Love Story – Jennifer Echols
Publisher: MTV Books (S&S US)
Release Date: 18th August 2011
Edition: US paperback, gifted by Clover
Other Titles by this Author: Major Crush, The Boys Next Door, Going too Far, The Ex Games, Endless Summer, Forget You, The One That I Want, Double Date, Such a Rush
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 fulfil 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 staring 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. But Hunter devises his own creative revenge, writing sexy stories that drive the whole class wild with curiosity and 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.
I’ve only read two of Jennifer Echols’ books before and while I enjoyed them, I didn’t quite understand the undying love most people seem to have for her books. With Love Story, I realised.
What immediately attracted me to Love Story was that Erin is studying creative writing at university as I am too. I completely identified with her when her first story, a historical, was ripped to shreds because the genre she writes ‘isn’t what you should be reading and writing’. I’ve endured this because of writing YA so I knew how hard it was to have her whole genre defaced and it put her off writing it which was crushing. Luckily I persisted, much to the chagrin of my tutor... But at the same time, I think it was essential for Erin as a character as she was arrogant about her talent for writing that would have been very annoying had it carried through the rest of the novel.
Another thing about Erin that irritated me was how her newfound poorness was emphasised on nearly every page. I mean, I realise it was, again, to portray her character correctly as only someone who was previously well-off would react in such a way to being on a normal level of income. It may also have been because for the first eighteen years of her live she had wanted for nothing and it annoyed me that only now she couldn’t have everything she desired. And yet, I really, really liked Erin. She’s a very real character and I empathised with her regardless of how different she is to me. I realise that this is where Jennifer Echols’ strength lies: her characters and their relationships.
When we were first introduced to Hunter, I wasn’t sure whether I would like him. I obviously loved him within pages of meeting him. Even though he was a bit cocky and infuriating at times, there was so much more to him. I loved that he had his stable boy history and the hints at his feelings for Erin that she completely missed – it gave me the spark and cheesy grin that I thoroughly enjoy getting while reading.
A history between two characters always makes a burgeoning relationship that much more significant and romantic for me so I loved all of the subtle digs and how they exchanged thoughts, feelings and memories through their stories that no one else understood. The sense that is was just those two who knew what was really going on made their interactions electric. It was a clever way for them to interact and respond to each other and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
With these responses and interactions, came Erin and Hunter’s stories embedded in the narration. I loved that we got to know what Hunter was thinking and feelings through details in his stories that Summer kept picking up and forcing on Erin. I especially enjoyed it when Hunter and Erin’s past living on Erin’s grandmother’s horse farm in Kentucky came up. I mean, I don't get the whole horse thing, I never have and never will, but I really looked forward to those bits. I think it sounds like an awesome way to grow up really and the American south really does have a nice sort of charm for me.
I’m so glad I read Love Story, it was just the dramatic romance I needed and I’m now really looking forward to getting hold of Such a Rush.
Thank you to Clover at Fluttering Butterflies for sending me a copy in exchange for my second copy of Moira Young’s Rebel Heart.