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In the Echo of this Ghost Town


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A gem of a book exploring emotions, growth and rewriting the meaning of masculinity!

Diving into this book with no context aside from the absolutely stunning cover, and hooking blurb was as exciting as getting to read Griffin's story! From what I can tell, he appeared in the previous book, The Stories Stars Tell, before getting the spotlight and his story documented in this installment. Although I prefer reading the first book in a series before facing the second, In the Echo of this Ghost Town can be read as a standalone, and so the only knowledge I had of him was from reviews that plainly stated that Griffin wasn't the most likeable character.

From the first chapter, I could tell he wasn't such a great person. Fighting his friends over petty issues, getting drunk six out of seven days in a week, being a douchebag to his mom—every action he took, and every word he uttered was questionable. There were times he was almost unbearable, and his thoughts were a pain to read. But the turning point for Griffin's character was realizing he caused some of his problems. He's messy, flawed, and trying his best to be emotionally unavailable... until he meets Max.

With how it comes off, you'd think Max would be the solutions to all his problems—the love interest who magically changes him with a kiss and a wink. She isn't. She has her own insecurities and problems to deal with, and her character is as well-personified just as Griffin's. Their first meeting is not exactly a meet-cute, and neither is their second, when he ends up at her house in his search for a job after his mother threatens to kick him out.

Griffin and Max's friendship builds in a perfectly paced way. From the lighthearted moments when they tease each other with smiles, to the serious ones where they address issues they'd much rather bury forever. It was absolutely lovely experiencing their joys and shared pain.

C. L. Walters conveys so much raw and powerful emotions in every chapter. Not only do we learn why Griffin is the way he is, we also see him try his best to be better, to correct past mistakes, mend broken bonds, and find it in his heart to forgive himself and others. It addresses toxic male culture which tells us 'Men Don't Cry,' and essentially teaches that it's perfectly fine to be undecided and lost, to feel like an echo of yourself. Griffin's character arc was a thrill to follow, his development was significant, and rang clear in the decisions he took, the feelings he expressed, and the humanity he displayed.

I teared up several times during reading, and I had to forgo sleep just so I could finish it. It's definitely a must-read, and I recommend it to everyone, no matter their age! It has a loud message that needs to be heard! Even if it's told with voices that seem to echo in ghost towns.

Reviewed by

I'm an avid reader who spends hours with my nose buried in books (or eyes trained on a screen) in young adult, LGBTQ and romance genres, which I write detailed reviews on. I write diverse books that center on these genres, with large doses of humor and characters who make questionable decisions.

About the author

The Messy Truth About Love is CL Walters 8th contemporary novel. She is the author of Swimming Sideways, The Ugly Truth, The Bones of Who We Are, The Stories Stars Tell, In the Echo of this Ghost Town, When the Echo Answers & The Letters She Left Behind. view profile

Published on October 12, 2021

110000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: New Adult

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