I love books that have titles that make you assume what the book is about and its completely different from what you thought.
Violet White lives in a small (and of course) boring town named Echo. She lives in a huge mansion on the edge of the cliff that overlooks her town with her brother. Her grandmother Frankie recently passed away and her parents . . . well they are artist who pretty much took all of the family’s inheritance and went overseas to gain exposure? Discover themselves? Either way the parents left their two teenage kids broke and in a mansion that is falling apart.
Violet gets the great idea to rent the guesthouse to bring in some money. & guess who comes to rent it??? That is right new boy in town named River West. Violet is attracted to him and considering that she has never been attracted to any other boy before this is new for her (of course). However, West isn’t exactly a normal boy with a clean past or future.
Before I tell you the good about this story I need to tell you the bad. THIS BOOK WENT ALL OVER THE PLACE. Tucholke (the author) added big twists to the story when there was really zero need for it. She created a mystery when there was no need for it well actually, that is not completely true; She could have created a BETTER mystery if she started it in the beginning of the book and not towards the end. Violet’s grandmother didn’t become a mysterious woman to the readers until 7 chapters before the book ended. It felt like an after thought in which the questions were answered enough where I really don’t care any further about Frankie. She hid a secret but for what? The only conversations you see between Violet and Frankie is that she became a fairly religious person.
Another thing wrong with the story was River West. There was really no depth to his character. I’m not just saying he was strictly just a pretty boy with problems but why did he have problems! LIKE COME ON! He caused problems for no reason and he wasn’t trying to run away and do right. He wanted to do whatever he wanted.
Okay enough of the bad. . . . here is the good:
I thought the setting was amazing. Tucholke did an amazing job of placing an image of the town in your head and making it stick. Violet and her brother come from a rich and long line of family and I was waiting for some town secrets. Tucholke made you want the town secrets not because the book was bad but the story itself told of secrets that the reader needed to know. Although it was done poorly, I still read the book wanting and wanting.
Overall, the books gets a 6 out of 10. There is some really good potential in this book and in this author. It just lacked execution.
Tania Lasenburg is a communications major that plays video games and cyber stalks Gym Class Heroes. Follow her on twitter @mrztanyapickles