Thursday, July 14, 2011

Jenn's Review: Love Story

Love StorySummary:  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 local 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.

Review:  Had Midsummer Night's Dream been boiled down to two characters who attempt to write their problems away, it would be Love Story.  This is fun, quick YA romance is steeped in the drama of miscommunication and missed chances.

The premise is interesting, and well executed.  Usually this sort of story frustrates me early on, but Jennifer Echols does a good job of leaking the plot exposition a little at a time through stories in class and discussions with friends and it kept me entertained.  It was also interesting to read the way Ms. Echols changed voices depending on which character's class story it was. (Interestingly, I found Erin's initial story cringe worthy, though it was one of her instructors favorites.)  I'm sure switching writing voices isn't easy,but reading it can be complex too;  at one point I was unsure whether it was the character's writing that had become awkward, or Ms. Echols.

The characters are flawed, but not beyond redemption.  For example Erin is appallingly bad at communicating, for someone who wants to be a writer.  (Not that those two things go hand in hand, I always express myself better on the page than I do verbally, but I still recognize the need for a conversation.)  Hunter, is still a bit of a mystery to me, though and intriguing one at that, so I understand Erin's attraction.

Overall, had there been a little more development, I think this novel would have earned 5 stars for me. There are all sorts of little bits of information thrown in that I found myself wishing were expanded upon.  I want to know more about Summer and her father, and Hunter and his family, and Manohar...  At one point Hunter brings up then glosses over Erin's emotional well being which could have had a huge impact on her situation that was an avenue worthy of exploration.  Again, towards the end, the lit professor starts talking about Erin's affect on her classmates and I found myself wondering who these characters were who were mentioned in passing.  Although that instance in particular may have been planned, as Erin is not aware of her affect on others, still it would have been nice if the reader had been allowed a little more perspective, because it felt a little disconnected.  These are just a few examples of the many glimmers of potential to be found.

Despite what I've said, it's a solid YA romance.  It's racy without the details; it's angst-y without the melodrama.  If you're headed to the beach, pick it up.

Final Take:  3.5/5

Learn more:  Love Story by Jennifer Echols at Simon and Schuster

About the author:

Jennifer Echols is the author of romantic dramas for MTV and romantic comedies for Pulse. She currently lives in Birmingham. Visit her on the web at



Julie July 14, 2011 at 10:38 AM  

I don't do YA as you know but I'm intrigued by this one. :)

Grace Fonseca July 16, 2011 at 10:36 PM  

Been hearing a lot of mixed reviews on this book. Yet this is a very good review. Thanks for visiting me over at Livre De Amour-Books of Love Blog.

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