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    Rylee has an unusual gift. It brings good luck to those who are kind to her and misfortune to those who are not—at least, that’s what the crazy woman in the woods tells her. But Rylee doesn’t believe it until strange coincidences start happening to her classmates and friends. Her gift may not be a matter of luck but of life and death.

    Author: Jessica Blackburn
    Specifications: 224 pages - 5.5 x 8.25 in
    Expected Release: Early August 2016

    Overall Customer Rating of 4 Reviews:

    A story with a unique twist.

    Rating:
    Pros:
    Cons:
    2.5 Stars



    THE ECHOING was about a girl who struggles after finding out that she has a special role while also dealing with boys and a family in turmoil. The romance was sweet and the paranormal aspects unique. Those who enjoy YA with a twist may enjoy this one.



    This was one of those reads that was really good in parts and not so good in others. I honestly struggled with parts of it. I really liked Rylee's friend and her family, but I also felt like a lot of the characters were so flat. My favorite part would have to be Rylee's relationship with Merritt. It was sweet and there was a solid friendship from when they were kids that formed a foundation for them. There were also some really tender scenes and I felt like they were probably the best formed characters.



    The fantasy/paranormal aspects didn't quite click for me. I followed everything, but I didn't completely buy it. There were also some places where the dialogue or story didn't flow well, where it was choppy or when something was phrased in a way a teenager or character would never word it. There were also a few places where it felt like something had been edited out, but the story didn't reflect that edit the whole way through so that the reader could understand certain references.



    In the end, was it what I wished for? This was a so-so read for me. I really liked parts of it and I actually liked quite a few of the characters, but then other areas were lacking for me. In the end, I wanted a lot more from this story.



    Content: Some mild violence and innuendo, but clean.

    Source: Received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not affect my review in any way.

    Canada

    Great for ages 10-110: anyone who likes to pick up a good book and get lost in a fantasy!

    Rating:
    Pros:
    Cons:
    I received a digital copy of 'The Echoing' from Cedar Fort to honestly review.



    I have to say, I enjoyed this book. If anything I wish it were longer, with more detail of events after the climax; perhaps a sequel is necessary.



    It was a simple read, easy to get into and become engaged in the story. Jessica's main character, Rylee, was relatable and experienced a compelling growth through the story. The main message I gleaned from it was to be true to who you are and recognize the worth of those around you. The philosophy of Carma plays a large role in the 'gifts' that Rylee has been given. Rylee learns the purpose of justice and mercy while experimenting with her gift and developing relationships with interesting, and perhaps frightening, characters she meets...

    read more at www.bluebirdsnest.org/the-echoing-book-review/

    Mebane, NC

    Got better and better

    Rating:
    Pros:
    Cons:
    The Echoing, by Jessica Blackburn, was a book that got better and better as it went along. It is a YA fiction novel that centers around a teenage girl named Rylee, who one day while taking a walk with her dog, encounters a strange blind woman in a hut. She introduces Rylee to a great gift she possesses, and gives her the choice to unlock this gift. Rylee makes that choice, and her life starts to change.



    The concept of karma in this book is really interesting. Rylee has the power to bring good luck to those who are kind to her, and bad luck to those who aren’t. As she learns more and more about her gift, though, and continues to encounter the mysterious old woman, she realizes there is much more to her gift than she thought. She can’t help everyone she loves in the ways she wants, and there is one who would do anything to get access to her gift.



    Rylee’s character was well-developed over all. It was clear the type of person she was, and though likable, she had noticeable faults, making her more believable and easy to relate to.



    This book has everything that a reader would want – romance, friendship, cruelty, evil, courage, and suspense. I must say, some of the last events of the book were brilliantly written. I did feel the suspense, the danger, the burdens, and the heartache. Once an adversary was introduced to the story, as well as more understanding of the old woman, the book really took hold on me.



    The Echoing is definitely worth reading, but for me, it wasn’t perfect. For the author’s and readers’ benefit, I wish to share what I didn’t like about the book as well:



    The book began with a short prologue that was surprisingly spiritual, and I couldn’t figure out why it was there. After reading the book and going back to it, I get it, but I think there was a better option for the prologue. I think introducing us to the supernatural – perhaps the characters of Esther and Nathaniel, would have been a great way to foreshadow events in the book. Instead, I felt like the supernatural aspect was thrown in out of nowhere.

    Some of the characters in the book were too perfect. I can’t think of any real flaws in Rylee’s mother or her childhood friend, Merritt. They were really admirable characters, but would have been much more believable had they had faults to overcome.

    Shyler was Rylee’s best friend in the book, and happened to be a Mormon. While I admire the author’s courage in sharing her beliefs in a book setting, I felt that it was really random. Shyler being Mormon didn’t affect Rylee’s decisions or life in any noticeable way, so was thus irrelevant to the story. It felt forced. I also thought it very strange that a devout Mormon would be so attracted to the bad boy of the school, especially based on the way he treated her best friend. That didn’t work for me.

    Once things started to get really dangerous and intense for Rylee, her character suddenly stopped acting like a teenager. Surely she would become more mature going through what she did, but she should still have had some characteristics of a teen to remind the reader who she really is.

    Overall, I recommend reading this book. I think teens will love it, especially the girls. They will undoubtedly fall head over heels for Merritt, and be connected to Rylee.



    *I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.



    ablisscomplete.com

    Utah

    Karma

    Rating:
    Pros:
    Cons:
    I am impressed that this is Jessica Blackburn's debut book. I thought that it was put together very well. I liked her characters, the setting, and the premise of the book. She did a wonderful job at capturing my attention and keeping me invested in the story.



    The book is about a high school student, Rylee. She takes a walk with her dog and comes across an old woman living out in the woods in a run down shack. The encounter changes her life. She finds that when someone does something bad to her, they have immediate "karma". Same thing for good deeds, the have an immediate reward. This is a burden that is had for a young woman to deal with and it quickly puts her friends and family in danger.



    The book has romance. I like Merritt. He is the perfect boyfriend for her. It helps that they have know each other since childhood. He believes in her and accepts her. Her BFF is also a pretty great character, it would have been nice to see a little more of her in the story.



    This book was clean with some kissing. It also deals with some tough issues. One of them is death and putting yourself at risk to protect the people you care about.