Title: Love Story
Author: Jennifer Echols
Published: July 19, 2011
Amazon 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.
I re-read 'Love Story' to write this review and despite the year long gap I still don't feel any differently about it, and I actually thought I would.
I remember reading the synopsis for this book (before it was out) and how attracted I was to the plot - it was fresh and simple and could go in just about any direction with, not only Echols's imagination, but the characters' as well.
I usually feel a little strange about novels featuring aspiring writers - you know, the thought of an author writing about someone wanting to be an author. Usually it makes me crinkle my nose a little, though, Echols writes about it in a polished and believable way and I actually really enjoyed reading about the creative writing class and the students' discussions and critiques. It was very interesting and organic.
The narrator wasn't particularly to my liking. Erin was made of assumptions, she would assume this, assume that.. believe things I absolutely wouldn't have made the connection to on my own and that seemed to only birth unnecessary drama and tension, or lead the reader astray.
The one example I can recall would be when Hunter wrote a story in which for the last millisecond of it it's mentioned that the boy spots a girl riding a horse down by the hills (or something along those lines) and that clearly translated to meaning that Hunter looked down on Erin, she thought.
A lot of times I found that Erin's line of thoughts were just far-fetched. I didn't understand her, she seemed confused.
Neither did I wrap my head around Erin and Hunter together. I can't particularly say it screamed romance. It was an odd relationship where they were supposed to be enemies but clearly couldn't keep out of each other's business.
I can't say if Hunter just wasn't the most charming guy or if it was Erin's point-of-view that had him not be the most charming guy, but he didn't really do it for me.
The college setting for this book was suitable and I found myself quite comfortable in it (tropical shower party, anyone?) As for the secondary characters, Summer was a breath of fresh air - energetic and blunt - and Manohar.. what can I say, the dude got on your nerves but I loved how much character he had. He definitely stood out and brought a lot of diversity.
The little twist in the plot did surprise me and I appreciated that, but it didn't have the time to rile up and become anything. Erin should've been outraged, walls should've been crumbling down. Or something, just something more.
Where 'Love Story' ended should've at least been the beginning of the last third of the story. There should've been a falling out and a chance of reconciliation and resolution. I won't say it was a bad ending, but it wasn't nearly thorough enough or complete so it's a good thing Echols knows impeccable writing.