Love Story – Jennifer Echols

LoveStory
Love Story – Jennifer Echols
Published: 7-19-2011 by MTV Books
Get the book: Amazon,The Book Depository

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.

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Design – Min Choi      

First of all, I wish the photographer was named because this photo is stunning. The girl’s eye contact really draws you in. I like the simplicity of this cover, especially the title. Other than that, this cover could be for any contemporary out there. I do appreciate that it matches two of the author’s other romance covers though.

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Love Story is New Adult done right. Well-developed plot, sexual tension and flirting, but not focused on sex. This story follows Erin and Hunter’s complicated relationship as they toy with each other through the stories they write for a college course. Both Erin and Hunter are trying to make their way through college and are each struggling with their connection to the horse farm where they became friends. Love Story is full of family drama too, but Erin and Hunter’s relationship is the focus and it’s one hell of a ride.

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  • New Adult – Most of the New Adult books I’ve read are way too focused on sex, at the cost of plot. Love Story manages to weave plot and a growing romance together and develop both consistently. There’s the perfect amount of friendship and sexual tension to keep things sweet. Yes, some of the drama is a bit over the top, but most of this book reads like a YA set in college. The characters are impulsive and immature sometimes, but they do grow throughout the story.
  • secondary characters – Summer, Brian, Manohar, and Jordis are all extremely interesting characters. Summer is fiercely loyal in defending Erin’s stories, especially from Manohar who likes to pick on them a bit too much. I love how Jordis has met half the dorm by recruiting people for her art projects. These characters really liven up the story.

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  • money – Erin’s grandmother is rich and controlling. Because Erin refuses to major in business to take over the horse farm in Kentucky, she’s paying her own way. This provides much of the major conflict, but is also endlessly irritating. Plenty of people have jobs during college and plenty of people aren’t getting any monetary help from their family. Erin being late to work constantly is her own doing. I was so glad that Hunter got in her face about her playing poor – that she could go back any time she needed to.
  • stories – The initial ‘stable boy’ story is central to the plot, but the rest of the stories are much less interesting. Although Erin uses a few of her stories to open up about tragedies in her past, most of the stories are she and Hunter taunting each other. The stories are quite abrupt, bringing you out of the main story and returning you to it by way of a class critique of the story. Hunter’s first story is funny in a sarcastic way, but I really didn’t care for any of the stories beyond each of their first ones. The class critiques get old very quickly because they’re simply nosy classmates commenting more on Erin and Hunter’s relationship than on their writing. I wish at least one of the other students had spoken up about how much they didn’t care about the couple or how obviously transparent the two’s stories were. I also fail to see how it’s a big deal for the teacher to find out that Erin’s stable boy is Hunter.

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“I’m almost out of face cream and I can’t afford another tube. If I cut it open and put it in a plastic bag, I think I can get another month out of it, maybe six weeks.”

Hunter turned suddenly on the stair below us. Brian and I both jumped backward, but Hunter knew better than to turn with a knife point out. The knife was down by his side. “That’s what this is about? You don’t need face cream. You look fine.”

“That’s because I’ve been using it,” I said at the same time Brian said, “That’s because she’s been using it,” and rolled his eyes.

– Erin, Hunter, Brian  pg. 79

“You wanted to know where I was going so late at night,” he said. “I’ve seen you watching me through your window.”

Not to self: when boys look back at you watching them in the darkness outside your well-lit window, but their expressions do not change, you relax, assuming they can’t really see you watching them, when they can totally see you.

– Hunter + Erin  pg. 154

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3 Robots

Acquired: bought

Major Crush

MajorCrushMajor Crush by Jennifer Echols
Published: 8-1-2006 by Simon Pulse
Get the book: Amazon

Tired of the beauty-pageant circuit, Virginia Sauter tosses her tiara, pierces her nose, and auditions for the most unlikely of roles — drum major of the high school marching band.
 
Virginia wins, but is forced to share the title with Drew, whose family has held the position for generations. Sure, Drew is hot, but because of his superior attitude, he and Virginia are constantly arguing. That is, until they share more than just their half-time salute…
 
But as the drum major’s heated competition turns to sizzling romance, explosive rumors threaten everything — including the band’s success. Love seemed to be a sure hit, but Virginia and Drew may be marching straight into disaster.
 
 
 Major Crush
 
This is a great book about marching band and some of the crazy situations that can happen when you put between 100 and 300 teens together for large amounts of time. I was in marching band in high school (French horn / mellophone) so I saw this book differently than someone who has never experienced that culture would. First of all, I have something to admit. The 1st time I saw this book at a Goodwill, I didn’t buy it because of the friend I was with. She’s into adult books, and her only YA likes are John Green books – and I was embarrassed of wanting to read a cute high school romance book. And you know what? I’m never gonna hesitate to read something I want to read because of someone else’s opinion again. This book may be fluffy, but I loved it and will definitely go read some of the Jennifer Echols books everyone’s raving about.
 
 Major Crush
  
  • band geek personalities – So this is something that probably only makes sense if you know people in band. In this book, the personalities of the people in each section are true to real life. The trombone players are the ones goofing off and enjoying everything immature, the clarinets are mostly girls who have you could possibly need somehow concealed in their uniforms. Seriously, if you need mascara or lipgloss, the clarinets are your source. This book was really entertaining to me because it reflected my band experience so well with these personalities. 
  • Mr. Rush – Virginia’s new band director isn’t happy with the drum major situation either, and his methods of forcing Virginia and Drew to get along are hilariously strange. He curses in front of his students and he makes everyone at faculty meetings mad every time he goes to them. Each scene where Virginia goes up against Mr. Rush is a highlight. 
  • plot – The whole premise of this book is something I love. Virginia and Drew don’t get along, yet they have to be drum majors and lead the band together. Band requires a lot of time, so they are thrown together often. I liked that both of them were stubborn for their own reasons – Drew because of his family  and Virginia because she wants to prove herself. 
  • anti-racism – This is a cute romance book, so I didn’t at all expect it to take on racism, but it did. Virginia’s school is in Alabama and has a separate contest for black girls so that they can’t be Homecoming Queen, and apparently no one questioned this – um, what?! – until Mr. Rush came along. I appreciated that this book dealt with racist insults (something that unfortunately does still happen) and the reactions to them. Just because something is a “tradition” doesn’t mean it shouldn’t ever be changed or questioned. 
 Jellicoe Road
 
 
  • Walter – I found Walter annoying, possibly because I usually find it annoying when someone the main character is not interested in is crushing on them. I don’t need someone to have a crush on the MC to see her as someone of value. There do exist stories that have nothing to do with love. I’m over-thinking this. Walter is annoying because he acts like Virginia is a horrible friend for not liking him back.
 
  Major Crush
  • Mr. Rush made a show of stacking his papers, turning them just so on his desk. “Let me tell you what I know. I’m living in a town that’s so small and remote, it doesn’t have a McDonald’s. I’ve taken a job that’s so bad, the guy before me was dying to break out and start his stellar career as a mailman.”   – Mr. Rush, pg. 40
  • He poked at Drew with the end of his trombone slide. I think this was a boy version of concern.   – Virginia, pg. 114
 Major Crush
4 robots
A cute band geek romance, with just the right balance of side plot to keep it from being too gooey
 
Acquired: bought at Goodwill