By: Jennifer Echols
Publisher: MTV Books
Release Date: July 19, 2011
Source: S&S Galley Grab
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.
Jennifer Echols is one of the few authors on my “automatic buy” list, so you can imagine that I was THRILLED when I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of Love Story. I devoured it in less than 24 hours and I’m so excited to share my thoughts.
Jennifer has such a unique writing style that just pulls you right in, you don’t even need a few chapters to get absorbed in the story. She has created the backdrops of New York and Kentucky beautifully, and I loved the details about the world of horse racing.
One of my favorite things about all of Jennifer’s novels is that her main characters already know each other and have some history when the story begins – none of this love at first sight business, because honestly that can be kind of boring to me. I love it when there’s already background and conflict and they have something to build on. It makes the end result when they finally get together even better. And hoo boy was there conflict in this book. The kind of conflict that builds into more and more tension between the characters until you’re yelling at them “Just make out already!” and people start to look at you funny.
I really liked Erin as a character, flaws and all. Jennifer’s main female characters are always so kickass – they’re feisty, hilarious, clever, witty, they can hold their own – every time I read one of her books I find myself trying to emulate them. Hunter is also completely swoonworthy, although he seems like a jerk at times. There’s a fine line between writing a love interest that’s a little bit evil and challenges the heroine and one that’s just unforgivably mean, and I think Hunter walks that line perfectly.
There is incredible chemistry between all the characters, which is another quality that I love about Jennifer’s books. Not just the chemistry between Erin and Hunter – although that is smoking, you can practically see steam rising from the pages (or in my case, the computer screen) – but also the chemistry between Erin and her roommates, Hunter and his roommates, and the group dynamic as a whole. I just want to be best friends with all of them.
I also thought it was really fun that the book was set in college, since so much of YA literature takes place in high school. As a recent college grad the change of setting was nice and familiar, although as an RA for three years, the beach party in the bathroom was slightly horrifying. :P Another awesome touch was the fact that we got to read the stories Hunter and Erin were writing throughout their class. I loved being right there with them as they exchanged barbs, and I looked forward to reading their next stories as much as the rest of the class.
The one thing I would have liked to see more of was the relationship between Erin and her grandmother. We don’t actually get to see them interact at all, and since the whole premise is that Erin has been cut off by her grandmother I felt like it would have been nice to see at least one scene where they get to have a conversation or some kind of interaction. This wasn’t a huge issue for me, just a thought.
Overall I loved Love Story, and I literally couldn’t put it down. I started it one evening and read until about 4 in the morning when I finally forced myself to stop and get some sleep. Then the next day I picked right back up again until I was finished, even carrying my laptop with me so I could read in the car (don’t worry, I wasn’t driving :P).
Love Story doesn’t come out until July 19th, but TRUST ME when I say it’s worth the wait. Only 53 more days!