Jennifer Echols Week + Book Review + Giveaway: Dirty Little Secret

Jennifer Echols Week

The end of Jennifer Echols Week is upon us. It makes me oh so sad that it coming to a close but I just wanted to thank you all so much for participating! I have had so much fun celebrating this wonderful woman’s work and I so hope you guys enjoyed it as well! So what was your favorite part of the weeks? I especially loved the Boys of Jennifer Echols post because of all of the swoon. I mean, how could that not be my favorite part!?! Since today is the book birthday for Dirty Little Secret, I have decided to celebrate with one last review! Be sure to check out what I think about that book below BUT also be sure to check out the giveaway at the bottom of this post! Again, one last thank you for making Jennifer Echols Week an enjoyable one for me; you guys are full of awesome!

RECAP OF #JenniferEcholsWeek:

Tuesday July 9th: Kick-off Post + Tune In Tuesday Jennifer Echols Edition

Check out what songs I picked for each of Jennifer’s books!

Wednesday July 10th: Cover Talk

I had a blast talking about ALL of Jennifer’s covers!

Thursday July 11th: Review of Such A Rush

Good God. This book was freaking amazing!

Friday July 12th: Jennifer’s types of books: Romantic Comedies, Romantic Dramas, Adult, New Adult

I had a blast talking about my favorites from each category!

Saturday July 13th: Review of Star Crossed

J. Echols does an adult book. Heck to the yes!

Sunday July 14th: It’s Raining Book Boyfriends, Hallelujah!

One of my favorite things in a Jennifer Echols book: a swoon-worthy boy!

Monday July 15th: Girl Power!

Jennifer has some kick-ass girls in her books too. Check out which ones are my favorite!

Tuesday July 16th: Recap of week + Review of Dirty Little Secret + Giveaway

Jennifer Echols Week comes to an end *cries*

Dirty Little Secret

Title: Dirty Little Secret

Author: Jennifer Echols

Pages: 288 Hardcover

Publisher: MTV Books

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

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…

I was absolutely thrilled to find out that Jennifer Echols was going to have a countrified book. I grew up on country music and even now, I love listening to it because it takes me back to when I was a little girl. When it came to the country theme in Dirty Little Secret, Jennifer Echols did not disappoint!

Bailey, while not my favorite of Jennifer Echols’ characters, was still enjoyable. She is having a hard time as of late. Formally part of a Bluegrass Duo with her sister, Bailey is struggling to accept that her sister got picked up by a record company and she did not. On top of this, she is also dealing with the fact that her family doesn’t seem to accept or support her anymore. My heart hurt for her because this is like sibling rivalry times 100. I had hard times in life when I felt my other siblings were being favorited so I could only imagine just what Bailey was going through. On top of feeling like a secluded black sheep, Bailey is also told she cannot perform otherwise her parents will not be paying for her college. This is like a triple slap to the face. But considering that Bailey has and currently is going through a bit of a rebel phase, she performs anyways. Playing fiddle for tribute bands at the mall leads Bailey to Sam and this is where her troubles really begin.

Sam, also not my favorite of Jennifer’s normally swoon-worthy guys, was still an interesting character to read about. He is working so hard to get his band on the map. Every move he makes has some ulterior motive in helping the band to get recognized. Though his drive to succeed musically was inspirational, I did not agree with how he played, deceived, and manipulated people to get there. The only problem with this is that Sam made it awfully hard to get mad at him. Despite the lying and the manipulating, I never once felt that Sam meant it in a malicious way. When he wasn’t lying or trying to convince Bailey to go along with his plan, Sam seemed really sweet and adorable. His intentions always seemed (mostly) sincere, he really just wanted to get noticed. Even though I spent a majority of the book at least trying to dislike Sam, he did have a few moments that totally melted my heart.

Bailey and Sam were such an interesting couple. There is an obvious attraction right from the beginning. Bailey, despite how moody she is and how much she turns down Sam’s offer for her to join his band, actually seems really taken with Sam. She envies his passion for succeeding in the music industry and silently wishes she had the ability to chase her dreams like he does. And Sam, despite how equally moody he can be and the fact that every other sentence out of his mouth has some sort of unintentional dirty innuendo behind it, really loves spending time with Bailey. He sees how talented she is and works so hard to make her see that she needs to fight for what she wants and what she should want is a career in music. On the outside, it really seems like these two shouldn’t be together especially when you consider how Sam is pushing to be a successful musician while Bailey is trying to hide the fact that she is performing again. Even though there are some very obvious problems with this relationship, you just can’t deny what the heart wants. There were some pretty awesome moments that made me smile and swoon. Sam had moments where his sincerity and shyness made me say aww and then when Bailey softened up around him and let down that tough girl persona, I was so happy. BUT I just wish there was a bit more something, that usual spark I feel when I read a Jennifer Echols romance. I felt like that even though there was a connection between Bailey and Sam, there could have been a few less moments of arguing and a few more moments of smooching (or something equally swoony).

My absolutely FAVORITE part of this book was the country element. No matter what I read by Jennifer Echols, I always feel like I am transported to wherever the book is taking place. She has such an incredible talent for setting the stage for a story and that was most certainly the case for this book. I felt like I was smack-dab in the middle of Tennessee. It made me wish I could walk through the mall to see a Dolly Parton or Johnny Cash tribute band. It made me want to walk down the streets, passing through the bars to hear all of the up and coming country acts. And I wanted to walk down the sidewalks and see musicians busking, giving it their all in a free performance. Everything from the fiddle that Bailey plays to the countrified versions of Justin Timberlake songs that Sam’s band played, made me feel like I was really in this book.

Dirty Little Secrets has a little bit of everything that I come to love and expect from a Jennifer Echols book. There was a main character struggling to find a place. There was a boy who helps her out and also adds a little bit of swoon. But more than anything, there was a setting that transported you to the middle of Tennessee and made you feel like you were experiencing every wonderful, hard, exhilarating, and self-discovering moment with Bailey & Sam!

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GIVEAWAY TIME:

In celebration of the release of Dirty Little Secret and the completion of Jennifer Echols Week, I am hosting a giveaway! The winner of this giveaway will have their choice between two different prizes: 3 Jennifer Echols books of your choice (if the winner selected is from outside of the U.S., their books will be in e-book form. If it’s a U.S. winner, they will have their choice.) OR, if like me you are sort of a huge Jennifer Echols fan-girl/fan-guy and happen to own her books already, you will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card! All you have to do to enter is fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Don’t forget, if you participated in Jennifer Echols Week, you get 2 extra points for each day that you participated! Best of luck to all of you!

Click here to enter the giveaway!

Jennifer Echols Week: Girl Power!

Jennifer Echols Week

Sadly, we are almost to the end of Jennifer Echols Week but I have had a blast and I hope you all have as well. Be sure to stop by the blog tomorrow for my final post and a big giveaway!

For today, I was a bit undecided on what I wanted to do. It wasn’t until yesterday’s Boys of Jennifer Echols post that I decided her girls needed some major love too. Jennifer’s boys are complex, hot, and swoon-worthy. They give us (or at lest me) something to hope for in a future boyfriend. However, it is her girls that give me someone to look up too. Like the boys, these girls are often complex. Many of them face a wide range of issues like memory loss, parental problems, grief issues, etc. They generally start off as misunderstood, moody, girls with giant chips on their shoulders but by the end of the book, there is so much personal growth by both digging deep within themselves and also with the help of their swoon-worthy guys. Here’s a look at a few of my favorite Jennifer Echols girls!

Zoey from Forget You

Zoey

Zoey is one of those characters who you sort of love in the beginning but she also drives you freaking crazy. She is dealing with A LOT but instead of acting like a normal person and freaking out, she stays eerily calm and acts like everything is fine. Her mom just attempted suicide, she just had sex for the first time, her supposed boyfriend is acting like a loser, her supposed enemy is acting like a boyfriend, her dad is acting like a complete ass, and she cannot remember a chunk of her life surrounding a car accident. I say this is all freak out-worthy shizz but Zoey seems to be in denial. I just wanted to smack her and say “Act rational and by act rational I mean freak out a little. Stand up for yourself. Stop saying you are Branden’s girlfriend because he is an absolute douche. Stop pretending to have feelings for Brandon because of the aforementioned reason. Look at Doug because he is da bomb. Kiss Doug and do other saucy things with Doug because of the aforementioned reason AND the fact that he is hot, cares for you, and makes me drool a little.” Even though these thoughts raced through my head for about 90% of the novel, the other 10% of the time, Zoey kicked ass. She finally got with the program, saw things for the way they were, and went after Doug. She totally and completely redeemed herself for me by the end of this book.

Lori from Endless Summer

Lori from Endless Summer

Lori was such a fun, enjoyable character to read about. Unlike some of Jennifer’s other characters, she was totally loveable from the very beginning. Sure she did show some growth among the pages of Endless Summer but it was more that I’m-a-teen-turning-into-a-young-adult type of growth. According to my review of this book back 2011 Lori is “funny, honest, blunt, spontaneous, determined, confidant, and just an all-around great girl. She isn’t perfect (well of course no one is), she makes mistakes (big ones), tells a few little lies (ok so maybe there are some big ones too), and is wrong about quite a few things, but in all honesty, there is some personality trait of hers that every teenage girl out there possesses and can relate to.” I think what I really loved most about Lori was that even though her and I were different in many ways, I also felt like we were so much alike in other ways.

Leah from Such A Rush

Leah from Such A Rush

Leah was an incredible character. She stood out to me for many reasons but I especially appreciated how hard of a worker she was. Her life is so difficult and I wanted so bad to just snap my fingers and make everything easier for her but that is unfortunately not how this world works. She works hard to make a different life for herself, to get out of her trailer park, to follow her dream of flying. Even though she has hard edges and can be a bit hard to get along with at time, it is the time she spends with Grayson (the boy of awesome from Such A Rush) that she truly blossoms. I love how she opens up and learns to be a true friend and how to accept the love from those that care about her.

Wendy from Star Crossed

Wendy from Starcrossed

Wendy was such a fun character! She was more complex than what meets the eye. Still struggling with a past relationship, fighting to keep her job, spending time with her rival a.k.a. Daniel, the man with one facial expression, being attacked, getting her hair chopped off by some random creeper are some of the many things that are making life hard for Wendy at the moment. Despite having every reason to freak-the-eff-out, Wendy keeps up her calm facade only letting the crazy shine through very rarely. It is this trait that shows me just how tough she is. I love that through the story she shows strength but also an incredible sense of humor. Wendy was hilarious whether she was meaning to be or not.

Meg from Going Too Far

Meg from Going Too Far

Meg is and always will be one of my favorite characters. She has an obvious attitude problem from the beginning. She tries to act tough and like she doesn’t care about anyone but we slowly learn that isn’t the truth. Underneath it all she is just this scared, hurt girl who doesn’t know how to deal. In the beginning she pushes people away for fear that they will get too close but spending time with the dreamy, moody, and sort of grumpy Officer After changes all of that. She opens up, she admits her fears, she learns to deal, she lets someone help her out, she learns how to truly be there for someone and what it feels like to love and care for someone. The transformation that Meg undergoes from the beginning all the way to the end is so incredibly memorable.

So there you have my favorite girls from Jennifer Echols books. They are all incredible for very different reasons but I love them all the same. Who is your favorite Jennifer Echols girl?

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Jennifer Echols Week: It’s Raining Book Boyfriends, Hallelujah!

Jennifer Echols Week

Today is the day I have been SO excited for ALL WEEK LONG! I love reviewing Jennifer’s books, talking about the covers was loads of fun, and I had a blast discussing her different types of books. Even though these past few days have all been full of awesome, they just don’t compare to what is about to go down here. But please be warned, there is going to be lots of swooning, fan-girling, and it is also quite possible drooling may be involved. You may be asking yourself, just what is worthy of all of these things. To that I say, BOOK BOYFRIENDS. Hurray!!!!

I have decided to pick a few of my VERY FAVORITE Jennifer Echols boyfriends to share with you today. You guys better be thankful because it took me forever and a day to find a picture to go along with each book. I don’t think you even realize how hard it was to sort through Google images with keywords like “Hot guy in cowboy hat” or “hot cop.” Truly a hardship. Anyways, be sure to check out which boys I picked below and let me know who your favorite Jennifer Echols boy is in the comments section!

Adam from Endless Summer

Adam from Endless Summer

Adam started off in the friend zone which made me seriously question just how he could possibly turn into a character worthy of a book boyfriend title. However, it took a matter of two chapters to change my mind. With his light blue eyes, long-ish brown hair, tan skin, skull pendant necklace, and lots of awesome-y muscles from water sports, he is the epitome of what I’d want to see in a neighbor every day of my life. But of course Jennifer doesn’t just create a guy who stands there and looks pretty. Adam is sweet, funny, the boy next door, and he doesn’t mind fighting for Lori’s love. He sometimes struggles with his ADHD and it doesn’t take much for him to get into trouble with the adults, and like Lori, his plans often go astray but it is these characteristics that make him seem even more real to me.

Officer After from Going Too Far

Officer After from Going Too Far

John a.k.a. Officer After is a bit of a sour puss…but a very hot sour puss. He is far too serious all of the time and his dedication to his job is admirable (but borderline crazy but the type of borderline crazy that is totally okay because he is a man in uniform!). He likes to play by the rules and he doesn’t like to be tested by anyone. All of these personality traits mask the hurt, broken boy underneath. My heart hurt for John and the pain he was struggling with throughout the whole story. Despite all of hurt he is dealing with, Officer After is a sweetheart when it comes down to it. Even though I love John After by himself, it is the version of him when he is around Meg that is my favorite. There is just something about a boy trying to resist the attraction he obviously has for someone.

Grayson from Such A Rush

Grayson from Such A Rush

Manipulative, controlling, and broken. These are the first three words that come to mind when I think of Grayson. Well I guess I take that back. The real first words I think of are hot, complicated, aviators-cowboy hat-airplanes-Leah (<< I choose to count this last collection as one word!). He doesn’t start off as the most likable person but it doesn’t take long to see that he is still grieving from the deaths of his brother and his dad. To help deal with the grief, Grayson immerses himself in taking care of the family business. What I love about Grayson is that he had this bad boy past in which he got into trouble, was carefree, and didn’t have a care in the world. As life throws its punches, Grayson is still a bad boy in the sense that he is quiet, intense,and moody but this time around he is responsible and careful. Moody Grayson, happy Grayson, Grayson on the mend, Grayson when he’s stressed, and Grayson when he is in love; I don’t care how I get him, all I know is Grayson is swoon-worthy all of the time.

Daniel from Star Crossed

Daniel

Daniel, Daniel, Daniel. This man is dreamy, well once you get past the tough exterior. He has money and a job that puts him in the midst of the crazy lives of famous people, he can come across as grim when he is ecstatic and in pain when he is actually having fun. He is serious 99.9% of the time and can’t remember the last time he felt like himself. When Wendy enters his life, he begins feeling things he hasn’t felt in a while. I loved watching this man who seemed so entirely unaffected, cold, and collected in the beginning, transform into this guy who was completely shaken by just one girl.

Doug from Forget You

Doug

Oh Doug, one of my favorite out of ALL of Jennifer Echol’s books. He gives off the ultimate bad boy vibe especially considering he had a quick stint in juvie a few years prior. When Zoey looses her entire memory leading up to and following the event, it is up to Doug to help her out. I loved that he was so hot and cold. One minute he is giving Zoey the smolder and the next thing you know, a snarky comment is coming out of his mouth. Despite all of the attitude he gives off, Doug does his best to be there for Zoey when no one else is. I adore the fact that he has such strong feelings for her and he tries to keep them at bay until he’s sure that she feels the same way. Also, let me just say, there are some oh so hot moments featuring Doug. They are by far some of my favorite scenes in all of Jennifer’s books!

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Jennifer Echols Week + Book Review: Star Crossed

Jennifer Echols Week

We have made it to day 5 of Jennifer Echols Week! I am having a blast with this and I hope you guys are too! I will be sharing a review for one of Jennifer’s Adult Romantic Comedies today. If you have a Jennifer Echols post to share, be sure to add it on the linky tool down below and if you happen to post it to Twitter, tag it with #JenniferEcholsWeek!

Star Crossed

Title: Star Crossed (Stargazer #1)

Author: Jennifer Echols

Pages: 384 paperback

Publisher: Pocket Books

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

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.

I have fallen in love with yet another Jennifer Echols book, as if I should be surprised. Jennifer has managed to weave together a story full of some pretty magnificent things like two incredible main characters, a romance that was both sweet and scorching, and a story that kept my attention from beginning to end.

Wendy and Daniel were exactly what I like to see in characters! Wendy is this feisty, hilarious, sarcastic, and successful woman desperately trying to save her job. She sometimes (okay…most of the time) lets her mouth get her in trouble and she is a tough cookie to deal with. It is because of this that her job is on the line. Even though she has this tough, down-to-business exterior, Wendy has this fun, not-quite-sweet-but-certainly-loveable side to her too. She has this amazing sense of humor that had me cracking up page after page. However, Wendy doesn’t always crack a joke just to see a smile on someone’s face; she sometimes uses her humor to mask the hurt she still carries from her past.

Totally unlike Wendy in almost every way, Daniel is calm, cool, and collected. He has this confidence to him and his unflappable appearance make him seem almost cold as does his never-changing facial expressions. He doesn’t like to be frazzled or out of control because of his rough past, one of the few things he does have in common with Wendy. He uses that control to hide the pain he’s really feeling. But underneath it all, the coldness and the pain, Daniel is this funny, caring, and sometimes even sweet guy just waiting to burst free.

Even though these two characters couldn’t be more different, they do share an attraction to one another that had me fanning myself off because it was just oh so hot! Wendy and Daniel are two people who don’t really like one another and they also happen to work for rival firms. They should be staying as far away from each other as possible but that would be no fun now wouldn’t it? When they are forced to work together instead of against one another, the tension (the “I sort of want to slam my head against the wall when you are near” kind and the “I can’t stop looking at you, being near you, thinking of you” kind) escalates until the pages are practically burning up with it. Daniel and Wendy both try to act like the things they are feeling for one another are purely physical but as the story goes on and their relationship evolves, we find that couldn’t be further from the truth. I loved seeing how these two characters changed over time because of the time they spend together. Wendy learns to let her fears and insecurities of her past go. It isn’t easy learning to trust again but with Daniel, she slowly learns how. Daniel, for the first time in a long time, begins to loosen up. He doesn’t like feeling out of control but that’s exactly how Wendy makes him feel and he finds out that doesn’t seem to mind in the slightest.

As Wendy and Daniel tackle their tough jobs, stars who are acting bonkers, and Las Vegas, things start happening that are a little out of the ordinary. Well more out of the ordinary than usual. I really liked that Jennifer included this sense of mystery into the story. The romance and tension between the characters were awesome but this was a key element to keep the plot and storyline progressing. The funny moments mixed with the creepy moments really reminded me of Meg Cabot’s Heather Wells Series which you know, is really cool because I love that series!

I was absolutely thrilled when I learned that Jennifer Echols would be writing and Adult series. I didn’t know what to expect but I should have known that awesome characters, a quirky and hilarious sense of humor, a romance that sizzled and gave me all sorts of butterflies, and story that had me flying through the pages would be included because with Jennifer freaking Echols, could you expect anything else?

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Jennifer Echols Week: Jennifer Goes Young Adult, New Adult, & Adult!

Jennifer Echols Week

Hey there lovely bookish people and welcome to Day #4 of Jennifer Echols Week! For those of you who haven’t heard, Jennifer Echols Week is an event I created to help celebrate one of my favorite authors EVER! Please feel free to join in at any time throughout the week by coming up with a Jennifer Echols related blog post and coming back here to link up!

For today’s post, I am going to be discussing the many different types of books that Jennifer Echols writes! She has a few Young Adult Romantic Comedies, a few Young Adult Romantic Dramas, a New Adult Paranormal, and now Adult Romantic Comedies. Just when I thought I had found just what type of writing I liked best from her, Jennifer managed to introduce me to something new, making me fall in love with her writing even more!

Young Adult Romantic Comedies:

Major Crush  The Ex Games  Endless Summer  The One That I Want

Jennifer has an awesome sense of humor. This is evident in most of her books (even the dramas have a few precious moments that make me chuckle!) but it is her Y.A. romantic comedies that steal the show. They have those moments of simple, quietly hilarious humor that kind of sneaks up and bites you in the butt. These stories are charming and sweet. The romance in them is also incredible! Her Y.A. novels portray those epic high school romances that get your heart pumping and the swoon well, swooning. I also feel that it is important to mention that even though these novels are generally light-hearted and fun, Jennifer is also very sneaky at incorporating some of the heavier stuff without it seeming like a sad book.

Young Adult Romantic Dramas:

Love Story  Forget You  Going Too Far  Such A Rush  Dirty Little Secret

Jennifer’s Y.A. Romantic Dramas are the ones that have stolen my heart completely. They make you experience all of the feelings. There are moments of heartbreak, anger, frustration, there are moments you will sort of really want to punch the main character, moments you will sort of really want the main character to punch the love interest, but then Jennifer switches everything up on you. She makes sure you experience the moments of chemistry and budding love, the moments when a character transforms from the person they start the novel out as into someone similar but changed for the better, and then there are the moments that feature Hunter, Doug, Officer After, Grayson, and Sam. The boys of her Romantic Dramas make me blush, give me butterflies, have my heart beating a mile a minute, and they also sort of give me crazy expectations for the boyfriend I hope to snag one day. I love these books because Jennifer has the tension, the romance, the plot, the setting, the leading ladies and the boys that steal their hearts all down to a science

New Adult Paranormal:

Levitating Las Vegas

I have not had the chance to read this yet but I am literally shaking with excitement. First off, I am a huge fan-girl of New Adult. I am a “new adult” so it’s like I’ve found my place in the bookish world. The people in NA books are my age, they are experiencing things I would be experiencing if I wasn’t at home with my cat all of the time. Then there is the fact that this book is a paranormal book. I mean when I think of Jennifer Echols, I initially think of her as Queen Of All Things Contemporary. But then I think, “You know what, Jennifer Echols would be a kick-ass writer no matter what she is writing.” I am so excited to see how this type of story compares to all of her other stories because it is so different!

Adult Romantic Comedies:

Star Crossed  Playing Dirty

I just finished my first Jennifer Echols Adult Romantic Comedy a few hours ago and holy wow! It was so funny. Just when things got a little intense something would happen that would have me totally cracking up. I don’t know if this is going to be an element in all of her Adult Romantic Comedies (at least the ones in this series) but there was also a sense of mystery which I totally loved! It was very reminiscent of Meg Cabot’s Heather Wells series (which I totally freaking loved!). And let’s not forget the romance. It was sizzling. There was tension. There were sexy times that were well, sexy. There was a heart throb doubling as the love interest. There were two people that were so different yet alike in many different ways. I found myself rooting for both characters and then grinning like a fool when they were finally together.

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A SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:

So I was a total lame-o and forgot I had the Twitter party scheduled for last night. You can blame it on the brilliance that is Jennifer Echols because I was so caught up in one of her books that I forgot I even had the party planned. So here’s the thing, I am going to try and do it again tonight at 8 p.m. ET. Be sure to use the hashtag #JenniferEcholsWeek to connect with fellow “party attendees” as we talk about all things Jennifer Echols. I hope you are all having as much fun with this week as I am and I cannot wait to see you at the party!

Jennifer Echols Week + Book Review: Such A Rush

Jennifer Echols Week

Welcome to day 3 of Jennifer Echols Week, an event I put together in celebration of Jennifer Echols, all of her awesome books, and her upcoming book Dirty Little Secret. The week is going to be filled with fun posts, events, and giveaways. To participate in the event, all you have to do is come up with some type of post regarding Jennifer and her books and then come back here on each day of the event and link up! Also, don’t forget that we are going to be having a Twitter Party tonight by using the hashtag #JenniferEcholsWeek. Be sure to stop by at 8 p.m. ET to discuss all things Jennifer Echols! I have the schedule of the week’s events at the end of this post along with where you will link up if you have a post for today!

Such A Rush

Title: Such A Rush

Author: Jennifer Echols

Pages: 325 Hardcover

Publisher: MTV Books

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

A sexy and poignant romantic tale of a young daredevil pilot caught between two brothers.

When I was fourteen, I made a decision. If I was doomed to live in a trailer park next to an airport, I could complain about the smell of the jet fuel like my mom, I could drink myself to death over the noise like everybody else, or I could learn to fly.

Heaven Beach, South Carolina, is anything but, if you live at the low-rent end of town. All her life, Leah Jones has been the grown-up in her family, while her mother moves from boyfriend to boyfriend, letting any available money slip out of her hands. At school, they may diss Leah as trash, but she’s the one who negotiates with the landlord when the rent’s not paid. At fourteen, she’s the one who gets a job at the nearby airstrip.

But there’s one way Leah can escape reality. Saving every penny she can, she begs quiet Mr. Hall, who runs an aerial banner-advertising business at the airstrip and also offers flight lessons, to take her up just once. Leaving the trailer park far beneath her and swooping out over the sea is a rush greater than anything she’s ever experienced, and when Mr. Hall offers to give her cut-rate flight lessons, she feels ready to touch the sky.

By the time she’s a high school senior, Leah has become a good enough pilot that Mr. Hall offers her a job flying a banner plane. It seems like a dream come true . . . but turns out to be just as fleeting as any dream. Mr. Hall dies suddenly, leaving everything he owned in the hands of his teenage sons: golden boy Alec and adrenaline junkie Grayson. And they’re 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.

Do you ever have those moments when you know you are missing out on something awesome? Like those nights when your friends are out doing something exciting and thrilling while you sit at home with your cat? This is exactly how I felt last year when Such A Rush first came out and everyone and their mother was reading it and falling in love with yet another Jennifer Echols book. I am not quite sure why I have waited until now to read the book but the important thing is that I FINALLY have and I can say that I don’t feel so out of the loop now!

Such A Rush snuck up on me. It was one of those books that you enjoy, you swoon over, and practically gobble up while your reading it but you don’t realize just how much you like it until afterwards while thoughts of every little detail of the book swirl around your head and consume you with nothing but pure love towards it.

Leah, our main character, has a challenging life from home, to work, to school, and even with boys. She lives in a very run-down trailer on the wrong side of town with a mom who happens to be away more than she is actually at home. Leah has learned to support and take care of herself from a very young age. Coming from such a rough home life has made Leah’s social life just as difficult. She faces a lot of negativity from fellow classmates; the girls are all cruel and the guys think she’s easy. Even though this harsh life is a reality for Leah, she does what she can to make due. It is the determination she has to end up differently than her mom and the strives that she makes regardless of how negative people are toward her that really made her an admiral character. Leah was hard to like at times with her personality being harsh sometimes (understandably so, considering her support system) and how negative she was with things she had no control over like a poor excuse for a mom and a trailer that is falling apart. Even though these qualities were hard to like at certain moments, they made me love Leah more as a character in the long run. I appreciated that fact that she was flawed; she was negative and impulsive but she was also determined, strong, and sweeter than she really wanted anyone to know. The good parts of her mixed with the parts of her that weren’t quite as positive, all made her seem like such a real, complex, and well-rounded character.

Before you start feeling too sorry for Leah (which she would SOO hate, by the way) she did have a few people who were there for her. First and foremost is Mr. Hall. Mr. Hall treated her like some sort of long-lost daughter. When Leah began working at the airport, he took her under his wing (cheesy pun totally intended) and gave her the best thing he could possibly give; flight, a rush, that one fleeting moment in which Leah could feel in control of her life. It is because of Mr. Hall’s generosity that Leah’s passion for flying is fed. By some twisted turn of events, Leah also manages to snag a best friend despite all the cruel comments she generally receives at school. As far as best friend characters go, Molly is one of my least favorites but in the same sense, she couldn’t be a better fit as Leah’s best friend. Coming from a rich, stable family, Molly couldn’t be more different from Leah save for the same feisty personality. Molly came off as a snob to me throughout most of the book. She lacked the understanding that best friends seem to have for one another. She was sometimes rude whether it was intentional or not and moments in which I thought she should have been supporting her best friend, she was doing the opposite. I don’t mean to make Molly sound like a downright horrible person. She actually did redeem herself near the end of the novel and stepped up to be the type of friend Leah needed. Her personality, while at times really annoyed the heck out of me, worked well with Leah’s.

When Mr. Hall passes away and his twin sons return to run his flying business, Leah is thrust in the middle of Alec and Greyson’s messy, complicated lives. Harboring a secret crush on Greyson for the past three years but also sort of disliking him at the same time, Leah is shocked when he asks her to fly a plane for their company. Now Leah and Greyson have a lot working against them like the fact that there has been building resentment on both sides for the past three years, the fact that Greyson is blackmailing Leah into dating his brother, Leah sort of works for Greyson now, and they are both still dealing with the emotions surrounding Mr. Halls death. Despite all that’s stacked against them, there is chemistry, an undeniable attraction that made me melt into a giant, ooey, gooey puddle. Neither one wanted to admit to their feelings, neither one wanted to back away from the grudges they’ve been holding onto for all of this time but oh so slowly, through the course of the book, their walls began to crumble. Every look, every touch, every unexpected laugh, every sweet moment took my breath away. It was like Jennifer wrote the best kind of tension one could hope to read about.

Greyson, despite the fact that he is so clearly taken with Leah, gained a large portion of my heart throughout the course of this book. At first I thought he was an ass. Okay, there I said it, the worst part is out. He came across as this manipulative, arrogant guy who continually talked down to Leah. It wasn’t until we learned a little more about his intentions that my mind changed on Greyson in the biggest way possible. Here was this teenager who lost his big brother and dad all within the course of a couple of months. In the same time he gained a business and all of the responsibility that comes along with that as well as watching out for his twin brother. Greyson has a lot to take on at once and he does what he thinks he has to do to protect the people he cares about. That kind of love and loyalty goes a long way in making Katelyn swoon all over the place. When Greyson’s true feeling for Leah slowly began seeping through, it was like I (and Leah of course) didn’t stand a chance. It would be impossible not to fall for that. Same as Leah, Greyson is a flawed character. On top of being manipulative and arrogant, Greyson is also bossy, controlling, and more broken after his father and brother’s death than he wants to let on. But also like Leah, these qualities mixed with his dedication to his family, his strength and perseverance during such a tough time in life, and how he takes care of those he love made him seem like the best kind of character there could ever be: a real one.

There’s a lot to adore about this book. With her magnificent writing talent, Jennifer created a book that came to life for me. I could see the dirty trailer park Leah lived in. I could see the airport; hear the roar of the planes as they soared overhead. Leah herself, along with Greyson, Alex, Molly, and Mr. Hall became more than just a figment of imagination. I could picture each small yet significant moment between Leah and Greyson. I may be a bit late to the “I Love Such A Rush Hardcore” party but the important thing is that I am here now. Jennifer Echols did not disappoint with this novel of about loss, friendship, love, and the thrill of flying.

ADD YOUR #JenniferEcholsWeek LINK:

SCHEDULE:

Tuesday July 9th: Kick-off Post + Tune In Tuesday Jennifer Echols Edition

On this day I will have my kick-off post that is also doubling as a Tune In Tuesday post. I will be featuring some music inspired by the lovely Jennifer Echols.

Wednesday July 10th: Cover Talk

Jennifer has a wide range of books and with this, a wide range of covers. Feel free to join me as I discuss which ones I freaking love and which ones, I well, don’t.

Thursday July 11th: Review of Such A Rush

I am excited to see what this book is all about!

Thursday July 11th: TWITTER PARTY!

Join me and whoever heck else wants to join in as we take over Twitter with fan-girlish talk of Jennifer Echols. The party will start at 8 p.m. ET. You can join in on the party by using the #JenniferEcholsWeek hashtag! *Thanks Estelle for this AWESOME idea!*

Friday July 12th: Jennifer’s types of books: Romantic Comedies, Romantic Dramas, Adult, New Adult

I am going to be talking about my favorites from each category, what she brings to each one, etc.

Saturday July 13th: Review of Star Crossed

J. Echols does an adult book. Heck to the yes!

Sunday July 14th: Jennifer’s Boys

One of my favorite things in a Jennifer Echols book: a swoon-worthy boy!

Monday July 15th: Review of Levitating Las Vegas OR Something else that I haven’t decided yet…

Tuesday July 16th: Recap of week + Review of Dirty Little Secret + Giveaway

Jennifer Echols Week comes to an end *cries*

Jennifer Echols Week: Cover Talk

Jennifer Echols Week

Hi there everyone and welcome to day two of Jennifer Echols Week! If you are just tuning in, Jennifer Echols Week is an event in which book nerds get together to help spread the love of all things Jennifer Echols in anticipation of her upcoming book, Dirty Little Secret. You can join in on the event at anytime by posting on your blog about something related to Jennifer Echols whether it be a book review, a fun post, or a discussion about her books. Once you have a post up, you can come back over here and link up for each day that you participate. The schedule of what I will be doing here on the blog is at the end of this post along with the linky tool. Also be sure to come back here on July 16th for a giveaway!

Today I am going to be discussing the many covers of Jennifer’s books. I am a self-appointed book snob. Judging books by their covers is something I have been doing my whole life and I just can’t seem to stop. For the most part, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the covers that Jennifer has. They differ depending on what type book she has but I think that is sort of the appeal. Depending on what type of mood I am in, I gravitate towards a certain type of book and the covers that Jennifer has, make deciding on what to read next a pretty easy task.

Love Story  Forget You  Going Too Far

Such A Rush  Dirty Little Secret

Jennifer’s Young Adult Romantic Dramas happen to house some of my FAVORITE of her books. They also happen to feature some of my favorite J.E. covers!

Love Story, Forget You, and Going Too Far are all very similar design wise. The fonts of the titles as well as the title placement are all very similar. I like the uniformity of it. They look somewhat the same because they are all similar in the romantic drama aspect but they are also different enough to show that they are their own stories. Also, they all feature a boy and a girl…maybe not all of the boy or all of the girl, but they are present nonetheless. I happen to really adore all of these covers which is actually odd for me. I am not opposed to real people on my covers, BUT, despite all of the descriptions that Jennifer includes of her characters and their appearance, I cannot help but picture myself as the girl in those three books. Blame it on the swoon-worthy, hunky guys in them that I so desperately want to be real. With all of that being said, if I cannot really be the love interest of all three of those guys, then I suppose the cover models that were picked portray the characters fine. Okay, they are exactly how I picture the main characters when I am not seeing myself in the arms of Officer After or Doug Doug Oh Doug Doug Dougie Doug Doug (sorry, couldn’t resist a Hangover reference).

Then we get to the covers of Such A Rush and Dirty Little Secret. These covers are SO pretty! I am a cute-font-junkie so you can imagine my excitement over the adorable, swirly font of the titles and Jennifer’s name. Like the three books above, this similarity gives the books a slight uniformity without them seeming too matchy-matchy. Even though I think the cover of Such A Rush is so dang pretty, that is not exactly how I picture the main character. She has dark hair yes, but it’s wildly crazy and curly. Sure she straightens it once in the book but the love interest likes it better curly. What Grayson says should go ESPECIALLY on the cover of the book. All silliness aside, it’s a pretty book I just wish the cover model would have a curly mass of long, dark hair. As for Dirty Little Secret, I think it works perfect for the book. As Tara mentioned in her post yesterday, this is the one and only Jennifer Echols book that doesn’t have a characters face on it. While I find it odd to change up the pattern now, I still think the cover fits so well with the bluegrass, countrified theme in the book!

Major Crush  The Ex Games

Endless Summer  The One That I Want

Jennifer’s Young Adult Romantic Comedies come with a whole different look! I’ve had the pleasure of reading three of these four books. While I do like the covers for most of them, I found myself really not caring all that much what the covers looked like when I was immersed in the stories.

Major Crush and The Ex Games have a very different look than any of Jennifer’s other books. The cartoon covers are most certainly not my favorite BUT I feel like they make sense for these books. The cartoon covers remind me of books that I read in middle school and during my first year or two of high school. I liked the cutesy books with a little bit of romance and a whole lot of fluff. I’m not saying that these two books are fluffy by any means, but they do have that certain cutesy appeal to them that I feel younger teens are more attracted to.

As for Endless Summer, it happens to be one of my FAVORITE character representations EVER! I could so see that as Lori and Adam. Also, their outfits, the dock, and the bright blue sky all work so well to give off that beachy, summery feel that emits from this book from cover to cover. The One That I Want again has a similar design to Endless Summer. I really like this cover for its character representation as well. The scene on the cover reminds me so much of a scene that really happens in the book! I feel like whoever designed these two covers had a really good idea of who the characters looked like and what they were dong within the pages of the book.

Levitating Las Vegas

This is Jennifer’s first New Adult Paranormal novel and holy wow am I so excited for it! There have been SO many discussion posts around the blogosphere about how all New Adult novels tend to have similar covers. I am not going to lie, I love almost all of those covers but that is a topic for another day. With all of that being said, I really like that Jennifer went with something different from the norm of not only just about every other NA book out there but also something different from any of her other books. It certainly has a different feel to it; something new and refreshing that isn’t seen on any of the other covers. With this being Jennifer’s first Paranormal book, I am happy to see that it shows off the paranormalness with a levitating cover model but it is not shouting in your face “HEY! LOOKIE HERE; I AM A PARANORMAL BOOK.” I guess what I am trying to say is I like the subtleness of the paranormal aspect of this cover; it is just enough.

Star Crossed  Playing Dirty

I am not ashamed to admit that I jumped with glee when I heard that Jennifer was writing Adult Romantic Comedy. I love these covers to absolute pieces. With me being a sort-of-newbie to Adult books, these are exactly the covers I would go for if I didn’t know of the awesomeness that is Jennifer Echols. They are cute, they look somewhat similar to give you that indication that they go together without looking exactly the same, and I like that the cover models seem to match the books. For instance, in Star Crossed, the main characters spend a lot of time in a hotel/casino in Las Vegas. I could so see that picture being taken in lounge in a Las Vegas casino!

Well there you have it, more than you could probably ever need to know regarding my thoughts on all of the covers for Jennifer Echols’ books. For the most part I love her covers to pieces for many different reasons. Regardless of the covers though, I know one thing for sure: within the pages of those covers, Jennifer delivers one heck of a story each and every time.

ADD YOUR #JenniferEcholsWeek LINK:

SCHEDULE:

Tuesday July 9th: Kick-off Post + Tune In Tuesday Jennifer Echols Edition

On this day I will have my kick-off post that is also doubling as a Tune In Tuesday post. I will be featuring some music inspired by the lovely Jennifer Echols.

Wednesday July 10th: Cover Talk

Jennifer has a wide range of books and with this, a wide range of covers. Feel free to join me as I discuss which ones I freaking love and which ones, I well, don’t.

Thursday July 11th: Review of Such A Rush

I am excited to see what this book is all about!

Thursday July 11th: TWITTER PARTY!

Join me and whoever heck else wants to join in as we take over Twitter with fan-girlish talk of Jennifer Echols. The party will start at 8 p.m. ET. You can join in on the party by using the #JenniferEcholsWeek hashtag! *Thanks Estelle for this AWESOME idea!*

Friday July 12th: Jennifer’s types of books: Romantic Comedies, Romantic Dramas, Adult, New Adult

I am going to be talking about my favorites from each category, what she brings to each one, etc.

Saturday July 13th: Review of Star Crossed

J. Echols does an adult book. Heck to the yes!

Sunday July 14th: Jennifer’s Boys

One of my favorite things in a Jennifer Echols book: a swoon-worthy boy!

Monday July 15th: Review of Levitating Las Vegas OR Something else that I haven’t decided yet…

Tuesday July 16th: Recap of week + Review of Dirty Little Secret + Giveaway

Jennifer Echols Week comes to an end *cries*