ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: Echo North
Author: Joanna Ruth Meyer
Publisher: Page Street Kids
Release Date: January 15, 2019
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy Fiction
Synopsis: Echo Alkaev’s safe and carefully structured world falls apart when her father leaves for the city and mysteriously disappears. Believing he is lost forever, Echo is shocked to find him half-frozen in the winter forest six months later, guarded by a strange talking wolf—the same creature who attacked her as a child. The wolf presents Echo with an ultimatum: if she lives with him for one year, he will ensure her father makes it home safely. But there is more to the wolf than Echo realizes.
In his enchanted house beneath a mountain, each room must be sewn together to keep the home from unraveling, and something new and dark and strange lies behind every door. When centuries-old secrets unfold, Echo discovers a magical library full of books- turned-mirrors, and a young man named Hal who is trapped inside of them. As the year ticks by, the rooms begin to disappear and Echo must solve the mystery of the wolf’s enchantment before her time is up—otherwise Echo, the wolf, and Hal will be lost forever.
Wow! Where do I start?! I absolutely adored this book. It immediately drew me in from the very first line, on the very first page.
I love the main character, Echo Alkaev. I love her because she’s perfectly human, and she’s perfectly flawed. She is scarred by a wolf as a child, and then is forced to live with this very same wolf to save her father’s life years later. She quickly learns upon going with the wolf that all is not as it seems. She is propelled into a world with an enchanted house beneath a mountain, a magical library with mirror-books, and a couple of mysterious characters she meets inside these books. I found myself cheering Echo along her journey and I felt quite satisfied with the ending. I’m really hoping that Joanna *cough cough* writes more adventures in this breathtaking world.
I don’t want to spoil the book by giving you too much info, so trust me and preorder if you can, or request the book from your local library. It’s really hard for me to put into words exactly how much I loved this book and how much it means to me. It will definitely have a very treasured place on my bookshelf!
If you like fairytales, magic, mystery, and a setting inspired by 19th Century Siberian Russia, then this book is for you! It’s releasing on January 15, 2019, so go forth and add to your TBR.
Q & A With Joanna Ruth Meyer
What are some of the books you read as a child that inspired you to become a writer?
I’ve wanted to be a writer pretty much from the time I understood what a writer was! My favorite books in those days, around the age of seven and eight, were mysteries like the Bobsey Twins, Boxcar Children, and, when I was a little older, Trixie Belden. When I was eleven or so, I stumbled upon a book at the library with a rose on the cover called Beauty, by Robin McKinley—a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I absolutely adored it, and it was the first book to ever make me cry. I still think about that book years later.
Who or what inspired you to write Echo North?
I’ve always loved fairytales, but I never thought I would be brave enough to do a retelling of my own! Echo North actually began life as a dream I had about a girl riding a reindeer who was being chased by wolves across the snow. When I sat down to brainstorm the idea, I realized it wanted to be an East of the Sun, West of the Moon retelling, and I let Echo tell me her story from there! (For those who don’t know, East of the Sun is kind of like Beauty and the Beast with a quest at the end.)
In addition to Robin McKinley’s Beauty, two other books were instrumental in the inspiration for Echo North: Edith Pattou’s East, which introduced me to East of the Sun, and Diana Wynne Jones’s Fire and Hemlock, which is a retelling of the Scottish ballad Tam Lin.
How did you come up with the idea for the mirror books?
Honestly, I invented them as a way to solve a Story Problem! I won’t say the spoiler-y reason, but basically it was to give Echo something to do in the wolf’s house for a year! 😀 Plus, wish fulfillment—what reader wouldn’t want to literally step into their favorite books?
Was it fun writing the swoony scenes?
Echo and [REDACTED] are one of my favorite couples, and they have such great chemistry it was super fun to explore! From their first book misadventure to their first kiss (I swoon extra hard at the kissing!!) and beyond, I loved writing every second of them together!
About the Author
Joanna Ruth Meyer is the author of Beneath the Haunting Sea, Echo North, and Beyond the Shadowed Earth (Coming Fall 2019), with Page Street YA. She lives with her dear husband and son in Mesa, Arizona, where it never rains (or at least not often enough for her!). When she’s not writing, she can be found teaching piano lessons, drinking copious amounts of tea, reading thick books, and dreaming of winter. Joanna is represented by Sarah Davies of Greenhouse Literary.