Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Gallery Books/MTV Books, 2011
Source: Received a free egalley through Simon and Schuster's GalleyGrab program.
So conflicted! While I've loved Echols' writing for a while now, I've increasingly disliked the characters and plots of her books. Forget You had the incredibly stupid Zoey and Love Story has Erin and Hunter, incredibly dysfunctional and manipulative people.
The book opens with an excerpt from Erin's creative writing story, which is a loosely fictionalized version of her life with herself cast as the heiress to a horse farm and Hunter as her hunky stable boy. Then he actually shows up in her class and their backstory is revealed: Erin was supposed to inherit her grandmother's horse farm but she was disinherited for wanting to major in English rather than in business. Instead Hunter gets everything: the farm, the money for college, everything that Erin had expected for herself. She's understandably upset and spends about eight chapters hating on Hunter while still feeling attraction until she starts to soften. This is a very quick change and I barely had time to warm up to Hunter because he continually does hurtful things.
Yes, Hunter's hot (seriously Echols can write steamy YA scenes like no one else I've read) but he's pretty cold, controlling, and extremely manipulative. And Erin herself was so hot and cold about him. I think I could have been more sympathetic if the story were told in alternating perspectives between Erin and Hunter because then his side of the story would have been told and I probably wouldn't have found him so cold. Because Erin was narrating, I like her more but I also thought she was pretty whiny and that she thought she knew way more about what everyone else was thinking than she actually did.
Besides the main characters, there are lots of fun classmates, notably Erin and Hunter's roommates, who I loved. Summer, Jordis (don't know how to make the slash), Brian, and Manohar were not the focus but they added a lot of humor to the story. I wonder if the story could have been stronger if we had actually met Erin's grandmother. Erin sees her but never confronts her or talks to her after the disinheritance, leaving a bit of a gap in the understanding of Erin's life.
Overall: Yay on the writing, nay on Erin and Hunter.
Read for E-book challenge.