Fri, July 12, 2013

Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols Review

Dirty Little Secret book cover

Dirty Little Secret book cover

Dirty Little Secret
By Jennifer Echols
Publication date: July 16, 2013
MTV Books, 288 pages
Source: Publisher

From the author of the “real page-turner” (Seventeen) Such a Rush comes an unforgettable new drama that follows friends-turned-lovers as they navigate the passions, heartbreaks, and intrigue of country music fame.

Bailey wasn’t always a wild child and the black sheep of her family. She used to play fiddle and tour the music circuit with her sister, Julie, who sang and played guitar. That ended when country music execs swooped in and signed Julie to a solo deal. Never mind that Julie and Bailey were a duet, or that Bailey was their songwriter. The music scouts wanted only Julie, and their parents were content to sit by and let her fulfill her dreams while Bailey’s were hushed away.

Bailey has tried to numb the pain and disappointment over what could have been. And as Julie’s debut album is set to hit the charts, her parents get fed up with Bailey’s antics and ship her off to granddad’s house in Nashville. Playing fiddle in washed-up tribute groups at the mall, Bailey meets Sam, a handsome and oh-so-persuasive guitarist with his own band. He knows Bailey’s fiddle playing is just the thing his band needs to break into the industry. But this life has broken Bailey’s heart once before. She isn’t sure she’s ready to let Sam take her there again…

— Goodreads.com description

Jennifer Echols books are so highly enjoyable to me. Dirty Little Secret was entertaining, as her books always are, but I have to admit it didn’t fall among my Favoritest Echols Books Ever. (Endless Summer, Such a Rush, Going Too Far. You should read them. Seriously, I love Going Too Far so much I just got distracted and just googled “johnafter.” Okay. Anna. Focus.)

Anyway, the big concern for me with Dirty Little Secret was that I didn’t like how Bailey and Sam treated one another. And not that I think I have to love every character’s decisions to like a book, but it just prevented me from getting swept up on the story.

That being said: The musical element was amazing. If you love books with a musical twist, you’re going to love this. It was fun to get a “behind-the-scenes” look at an up-and-coming band. I loved that Bailey played the fiddle — I’m a sucker for fiddle music. And I loved that it was set in Nashville, where two of my BFFs live. It made me ache to visit them again!

Music fans, check it out. Echols fans, you’ll like this one but probably won’t rank it first among her works. Non-Echols fans, I’d definitely recommend starting with one of the other books I mentioned and working your way here.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Posted by: Anna   •   In: family, jennifer echols, music, romance
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Fri, March 8, 2013

Star Crossed by Jennifer Echols Review

Star Crossed book cover

Star Crossed book cover

Star Crossed
By Jennifer Echols
Publication date: Feb. 26, 2013
Pocket Books, 384 pages
Source: Borrowed! Sharing is caring, y’all!

Wendy Mann loves her job rescuing celebrities from public relations scrapes. She grew up with nothing, and now she’s drawn to glitz, glamour, and a lighthearted lifestyle. She speaks her mind, so she’s just the tough cookie to tell stars the truth about how other people see them, even when they don’t want to hear it. But after six years at the top of her game, Wendy crosses the line. A star she was sent to save rebels against her and nearly gets her fired. To salvage her job, she must rehabilitate the career of a singing starlet with a penchant for posting inappropriate photos of herself and arguing online with her famous ex. Problem is, the ex is represented by Wendy’s arch nemesis from college, the hot and haughty Daniel Blackstone. And both stars are scheduled for a collision course on national television, broadcast live from Las Vegas.

Daniel’s uneasy when he hears Wendy Mann from his firm’s most hated competitor has been brought in to revive the career of his client’s ex-girlfriend. Daniel must win at any cost. And if he has to seduce Wendy to smooth the way to their partnership, he’s willing to sacrifice himself for the cause. But Daniel doesn’t count on the scorching heat between them—and when they get to Vegas, all bets are off.

— Goodreads.com description

Okay, yeah…so it’s an adult book…but sometimes you need a little bit of adult mixed in to your reading materials ifyouknowwhatimsaying.

So I read a lot of adult books actually, I just rarely review them on the blog, but we’re going to make an exception with Star Crossed because (a) it’s by YA authoress extrodinaire Jennifer Echols and (b) I think you guys would really enjoy it.

Maybe the fact that I’ll be in Vegas for a week this month for work played a part in this — VEGAS!!! — but I loved the setting, loved the romance and just completely enjoyed every bit of this story. I’m just a bit sad I’ve read it already because it would be PERFECT reading material on the plane ride there. Drat. Poor planning, Anna. But have no fear: I’m saving you from my sad fate.

Guys, Star Crossed would make the perfect airport/vacation/beach read book. Light, easy, enjoyable. Check it out.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

PS: Should I review the grownup books I read? I worry it’d be confusing. Plus, you know, I don’t want to be a bad influence on the children. HAHAHA.

Posted by: Anna   •   In: adult books, celebrity, jennifer echols, romance
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Wed, October 17, 2012

Waiting on Star Crossed by Jennifer Echols

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine to shine a spotlight on upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Star Crossed book cover

Star Crossed
By Jennifer Echols
Pocked Books, 384 pages
To be released Feb. 26, 2013

Wendy Mann loves her job rescuing celebrities from public relations scrapes. She grew up with nothing, and now she’s drawn to glitz, glamour, and a lighthearted lifestyle. She speaks her mind, so she’s just the tough cookie to tell stars the truth about how other people see them, even when they don’t want to hear it. But after six years at the top of her game, Wendy crosses the line. A star she was sent to save rebels against her and nearly gets her fired. To salvage her job, she must rehabilitate the career of a singing starlet with a penchant for posting inappropriate photos of herself and arguing online with her famous ex. Problem is, the ex is represented by Wendy’s arch nemesis from college, the hot and haughty Daniel Blackstone. And both stars are scheduled for a collision course on national television, broadcast live from Las Vegas.

Daniel’s uneasy when he hears Wendy Mann from his firm’s most hated competitor has been brought in to revive the career of his client’s ex-girlfriend. Daniel must win at any cost. And if he has to seduce Wendy to smooth the way to their partnership, he’s willing to sacrifice himself for the cause. But Daniel doesn’t count on the scorching heat between them—and when they get to Vegas, all bets are off.

— Goodreads.com description

This isn’t YA, but it’s JENNIFER ECHOLS. She’s one of my all-time favorite authors, so this one’s on auto-read. Plus, take a moment to think of all the romantic tension she brings to her YA books. Now imagine how it’ll be in adult books. Yeah. EXACTLY. Cannot wait!!!

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Posted by: Anna   •   In: jennifer echols, wow
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Fri, July 13, 2012

Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols Review

Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols book cover

Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols book cover

Such a Rush
By Jennifer Echols

Publication date: July 10, 2012
MTV Books, 320 pages
Source: Borrowed from Tara

The wildly popular author of Going Too Far, Forget You, and Love Story returns with a sexy and poignant romantic tale of a young daredevil pilot caught between two brothers.

High school senior Leah Jones loves nothing more than flying. While she’s in the air, it’s easy to forget life with her absentee mother at the low-rent end of a South Carolina beach town. When her flight instructor, Mr. Hall, hires her to fly for his banner advertising business, she sees it as her ticket out of the trailer park. And when he dies suddenly, she’s afraid her flying career is gone forever.

But Mr. Hall’s teenage sons, golden boy Alec and adrenaline junkie Grayson, are determined to keep the banner planes flying. Though Leah has crushed on Grayson for years, she’s leery of getting involved in what now seems like a doomed business—until Grayson betrays her by digging up her most damning secret. Holding it over her head, he forces her to fly for secret reasons of his own, reasons involving Alec. Now Leah finds herself drawn into a battle between brothers—and the consequences could be deadly.

Engrossing and intense, Such a Rush is a captivating story from an author with a rising star.

— Goodreads.com description

Potentially a new favorite? Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols is right up there with Going Too Far and Forget You and Endless Summer for me — it’s got swoon, tension, drama, mistakes, lessons learned…ALL THE THINGS.

Poor Leah. My heart broke for this main character, forced to pick up the slack for her neglectful mother, who makes her pay all the bills and hop from trailer park to trailer park. Determined to make something of herself, Leah takes a job at the local airport, where Mr. Hall teaches her to fly and becomes the surrogate parent she so badly needs.

But when Mr. Hall dies, Leah’s trapped in grief, her hopes of becoming a pilot shattered. Plus, she’s forced to deal with Mr. Hall’s jerky son. OR IS HE REALLY AS JERKY AS HE SEEMS?! You know how J. Echols plays it, y’all. SO GOOD.

I read it almost too quickly to savor all the good bits…I wanted to turn back to page one and reread as soon as I finished! Such a Rush is just further proof why Jennifer Echols is one of my absolute favorites.

Read it. The end.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Posted by: Anna   •   In: death, family, jennifer echols, romance
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Mon, February 20, 2012

Winter’s Kiss by Jennifer Echols & Catherine Hapka Review

Winter's Kiss Catherine Hapka Jennifer Echols book cover

Winter’s Kiss
“The Ex Games” by Jennifer Echols & “The Twelve Dates of Christmas” by Catherine Hapka
Publish date: Jan. 3, 2012
Simon Pulse, 496 pages
Source: Jennifer Echols (I LOVE HER SO MUCH)

Cozy up to a double dose of winter-themed romantic comedy with two books in one bind-up.

Lexi has come up with a master plan to make Cameron break up with her: get him to fall for another girl so she’ll be free (and guilt-free, too). But when the plan goes well—too well—Lexi starts to wonder if she hasn’t made a terrible mistake. Has she let the perfect guy get away? And is it too late to get him back?

Meanwhile, Hayden and Nick’s steamy relationship has ended in a frosty breakup, and now they’re just friends. But when they decide to go head-to-head in a boarding contest, the friendly competition gets heated….Will sparks start to fly on and off the slopes?

— Amazon.com description

I devoured this bind-up in a single morning – a cold winter Saturday spent on the couch in my pajamas, curled up with a blanket and a cup of coffee.

And, friends, this is EXACTLY how you should read these books. There’s snowboarding, there’s ice-skating, there’s ROMANCE…what else would I want to read about while snuggled up in flannel PJs?! Winter’s Kiss made for the perfect wintertime diversion.

Both stories were cute and funny and, obviously, romantic, though I have to admit I preferred Jennifer Echols’ “The Ex Games.” If you don’t know her, she’s the author behind Forget You, Going Too Far and the bind-up Endless Summer, to name a few. And those are three of my favorite YA romances! So, suffice it to say, I’m a fan.

So, my advice? Buy this book, set aside a few hours on a weekend to be lazy and warm and just read read read! It did wonders for my mood.

 

 

Posted by: Anna   •   In: catherine hapka, jennifer echols, romance
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