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Book Reviews

Review: “Love Story,” Jennifer Echols

August 22, 2011
Review: “Love Story,” Jennifer EcholsLove Story (Standalone)
Written by Jennifer Echols
Published July, 2011 by MTV Books
243 pages
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
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five-stars

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.

This is my first adventure into a Jennifer Echols novel and I couldn’t have been more excited about what I discovered! Creative writing students? College-aged characters? Count me sold!

It’s so refreshing to read a ‘YA’ tale that centres on college-aged characters. As I’m getting older (I’m 22) I’m finding my enjoyment of sixteen and seventeen year old characters waning, so this was a brilliant and welcome change. I could definitely relate more to Erin and her friends as they try to deal with University life (particularly their creative writing assignments, as I’m doing a similar course) and everything else that this stage in life deals with.

As the characters are older, certain other aspects in the story were also more ‘allowable’. There’s some swearing, but instead of that being overdone it added to the reality of college-life, making the enivornment all that much more easy to get lost in. I also had a bit of a laugh when some of the creative writing stories Erin (and Hunter) submitted bordered on being class as ‘erotica’.

I absolutely loved that we got to read Erin and Hunter’s writing pieces. I, like most of the girls in Erin’s class, really enjoyed Erin’s ‘Almost a Lady‘ and was able to commiserate with her when the boys took a few painful jabs at it for being nothing more than a trashy romance. I also found it extremely mortifying when the boy Erin had based her romantic hero on, turned up in the class just in time to read the story. Jennifer Echols had a brilliant and absolutely unique idea here and Love Story didn’t disappoint!

The dynamic between Erin and Hunter was fantastic. I was hoping they’d end up together from the start. I found myself reading the whole book (it’s around 240 pages) in a matter of hours, eager to see where the story went. There’s a story behind them that spans a few years, and I found it very interesting to learn all the ins and outs of their relationship before college. I also enjoyed their sneaky jabs at one another by presenting stories based on eachother to their creative writing classes.

Like Sarah Dessen, Jennifer Echols’ stories centre more on the relationship between the two focal characters rather than thrilling plot twists and turns. If this kind of thing is too slow for you, you’ll probably have different feelings than I had about Love Story. Once in a while (more often at the moment!) I like to take a break from the fast-paced, twisting supernatural/paranormal YA’s I’ve been drowning in and curl up with a heart-warming contemp. I always find that I can read them in almost one shot, and it was no different with this one.

I’ll definitely be reading more Jennifer Echols in the future. I have her other books – Going Too Far and Forget You – on e-book, as I’ve heard nothing but praise, so I’ll probably jump into them sooner than later. If you love these sort of contemporaries, I urge to you go and pick up Love Story right away!

Recommended to: Fans of contemporary YA will adore Love Story, however those who aren’t too fussed on the genre should probably be wary of the very relationship-centric tales Jennifer Echols is known for.

About Jennifer Echols

Jennifer Echols was born in Atlanta and grew up in a small town on a beautiful lake in Alabama—a setting that has inspired many of her books. She lives in Birmingham with her husband and her son.

4 Comments

  • Reply Steph August 23, 2011 at 3:51 am

    Five star read? Older characters? Sign me up! I’ve found myself cringing a few times when I find out the age of MCs (15? eeek!) so I warmly welcome any that have matured and lived a little more. I’ll definitely be checking this out!

    • Reply Brittany August 23, 2011 at 10:10 am

      YES! I really hope you enjoy it, Steph! Was so refreshing to have an older voice!

  • Reply TIna August 22, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    I get what you mean, as I get older, I become somewhat cynical of the stories told from the perspective of pre-teens and teenagers (although I am once myself, and perhaps because of this.) I find it difficult to comprehend that such a level of maturity in thoughts and actions could be plausible from a narrator that young. It makes me sad to think that when I get older, I may not enjoy YA books anymore, just as I grew out of children’s books. Do you still enjoy YA?

    From your review, the book sounds mature and a great depiction of college life, with a touch of romance. Would it be too mature for YA audiences?

    Anyways, great review! I liked your honest description, and especially the “recommended to” section. :)

    Tina

    • Reply Brittany August 22, 2011 at 8:57 pm

      Tina! I definitely still love YA, but I find myself becoming more doubting of the female leads these days… ones I used to tolerate and somewhat enjoy, I find annoying! However, there are still great gems out there and even if some of the heroines are annoying I can still find aspects of the story to enjoy (most of the time!)

      It’s a great book! I definitely don’t think it’s too mature for YA readers, because there’s nothing really explicit, but I think a lot of older YA readers will enjoy what it gives and relish that the narrators aren’t treading as carefully.

      :D Thank you!!!

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