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Archive for December, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday (24).

Dec
28

11 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Uncategorized •

Waiting On Wednesday is from Jill, at Breaking the Spine.

Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler
Hudson can’t wait to get out of Watonka, her working-class town outside of Buffalo. Once upon a time, her talent as a skater was going to be her ticket out… but when her parents’ marriage unraveled three years ago, so did her dreams. Now, she buries herself in making cupcakes for her mom’s diner and imagining her parallel life where she went on to skate to glory. But when she gets a letter inviting her to audition for a skating scholarship *and* the hockey team asks for her help with their technique (read: free ice time for Hudson), it’s impossible to ignore the signs. Is she ready to get back on the ice? Could this be her ticket out? Hudson’s determined not to let anything stand in her way. But between baking and waitressing at the diner, the love triangle that’s developing with two outrageously cute hockey boys, and the simmering drama with her best friend, her future is anything but certain…

Ockler dazzled me with Twenty Boy Summer, and I’m sure she can dazzle me again with Bittersweet. Any time I come across a YA book that involves cooking, I’m sold.

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REVIEW! Love Story.

Dec
27

4 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Uncategorized •

LOVE STORY by Jennifer Echols.

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 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.

My rating: 3 stars.

MY THOUGHTS:
This is going to be a weird review, because typically in a review you’re supposed to point out the pros and cons of the story – what you liked and disliked.  But honestly I’m not sure I can pinpoint exactly what those qualities are for me, regarding Love Story.

I went into the story loving the concept of characters in college. HUGE plus.  Also, in a creative writing class, writing about one another? BIGGER plus! Awesome idea. And Erin’s and Hunter’s stories were actually enjoyable to read. They didn’t feel like intrusions to the overall story.  And yet, sometimes I felt that they were lacking… or not present enough.  I didn’t like that the narration would mention they’d written several more stories over the passing weeks, but as a reader I never got to read them.  Since they were such a key aspect beforehand, I figured they’d be prominent throughout.  This is not the case.

As for the characters, Erin and Hunter have that electric dynamic – hating but loving, flirty but zingy.  It’s good and all, but at times it’s also confusing.  I had a hard time deciphering what actions were “true” and which were not; going by Erin’s narration, I just couldn’t tell, and it seemed neither could she. This prevented me from ever forming an attachment to the idea of them as a couple.  I couldn’t trust Hunter, so I wasn’t invested in their relationship as much as I should/could have been. 

Another big big BIG component of the book is the background info.  There’s a lot of it that comes into play.  But… it’s all so fuzzy.  You never get the FULL stories.  Often I was like, Well what happened next?! But I never found out.  You’re just given the same information over and over.  The problem is that their past is so vital to the present, so to not have all of the info makes it seem like an unsolved mystery.  This constantly nagged at me. I kept waiting for explanations and meetings that I knew had to happen, yet didn’t.

Now for the biggest issue, and the reason why I couldn’t rate this higher: THE ENDING. Is there even an ending? I’m not so sure. I got to the last page and literally freaked out, thinking my copy was missing an entire last chunk of the story. But no. Upon checking page counts and chapters and everything, I found that my copy is indeed correct.  Let me just say that I’ve never had a book elicit such a reaction from me; I’ve never been so surprised at such an abrupt ending.  The story comes to no conclusion!  Okay… it comes to a miniature closure/resolution/THING.  But it’s not nearly satisfying enough to be considered an actual ending.

All I can say is read and see for yourself.  Really, it’s a good, entertaining story. It just left me puzzled and frustrated.

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