritated by the constant reminders of Fiona's wonderful kickboxing skills. I also don't like the telling vs. showing type of writing. Sorry to hear this didn't quite meet the mark. Excellent review, Lindsi! :)

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    1. It definitely has a good teen thriller/suspense vibe, but the characters were meh and the conclusion was disappointing. I want to feel like I've gone on a journey with the characters and learned something by the end of the story. That just didn't happen with this one. I'm all about the showing instead of telling! It makes it feel more realistic to me.

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  5. I've seen this book around a lot lately, but I still haven't decided whether to add it to my TBR or not.

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    1. Hmm... you should always read something if you think you'll like it. You can always DNF if it isn't working for you. When I'm on the fence about a book, I usually wait until there's an audio version to listen to. I can do that in the background without investing too much of my time. There are some audiobooks that make me forget what I'm doing because they're so good, but others are background noise that I get through when I have time.

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  6. Yeah, I really hate being told everything including how to feel about a character. No thanks.

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    1. Right? I want my feelings about a character to be based on what I've read and seen from the story. I don't want everything explained to me... when reading a book you might think one thing about a character while I think another. There is some common information/facts, but we're allowed to imagine them in our own way. Does that make sense? That's what I want from a book -- the ability to view characters in my mind based on the details I've collected over the course of a book.

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  7. Quote: "From the beginning we know something creeptastic is going on, but it isn't until the very end that we discover exactly...

    Exactly what?"

    Haha, I had a friend reviewing this one recently, and I knew there wasn't any resolution, but that line was funny.
    This one has got all the marks of a first installment, except apparently there's no Book 2 coming (yes, I checked), but even if it did...it sounds like the whole "situation" isn't even remotely explained...Now, from what I gathered, this is not a simple case of open ending - more a case of "WTF did I read", so what's the point? Also, YES to "a truce that turned into a friendship would have been understandable and more likely in their situation". Seriously...WHY????? More and more reviewers are commenting on forced romances lately - how come the trend doesn't die?

    If Fiona mentioned kickboxing and you got annoyed, she must definitely have done it a bit too often LOL.

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    1. Zero resolution. Why? Why leave a book so open it feels unfinished? It was like the author didn't know how she wanted her story to end, so she just stopped writing. I haaate that feeling. I feel like all the time I invested was wasted.

      The romance was a tad ridiculous. The thoughts she would have at the most inappropriate times, the "feelings" she had while they were running for their lives. He was holding her hand so they didn't get separated (and possibly for some comfort and connection), but it could have stopped there. They could have needed each other without wanting to be romantically involved.

      Fiona mentioned kickboxing every time she had a thought (only a slight exaggeration).

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    2. One of the things she thought, "I didn’t hate him. I just really disliked him, though my brain tried to make me like him, which surely had something to do with the fact that I liked his looks, as shallow as that was."

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  8. I like the idea of the plot but the teen angst and romance angle puts me off reading so many things like this.

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    1. I think it was supposed to be a hate-to-love romance, but it just didn't work. It felt inappropriate in their situation, because they were fighting for their lives. That doesn't leave a lot of room for flirting and heart eyes.

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  9. I love a story that can keep me guessing and questioning but dang it I want some answers by the end! I need some pay-off. It sounds like there just wasn’t enough there to make you want to commit to the next book. Hope your next read is a real winner!

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    1. There's not going to be a second book! Roberta said she checked (in one of the comments above yours), and there is nothing else planned for this story. I guess that means it ended without ending, because there isn't a resolution.

      Same here... I need some pay-off! I feel like the author needs to provide some answers before ending a book. Especially if it's a stand-alone. I didn't love or hate the book, but the ending was really disappointing. I feel incredibly let down.

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  10. Ugh, vague endings that don't really finish the story are the worst! I do like the synopsis, though, that probably would have been enough to draw me in.

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    1. I liked that the synopsis was vague and gave nothing about the story away. I was confused by the second chapter, haha. However the ending ended, but then it didn't... and I really don't know what to think about it. It felt unfinished and I think Miles and Fiona deserved more. It's definitely twisty and confusing. The parents in this one are the worst, too.

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  11. Ooh I've been wanting to read this! I'm a little concerned though about the sound of that ending- sounds way too open ended. Hmm. And I don't always like weird- I mean a little weird is fine ha ha, but if it's to out there... I don't know.

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    1. I remembering seeing this one on your blog. I think you mentioned it on one of your Sunday Posts? The ending is really hard to explain (just like the rest of the book), but it was very unsatisfying. It ends, but then it doesn't, and then it ends again... or does it?? I honestly don't know what happened to Miles and Fiona. The how and why of it all is also still a mystery. Yes, some things were mentioned like they could have been explanations, but they didn't feel final or real.

      I was series when I compared this one to Lost! Have you seen the show? It seems like something you'd watch, haha. Remember the weird noises they would hear in the jungle? It was some horrible beast no one ever saw, but they could hear it and feel when it was chasing after them? There's something similar in this, too. Also, being stranded on an island after a plane crash. Then there's the weirdness of everything, like something is off but no on knows what it is... you might like it. There were some really interesting aspects of the story, but overall I was disappointed.

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    2. I was serious, not series... ;)

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    3. Well now I'm curious!I watched a few episodes of Lost but never the whole series, but I've heard its ending was pretty lackluster. Which usually irritates me when you don't get a resolution. I was super interested in this one the first time I saw it, with that premise... but if you don't know what happens to Miles and Fiona, that's not a good sign. Man, I'm torn on this one...

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    4. I would suggest reading it. You never know... you might enjoy the way their story ends. However, if you get irritated when there's no resolution... this has zero resolution. It looks like there might be one, but then the author backtracks until there isn't. I tried to force my iPad to turn pages that just weren't there. It doesn't help that there's not a second book planned.

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  12. OMG YOU VOICED MY FEELINGS EXACTLY. I didn't really care about their romance either and was SUPER confused by the end. I basically got left with a giant question mark right on my brain and I can't tell if that was the intention. 🤷

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    1. I really hope that wasn't the intention, because I hate feeling confused after reading a book. I want some resolution even if it's just setting up the next book. From other comments, I've learned that there isn't another book planned, so the ending was intentionally vague and left most things unanswered. If it was supposed to be trippy and like a psychological thriller -- okay. I get that. However, most of those still give you something by the end. They tell you why things happened the way they did, even if the ending feels unfinished. Unfortunately, I still feel like I don't know anything. There was that bit about their parents (don't want to be spoilery), but WHAT? I don't get it... there wasn't a WHY.

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  13. This sounds like it'd be as confusing and frustrating as I found the tv show Lost. 😐
    Think I'll pass! Don't blame you one bit for feeling like you wasted your time and being annoyed by it.

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    1. I was really, really disappointed with the ending for Lost. I spent how many years and seasons on that, and for what? What the ever-loving FLARK was that ending?? Can you even call it an ending? Echoes had very Lost-vibes, but it was still its own story. There's just no conclusion.

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  14. OH I'm so sorry to hear this book ended up being confusing and frustrating - when I read that synopsis, I thought, wow, that sounds quite interesting! Now i'm not so sure, I feel like I'd be annoyed at the main character and the constant repetition and comparison to her kickboxing and forced romance, not really my thing :/ Thank you so much for sharing! <3

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    1. She refers to her kickboxing constantly. She compares her training to every single scenario -- her racing heart, the methods she uses to calm herself, words her father spoke to her during training sessions, why her body looks so good (ugh), etc. She can climb a tree because of kickboxing, she can push her body past exhaustion because of kickboxing, and she can walk on quiet feet because of kickboxing. I was so tired of hearing that word after the tenth time she'd said it.

      The forced romance was a real bummer. I think they would have been great friends and worked well together to get off the island. The flirting made it weird. There's no way my heart is fluttering for anyone while I'm running for my life. Sweaty palms? Sure. Zinging feelings of pleasure? Highly doubtful.

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  15. Oh no!! I just read a review where the review RAVED about this one. But the points you hit on are no-nos for me. I'll have to skip this one. Thanks so much for the heads up!

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    1. I've seen a lot of raving reviews for this one, too. I just could not get behind the story and the characters. I really wish Fiona and Miles had been friends that worked together to achieve a common goal. She's hated him forever (her reasoning for this was not solid), and then suddenly he's always been attractive... ugh. He also watches her bathe in the ocean (she knows he's watching, but all of her locker room experience doesn't make it weird, and she knows she looks good). The whole thing was bananas from start to finish.

      The conclusion was incredibly frustrating. The author drops some major bombs but doesn't explain or elaborate on them. Then the ending isn't actually the end, and WHAT? There were too many questions and all the answers we were previously given were tossed out the window. It's been awhile since a book frustrated me this much.

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