Monday, July 18, 2011

Book Review: Love Story by Jennifer Echols

Title: Love Story
Author: Jennifer Echols
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: MTV Books
ARC, 243 pages
Date Published: July 19, 2011
Description (Taken from Goodreads):
She's writing about him. he's writing about her. And everybody is reading between the lines..

For Erin Blackwell, majoring in creative writing at the New York City college of her dreams is more than a chance to fulfill her ambitions--it's her ticket away from the tragic memories that shadow her family's racehorse farm in Kentucky. But when she refuses to major in business and take over the farm herself someday, her grandmother gives Erin's college tuition and promised inheritance to their maddeningly handsome stable boy, Hunter Allen. Now Erin has to win an internship and work late nights at a coffee shop to make her own dreams a reality. She should despise Hunter . . . so why does he sneak into her thoughts as the hero of her latest writing assignment?

Then, on the day she's sharing that assignment with her class, Hunter walks in. He's joining her class. And after he reads about himself in her story, her private fantasies about him must be painfully clear. She only hopes to persuade him not to reveal her secret to everyone else. But Hunter devises his own creative revenge, writing sexy stories that drive the whole class wild with curiosity and fill Erin's heart with longing. Now she's not just imagining what might have been. She's writing a whole new ending for her romance with Hunter . . . except this story could come true.

Love Story is really a deceiving title, given that the two people who could be members of this love story are a disinherited, newly broke, Kentucky farm girl with a chip on her shoulder and a newly rich, ‘used-to-be stable boy to said girl’ guy with a cocky attitude. And they don’t really get along. That stems from a broken friendship, superiority/inferiority issues, and a stolen inheritance. It’s complicated.

Yet Jennifer Echols somehow creates this fascinating tension and attraction between Erin and Hunter. The two clearly have a magnetism between them, but they’re both too proud, too stupid, and too stubborn to get past it. Erin is hard-headed, but I got her. She’s the privileged rich girl who doesn’t want to depend on the family money for anything. She’s sees the logic in her actions, even if Hunter doesn’t. Hunter I understood to a degree. Erin’s the narrator though, so the reader only knows what she knows. That makes Hunter infinitely sexy, but an ass at the same time. I wavered between attraction and anger with him, never quite sure of his motivations or intentions.

Love Story is set in the bright lights of New York City, but not the NYC that most people think of. This New York is bright and flashy, but all Erin gets to experience is the walk between her dorm, her classes, and her job. Gone are the Broadway shows and the culture, replaced by a landscape that reeks of longing. This New York perfectly counters Erin’s emotions, sometimes cold and raw and other times lit up with electricity.

Erin and Hunter’s creative writing class is as much a setting as the city’s backdrop. So much happens within and because of the class. Erin’s and Hunter’s short stories are showcased throughout the book and it gets the reader thinking more and more about the subtleties they each impart with their words. I found myself longing for a new story from each of them, so I could gain another piece to the Erin/Hunter puzzle, and figure out what pulled these two people apart and what it may take to put them back together.

Love Story isn’t about the perfect relationship or even necessarily about falling in love and that’s kind of why I loved it so much. Erin and Hunter aren’t perfect for each other; in fact, their history makes them sort of an imperfect fit. But they do fit, if they’d allow it. Echols has once again crafted a realistic, emotional, and entirely believable story that will have the reader flipping pages rapidly in hopes of some sort of happiness by its close. Love Story paints a real life image of a lost girl and a lonely boy and the happy endings they’re not sure how to write, and I enjoyed every heartfelt page of it.

Opening line: Captain Vanderslice was something of an ass. ~ pg. 1

Favorite lines/passages: He made it sound as if the prerequisites for hooking up were familiarity, proximity . . . and he must sense the desire, at least on my end. He didn’t understand the complications, the humiliations, the hundred reasons why not that hummed underneath us like the never-ending sound of New York traffic, or the drone of the Kentucky interstate behind the autumn trees. ~ pg. 184
And, in true Jennifer Echols fashion, a sexier snippet:
My blood raced through my veins and seemed to throb toward him like the ocean tide pointing toward the moon. It was one of those things in life a writer needed to experience: feeling smitten, rendered helpless, being taken. ~ pg. 221

*This is the ARC version and lines, pages, cover art may differ from final copy
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

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9 comments:

ComaCalm said...

Sounds pretty good, I haven't read anything of her before so I'm going to add this to my wishlist! :)

Vickie from ComaCalm's Corner

Alexa said...

Sounds like another great book by Echols. Thanks for the great review I have this one on my wish list. :)

Briana said...

Yay!! This book sounds SO good. Everything by Jennifer sounds really good. Great review Nik =)

Candace said...

I saw three reviews for this book just today! And every one of them was good. So I'll definitely have to remember to pick this one up someday!

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

ComaCalm - It is REALLY GOOD. I don't pick favorites lightly, but this is my favorite Echols book to date.

Alexa - I hope you get a chance to read it.

Briana - From what I've read, everything by Jennifer Echols is good! And I'm not usually one for the YA romance books, but hers and Elizabeth Scott's books always make their way to my shelves, then into my hands because I cannot resist them.

Candace - The book has been all over the blogosphere this week! Which is great because the book deserves the attention. I've been trying not to buy books lately, but I'm ordering my finished copy of this one momentarily.

Reading Angel said...

Nikki, I only read this weeks ago, but your review makes me want to do a re-read already, (and I don't re-read!!!). How do you do that????

Great review!!!

(PS! I LOVE your favorite passages ;)

Lori said...

I really loved this book!! I LOVED Going Too Far, but I was very disappointed in Forget You, so this one restored my love for Echols. She really does tension filled romance incredibly well. I love your 'It's complicated' because that sums it up perfectly. :)

Bere said...

Oh my goodness, I would love to read this one right now. It's so sad to say that I haven't read anything by Echols yet but I'm hoping to fix this soon. I'll definitely be on the lookout for Love Story. Wonderful review, Nikki. You've made me want to get this one NOW! =D

~The Book Pixie said...

So, I have still yet to read a Jennier Echols book though I have heard of her amazingness. I do have Going Too Far on my shelves though and now I realize just how much I need to read it AND get Love Story. Great review! :D

~Briana

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