This was getting ready to be on my favorites shelf with 5 stars up until the last 100 pages or so, which just felt really abrupt and unsatisfying. StiThis was getting ready to be on my favorites shelf with 5 stars up until the last 100 pages or so, which just felt really abrupt and unsatisfying. Still, I really enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to the next book.
Simply put, this a really beautiful verse novel about two teens who each end up at the beach to escape their lives for a day and wind up spending thatSimply put, this a really beautiful verse novel about two teens who each end up at the beach to escape their lives for a day and wind up spending that day together. I don’t usually seek out novels written in verse, generally finding myself drawn more to prose, but I’m really glad I gave this one a chance. It is so wonderfully written, and once I got into it I completely forgot that I was even reading verse. Admittedly there were some sections that felt more like sentences broken into different lines rather than poetry, but I think that can be a style of verse in itself.
I loved how the reasons for both Amber and Cade wanting to escape from their real lives slowly unfolded over the course of the novel. We were given little hints and pieces of information along the way, and everything was just revealed very gradually and naturally.
Conversely, the relationship between Amber and Cade develops very quickly (the book only spans about 24 hours, after all), and although I did believe their connection, I like my romances to happen more slowly. I realized toward the end of the novel that I was looking at them more as friends then as people falling in love. I just don’t believe that love can happen that fast.
The other thing that I had an issue with was Amber’s reason for being at the beach in the first place. Without giving anything away, I felt like her whole situation was kind of unrealistic and supremely selfish on the part of the people doing it to her. Every time they referenced it I would get frustrated and felt myself taken out of the novel and the beautiful writing.
Other than those minor things, I really enjoyed The Day Before. It is definitely a great way to be exposed to the verse style of writing and I can’t wait to read more from Lisa Schroeder.
Jennifer Echols is one of the few authors on my “automatic buy” list, so you can imagine that I was THRILLED when I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy of Love Story. I devoured it in less than 24 hours and I’m so excited to share my thoughts.
Jennifer has such a unique writing style that just pulls you right in, you don’t even need a few chapters to get absorbed in the story. She has created the backdrops of New York and Kentucky beautifully, and I loved the details about the world of horse racing.
One of my favorite things about all of Jennifer’s novels is that her main characters already know each other and have some history when the story begins – none of this love at first sight business, because honestly that can be kind of boring to me. I love it when there’s already background and conflict and they have something to build on. It makes the end result when they finally get together even better. And hoo boy was there conflict in this book. The kind of conflict that builds into more and more tension between the characters until you’re yelling at them “Just make out already!” and people start to look at you funny.
I really liked Erin as a character, flaws and all. Jennifer’s main female characters are always so kickass – they’re feisty, hilarious, clever, witty, they can hold their own – every time I read one of her books I find myself trying to emulate them. Hunter is also completely swoonworthy, although he seems like a jerk at times. There’s a fine line between writing a love interest that’s a little bit evil and challenges the heroine and one that’s just unforgivably mean, and I think Hunter walks that line perfectly.
There is incredible chemistry between all the characters, which is another quality that I love about Jennifer’s books. Not just the chemistry between Erin and Hunter – although that is smoking, you can practically see steam rising from the pages (or in my case, the computer screen) – but also the chemistry between Erin and her roommates, Hunter and his roommates, and the group dynamic as a whole. I just want to be best friends with all of them.
I also thought it was really fun that the book was set in college, since so much of YA literature takes place in high school. As a recent college grad the change of setting was nice and familiar, although as an RA for three years, the beach party in the bathroom was slightly horrifying. :P Another awesome touch was the fact that we got to read the stories Hunter and Erin were writing throughout their class. I loved being right there with them as they exchanged barbs, and I looked forward to reading their next stories as much as the rest of the class.
The one thing I would have liked to see more of was the relationship between Erin and her grandmother. We don’t actually get to see them interact at all, and since the whole premise is that Erin has been cut off by her grandmother I felt like it would have been nice to see at least one scene where they get to have a conversation or some kind of interaction. This wasn’t a huge issue for me, just a thought.
Overall I loved Love Story, and I literally couldn’t put it down. I started it one evening and read until about 4 in the morning when I finally forced myself to stop and get some sleep. Then the next day I picked right back up again until I was finished, even carrying my laptop with me so I could read in the car (don’t worry, I wasn’t driving :P).
Love Story doesn’t come out until July 19th, but TRUST ME when I say it’s worth the wait. Only 53 more days!...more