Veronica sees ghosts―more specifically, her mother’s ghost. The afterimages of blinding migraines that consumes her whole life and keeps Veronica on the fringes. But the haunting makes her wonder if there is something more going on…. Golden boy Sawyer is handsome and popular, a state champion swimmer, but this All-American is hiding an adrenaline addiction that could kill him. Drawn to each other after a chance meeting, can they help each other battle the demons that haunt their every step or will they push their luck too far and risk losing it all…including their lives?
Echoes Between UsFeatured
In traditional Katie McGarry fashion, ECHOES BETWEEN US doesn’t hold back the emotional punches. Veronica and Sawyer are both trying to keep their worlds from falling apart, and they know a romance could wreck it all. I love their journey in really getting to know each other beyond the surface level impressions they had before. They seem like such an unlikely pair, but as you dive deeper into their worlds and mindsets, you see that their hearts are entirely similar.
One of my favorite aspects of Katie McGarry’s YA romances is the conflicts. There is always a unique blend of external and internal conflicts that leave you frantically flipping the pages to see how on earth the characters could overcome them. Above all, they send the message that love (of any kind- romantic, platonic, familial) is not the enemy but often the saving grace. In the middle of emotional hurricanes, it’s all too tempting to push that love away for fear of ruining it, but Sawyer and Veronica show that love can be given space if needed without being pushed away.
What worked: Engaging tale of a teen who not only sees, but engages with her dead mother. Veronica, or V, is quirky and pushes people away except a tight group of friends. I really liked Veronica. Even though she might come across as eccentric, there's a vulnerability to her. She's very close to her friend Leo, who ends up moving away to go to college. Her tight circle of friends seem to be dissolving around her during her senior year of high school.
Sawyer is that popular kid that seems to have people gravitate to him. I really love how the author pulls back that facade and show the 'true' Sawyer. He's one that loves his younger sister and will do anything for her. He also cleans up the messes his alcoholic mother leaves. His mother is that extreme parent that basically takes over their child's life, while ignoring their own.
He deals with his anxiety with a dangerous addiction to jumping off high cliffs. He craves the rush it gives him and continues to want to jump even after he breaks his arm.
When V and Sawyer come together, after Sawyer's mom rents the first floor of Veronica's house, there's instant chemistry. These two at first seem to be polar opposites. He's the popular jock and she's the quirky teen that hangs with the outsider kids. They work together on an AP English project. Sawyer is skeptical at first as it's on ghosts, then slowly warms up.
I also like how the writer shows what the real 'monsters' are in the house. I loved how it didn't end up being the trite cliche. The fears that V feels about following in her mother's footsteps are shown in very realistic passages. Also kuddos on the scene where Sawyer confronts his mother and stands strong.
Subtle hints of creepiness mixed with highly engaging writing. For sure one of McGarry's best novels with a sympathetic heroine and hero that readers will be cheering for.