By Emma Bloom
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: July 20th, 2015
The world sees Abby as unsavory, making her feel isolated. But she most certainly isn’t alone. Everywhere she turns she hears disembodied voices, sees things move as if by unseen hands. Bullies constantly torment her, threatening what remains of her sanity. Her mother is too busy trying to fix her craziness to see what is truly happening.
Abby is tired of the world around her, and wants nothing more than to escape. When her life spirals out of control, she is invited to Hildebranch Academy, a school for spirited kids like her. Can Abby learn to live a normal life?
Haunted Echoes is a book that made me cry, made me cheer for the main character, and brought out my anger and wrath over school yard injustices. This may or may not have been influenced by the fact that I was PMSing and having flashbacks to middle school (a time when I felt as alone and isolated as Abby, though I did not go through the extent of bullying she did). In lieu of a rapidly advancing plot, Bloom offered a heartfelt and realistic view into Abby’s experience, one that not only covered Abby’s daily strife at the hands of her peers but also how impotent one can feel when no one takes you seriously.
Told in third person, we see as Abby goes from aiming for invisibility in her daily life to standing up to her abusers. While the experiences Abby has were painful to read about, the writing and storytelling gave it an edge that made it so very relatable and readable. I was angered over how Abby’s complaints went unheard and how those society tells us should protect us, our teachers, our principal, our parents, chose to ignore her obvious distress and continued to ask her what she did to bring such pain on herself.
I felt that the plot was dropped and then picked up again near the end of the book. I guessed early on where the book was going to go, what was going to happen, once key characters and some backstory was introduced. However, this plot is interrupted by Abby’s own, more personal, issues and is sort of forgotten about for much of the book. There are also key instances that I feel were brought up just to be elaborated on in future books but were not given enough page time to be seamlessly worked into the narrative. I also felt that, once Abby gets to Hildebranch Academy, there was a lot of telling-not-showing going on.
There is a love interest introduced, that I believe will be elaborated on in future installments, but the book and Abby do not go head over heels, which I found wonderful. Abby even contemplates how to get over the love interest before her school year starts back, when she will see him again, so that things are not awkward. I found this to be much more mature than many other heroines I have encountered as of late.
Haunted Echoes offered me a good cry fest with few complaints. So if you’ve ever felt like an underdog or misunderstood, read at the risk of dredging up old wounds. Otherwise, revel in Abby’s discovery of her confidence and where it leads her.
Author Emma Bloom, that’s me! I was born in southern Illinois and am the youngest in my family. From an early age I found a great love for reading and dreamed of one day creating books that would capture the minds of young readers. I am an avid lover of all things paranormal, even though I admit I’m the first to duck and cover in a haunted house.
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Disclaimer: Thank you to YA Bound Book Tours for providing the synopsis, cover photo, author information, and more. None of these belong to us. The eARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.