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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Love Story

Love Story by Jennifer Echols

Grade: 3.8 stars out of 5
Erin Blackwell wants to have a career as a romance writer. One day all that hard work will pay off and she can show those people who made fun of her passion. Her grandmother, however, wants Erin to become a business woman so she can take over the family farm in Kentucky. Her grandmother pulls the plug on Erin’s inheritance and gives it to Hunter, the son of one of the workers on the farm. 
What I love about Echols’ works is just how effortless she pulls the readers into her stories. One moment I’m shoving cereal right before class and the next I’m in a farm where a woman runs off into the night with the stable boy as her lover. And that’s just the first chapter. Love Story is a world of the rich and fabulous, and the hardworking and determined in New York City. The backdrop of the novel is impressive but what is even more impressive is the effort and whatever knowledge/research Echols put into Love Story to make it realistic. Erin grew up rich, which I am assuming that many of us did not, but somehow Echols made Erin likable, smart, funny, and someone you want on your side of a fight.

Love Story is just as sexy as Echols’ other MTV books with the same level of intensity. Erin and Hunter’s story go past than what meets the eye. Love Story shows off Echols range from writing from the female perspective and male perspective; as a contemporary writer and19th century writer; and writing things with heated tension.

Love Story is a story within a story. It is a race to see which finishes first. Erin and Hunter drew inspiration from their lives and weave it into their stories. Those narratives give readers a backdrop to their lives before New York and what created this sexual tension and angst between the two. It is a creative way to give readers what they need to fully understand dynamics between the two. As the story progressed I looked forward to those little tidbits behind Erin and Hunter and what drove them to become what they are: two strong teens fighting for what they want. It’s fun to see the face behind the masks and to read stories where they clearly poured themselves into. The battle between Hunter and Erin builds the tension until it becomes palpable and unavoidable.

And just when I thought I finished I remembered something. Going back to the character is Erin and her many layers, I wanted to mention Erin’s family history. It’s heartbreaking when a father leaves his child but the child still wants so desperately to meet him; it’s tragic when a mother dies and the child is left parentless at a young age; it’s angering when the child is forced to live a life she doesn’t want. And yet Erin doesn’t let all that hold her back. She is committed to be an author and will do all she can to reach her goal. It is an admirable trait and one I think many of us should carry; sheer determination can take us so far and what we’re willing to give up may end up being rewarded tenfold. The passion of being a romance author, a teen author, or whatever you want to be is all in the passion. Erin shows that passion in her decision to not be held done by an inheritance, by her past, and by life’s cruel humor. For that and other reasons I love Erin as a female character and Echols’ ability to write strong witty characters.

Her male characters are equally as strong: gentle without being smothering; wicked without being cruel; able to lend a shoulder without carrying the protagonist through the novels. I can’t say I hate Hunter, but I was displeased with him in certain moments on the novels. But that isn’t a bad thing. Echols, I believe, intentionally made him so to give Hunter depth and inner turmoil that he faces when it comes to Erin. Life is not black and white and novels shouldn’t be either.

However, what I found lacking in Love Story was the clean, precise ending. Echols leaves things open-ended with many possibilities and promises of what ifs. Where I would normally be content with the ending of her other books, Love Story had just too many strings left unattended. The question is could there be a sequel or at least a little novella? For me I’m greatly interested in Erin’s and Hunter’s roommates as a couple. I wanted to explore whatever possibilities that duo can have.

In all, I would recommend Love Story to readers who enjoy contemporary novels that has a bit more risk and pulls you in (until you can’t seem to stop at just one Jennifer Echols novel).

Cover B+
it fits so nicely with her other MTV books, but doesn't really show the potential of the novel
Published: 2011 July 19
Source: accepted review pitch from author
Amazon (available for preorder)

4 comments:

  1. Fantastic review! I really want to read this book now! I've read a few MTV books but none by Jennifer Echols, so I'm excited to see what her books are like!

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  2. I do love Jennifer Echols. Her writing is so poignant and touching -- looks like I've got another book to add to my TBR pile this summer! Thanks for the great and very thoughtful review.
    Mary @ Book Swarm

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  3. I really want to read this! Great review :)

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  4. I was really excited for the chance to read Love Story. This is my second read by Ms. Echols, my first being Forget You, which I enjoyed. I pushed Love Story to the top of my reading stack; I was so excited to read it. I really love a good love story, so I couldn¿t wait to get started on this.

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