Friday, July 29, 2011

Love Story by Jennifer Echols

I absolutely adore all of Jennifer Echols books. I have been waiting on this story since she first announced it early this year. I was a little apprehensive about the premise but it turned out to be a beautiful story. Here’s the summary from Amazon:

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 read this book during the Mu Alpha Theta National Competition and hated that I only had a few minutes to read here and there. This book was one that I wish I could have read without putting it down! The friction between Hunter and Erin is beautifully done. It truly is a Love Story between the two of them.

Hunter and Erin volley back and forth in her creative writing class with their feelings for one another. It’s a little like watching a ping pong match as the story continues. However, at the same time there are moments in between where their interactions hint at different feelings. Add in a crazy bunch of friends and the story holds your interest and keeps you guessing about what is going to happen next.

I will admit I was nervous about adding in the horse aspect to the story. This is probably one area I am completely not interested in. I have never cared for horse races, etc. However, it was a small part of the story itself so I didn’t feel like I needed an education in horse racing.

One of the reasons I tend to be leery of love stories is because it seems many authors need some sort of tragedy to bring the characters together. I have never really been a fan of that type of writing because I read to escape things. I really liked that Jennifer was able to write a beautiful love story that holds your interest without a horrible tragedy that left me sobbing. There are may conflicts even after some realizations are made. I often get bored with simple love stories and this was not the case. The storyline was very complex as well as the characters and their behaviors.

For once I really don’t have a criticism about a book. I really loved every part of it. I would also like to add that I think this story would translate really well into a movie and would love to see that happen. I give this book a 5/5!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg

Finally a review! I caught a cold on top of my shingles but am plugging away to finish my reviews that I have been sitting on. Its sad that things actually calm down when I am at work during the school year with the exception of December and May. Between swimming and acting this summer for my son I haven’t taken a breath. Anyway, I picked up Prom and Prejudice through the Vine program with Amazon. I have yet to read Pride and Prejudice but it has been in my TBR stack for awhile. I have been slowly making it through the classics as I go. I’m not a huge fan of a lot of them so it takes me a while to pick a new one up. However, many books I have read recently are referencing this one. Thus, when I saw Prom & Prejudice I decided it would be something fun to read to get a general feel for the original. Here’s the description from Amazon:

“Eulberg retells Jane Austen’s still popular tale of class, love, and danger both emotional and physical. Setting this version in a contemporary Connecticut school for the socially elite, and casting Lizzie Bennett as a scholarship student and musical prodigy, Eulberg’s story unfolds along lines predictable both from the original plot and the spate of recent “mean rich girls” novels. That said, this version does justice to Austen and shows up the utter silliness of kids rich in material—and designer brand name—goods, the moodiness of some males (not often mined in YA literature), and the ways truth can be hidden by both outright lying (on the part of Wick, the villain of the piece) and shyness (both Lizzie’s and Darcy’s). This makes, in all, a fairly delightful blend of past and present value systems and social expectations. For those who haven’t read the original, that will be the obvious next stop; for those who have, there’s fun to be had in forecasting how Eulberg will rescript each upcoming scene.”

I was a little concerned about this book as it seems to be for a younger crowd. However, I absolutely loved it. I read it in one sitting and found it to be a quick enjoyable read. The plot is fairly predictable since I know enough about Pride and Prejudice but it didn’t take away from the story being told. It was a little like watching a movie if you have read the book. It can still be very enjoyable.

I think Eulberg did a great job with character development for Lizzie and Will. Even though it is narrated from Lizzie’s point of view you still get to see a lot of complexity in Will. Lizzie makes a great lead as she is stubborn and has quite a dry sense of humor. Watching her make her way in a difficult world makes you cringe with her and laugh and the dry wit she employs to stay sane at times. Will is your typical male strong hero. He is the type of guy that we find in the end we would all want to sweep us off our feet.

Eulberg also did an excellent job bringing the story into the modern world. It doesn’t seem forced or out of place in the modern retelling. I think she did a great job maintaining the original plotline of the story while updating it.

At times I did find Will’s character to seem a little too old for his actual age but I believe that goes with being Darcy. The other girls in the story add to the drama and remind me of some of the new series like Clique and Pretty Little Liars that my younger sister reads. I think this book will has a wide audience and is perfect for anyone that enjoys a love story. I always enjoy it when there is adversity between the leading characters that eventually evolves into something else. If that is what you enjoy then this is the book for you! Overall I give the book a 4/5. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Delays, Updates, etc.

So this month hasn't exactly gone as planned. Right after my last post I found out I had shingles. Can I just say that I can't imagine having this when I am older. It is horrible enough as it is but I can only imagine it is worse the older you get. I took the anti-viral pills but still have the blisters and ALOT of pain and fatigue. I am also not sure if it is to blame for the cough and sore throat that I now had. Now that I am able to somewhat function I am going to hopefully post a review everyday. I have quite a backlog of books to post reviews for including some for the Amazon Vine that I have to get done by Thurs. Here's a preview of what is to come:

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Five!

1. I have been so negligent of the blog this past month. Things have been crazy since my son is swimming on two swim teams and competing three times a week. AHHH! So I haven't really had a chance to stop and blog since I have been stealing any time I can find to myself just to sit in the AC and catch up on some TV.

2. We just got back from an amazing trip out to Los Angeles for ipop. My son competed in modeling and acting. He did amazing. He won several awards and trophies and it was a great experience for him. Hopefully we will be back that way for some meetings with agents soon!

3. Has anyone noticed the ridiculous heat this summer in the south? Our highs in New Orleans have been more like late July than early July. If you aren't from the south - there is a huge spike in the temperature in late July/August. I feel like I am being cooked at my son's swim practices. I am debating driving the half hour to the indoor pool and making the later practices....

4. I had to leave my daughter at home while on the trip mentioned above. She is holding a definite grudge about it. Today she wouldn't come to me or hug me. She is all about Daddy even though he left her too.. I am thinking this does not bode well for her teenage years.

5. I HATE unpacking. I will spend the next day or so unpacking and washing clothes :p then hopefully I will start working on some of the back posts....