Title: Love Story
Author: Jennifer Echols
Publisher: MTV (July 19, 2011)
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.
I was recommended Love Story by Jennifer Echols last week when I craved a desperately romantic novel to take my mind off my long-distance relationship with my husband. Racquel from The Book Barbies made the recommendation and I'm so happy I followed through with it.
Love Story starts immediately with a passionate, historical romance story written by the main character, Erin. The characters in Erin's story act out the sexual tension between Hunter and Erin. By beginning Love Story with this mini-story, the reader gets a sense of what the book will be about and also gets a good idea of who Erin and Hunter are, even before meeting them. I think this kind of a beginning is very different and smart for several reasons. The only downside is that the short story is historical fiction, which isn't my usual taste. I wasn't too fond of the writing style in the mini-story, so I wondered if I would like the writing in the rest of the book.
Rest assured. The writing does change after the mini-story.
Like typical romances, there was quick a bit of back and forth between Hunter and Erin. Will they hook up? Won't they? When they do kiss, will it be left at that? When this kind of tension isn't well done, it can be very frustrating, in a bad way. However, when done well, it can keep you sucked in till the very end.
Personally, I was sucked in.
I read Love Story in one sitting, staying up way past my bedtime. Hunter is sexy, sweet, and oddly enough...not mysterious. At least, not in the way I think of many romantic heroes in today's YA stories. Like any human being, he's got his secrets and is careful about who he shares them with, but he's not cloaked in mystery. His openness surprised me in a very pleasing way. I wanted Erin to be with him because I was attracted to him, not all the mystery around him.
Erin's also a great lead character. She's an excellent balance of strong and weak. By that, I mean she has a lot of inner strength and strength of character, but she's not portrayed as so stubborn or strong-willed as to be ridiculous. She's a strong character and isn't masculinized by being a tomboy or some super secret ninja. Neither Erin or Hunter are perfect, but I like them and root for their relationship all the more because of it.
The only thing I would have changed is the ending. I needed a couple more pages to feel completely satisfied, though the story didn't drop off quickly by any means. I just wanted a little more closure on the trials they both endured and their futures.
Overall, Love Story was a great book that scratched my romantic itch and did so without being ridiculous or too explicit (in my opinion).
Final thoughts: Buy it if you like romance. Otherwise, borrow it.