Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Review: Love Story & Giveaway

Summary: 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. -- MTV Books

I'm not usually attracted to romance novels or love stories, but I was drawn to LOVE STORY by Jennifer Echols because the premise sounded so unique. I loved the idea that the characters were using their college writing assignments to share their innermost thoughts rather than just saying them to each other; and I figured that this setup would probably provide a lot of entertainment as well as some good old fashioned sexual tension.

And to a certain extent, LOVE STORY did all of that. It was a well-written, entertaining story and the characters did have their fair share of chemistry. However, I have to admit that I didn't love this book -- it was just okay. I can't put my finger on the exact reason (or reasons) why, but I just wasn't able to connect to this book like I had hoped. Of course, it is aimed at young adults and I'm definitely not one of those anymore. It's possible that I'm just too far removed from college and young love to appreciate this story.

And while I recognize that I don't have to be able to relate to the characters or the story to appreciate a book, I definitely think it affected my ability to enjoy this novel. I just didn't "get" the main characters Erin and Hunter. Neither one was despicable or anything as obvious as that, but I didn't find myself caring that much about either one of them. And because this was a "love story," I wanted to love the characters and I wanted to find myself rooting for them to end up together. Unfortunately, that just didn't happen for me while reading this novel.

Another slight issue I had with LOVE STORY was the ending. It was kind of abrupt and I was left wanting for more. I just felt as if the ending was a bit of a let down for me and it even felt a bit rushed as compared to the pace of the novel. I'm not sure that all of the issues in the novel were resolved, but I guess you could say that real life is like that. Things aren't necessarily always tied up neatly with a big bow on top!

Having said all of this, I want to stress that I do think many young readers will enjoy this book and possibly connect with the characters. I also want to give credit to Ms. Echols for her writing style. I think she has some major talent and I wouldn't hesitate to give another one of her books a try. There is no doubt that the premise behind LOVE STORY is wonderful and incredibly unique... and I definitely appreciated that. In addition, I loved all of the humor and emotion that she placed in the story.

While LOVE STORY wasn't my favorite read of the year, I do believe many teens will absolutely adore this novel and its characters. I especially think teens who appreciate love stories and romance will find this book to be a treat.

Thanks to Big Honcho Media and the publisher for sending me a copy of this book.

Giveaway alert: I have two copies of LOVE STORY to share with two Booking Mama readers. To enter, just fill out the form below before August 8th at 11:59 p.m. ET. I will randomly select and notify the winners the following day. This contest is open to those of you with U.S. addresses only. Good luck!


bermudaonion said...

The fact that the author included humor and emotion is enough for me to consider giving the book a try.

The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

This didn't really work for me either, because of Erin's back and forth emotions...first she loves Hunter, then she loathes him, then love, then loathe; she changed her mind on a dime and it drove my opinion of the book down.

mamabunny13 said...

Thanks for the giveaway.
mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

Sarah said...

Hmmmmm interesting...

Sandy Nawrot said...

I think you are right on...teens would probably love this. It honestly doesn't take much to get my daughter to pick up a book about young love. For me personally (and I know this is really dumb) but there is only one Love Story, and I'm sorry that the author decided to give the book the same title.

Carin Siegfried said...

I'm probably not going to read the book, but I must point out that what you found intriguing - the characters telling each other how they feel through their writing assignments - is exactly how my favorite movie ends! The Sure Thing! (Best depiction of a writing class ever and very best professor!) Now I'm thinking I must watch that tonight for the thousandth time.

CHRISTIE said...

I ♥ Jennifer Echols! I’m super excited to read her newest book. Thanks for the giveaway!