Echo Bridge by Kristin O’Toole

23157676I received this free from the publishers via NetGalley

Courtney Valance is popular, beautiful, and talented. She is a theatre star and she is the girlfriend of Ted Parker. She is envied by many. Then one night, her life changes and it ends in misery, shame and murder.

Echo Bridge starts with Courtney’s sister. Courtney is missing, presumed dead. Her boyfriend Ted Parker is up on murder charges, along with the murder of his friend Hugh. Nobody really knows what has happened, they seemed so in love, the ideal couple. Before the trial, her sister, Anna receives a package and a note in Courtney’s handwriting. The book then goes on to explain what happened to Courtney in her POV.
I would like to put a trigger warning for rape on my review, and this book.

Rape is a delicate topic, and it is a topic which many authors could get wrong and slut shame and victim blame. Echo Bridge is a book which focus on the rape culture in society. While the ending was unsatisfactory for me, Courtney felt trapped and felt like everyone was against her and nobody would believed her (There were specific mentions of the coach covering it up). However, I just wish she could maybe have told her parents and done more to let people know to stop it happening to others who were in a vulnerable position. That was my main issue, it just seemed like at the end, there weren’t really much change in people’s perceptions of rape, but maybe that was the point. Overall, I think the author captured rape culture excellently, she didn’t sugar coat it, she laid it out straight, about people’s perceptions of rape victims and victim blaming, especially in small towns.

I always had an iffy feeling about her boyfriend Ted and I took an instant dislike to him. He was a horrible human being, as was his friend Hugh. Courtney was a character I admired, she was scared, but eventually she stood up for herself, it was just a shame she had to disappear because she felt she had no other option. There were some excellent character growth as well.

I would not recommend this book for younger teens due to some of the content.

Overall, an important book which focuses on the issue of rape culture.

MY RATING: ★★★★☆

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