03 August 2015

Author Addiction: Jennifer Echols

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Author Addiction is a feature where Kaja at Of Dragons and Hearts and I talk about authors we love who may not have gotten the attention they deserve on our blogs. It is an opportunity to declare our love for them and basically fangirl over how great they are.

This month is a freebie month so Kaja and I got to choose our own authors independently of one another on who to fangirl over. I am going to be honest with you all and let you know I intended to write about Maria V Snyder this month. I had half a dozen points (okay, maybe half a dozen sentences) written up and when I came back to it Saturday to get writing inspiration had struck me in new ways. Basically, I had a moment of indecision (or many) and changed my mind who I wanted to write about. If you saw me in real life you would understand I am so indecisive it is almost painful, I hate decision making and always have. When forced to make a decision I do what pops into my head, which explains why I wrote my dissertation on the Crusades when I had never studied them before (don’t ask). Anyway, I planned on writing about Snyder but then changed my mind Saturday morning after I had been rearranging my growing pile of books to read and I discovered that in my reread book buying I had quite a collection of Jennifer Echols books to read with several more waiting to be bought from various locations. It then hit me, Jennifer Echols is the perfect author to feature in Author Addiction! So here we are, two days before I’m due to post this and writing a whole new post.

4570679You may be shocked to learn this, but the first time I read a Jennifer Echols novel I didn’t actually like it. It seemed cheesy and clichéd and ridiculous. I wrote her off as an author I would not like and left it at that. This was a couple of years before I really started book blogging and I didn’t read book blogs. When I began book blogging and reading other book blogs I discovered Echols was popular among the bloggers I followed, and I respected their opinions because they had not steered me wrong with other books. As such, I decided to give her another chance and I am glad I did because I would have missing out on some excellent books. I then recalled that book I had read so long ago, Going Too Far, and I actually thought a few positive thoughts about it. I decided to pick it up back up and to try again. It was still cheesy and a bit clichéd, but I had grown out of that attitude that just because it was not changing the world with it’s writing that it meant it wasn’t worth my time, instead it was all I wanted to read. Books which had real characters in and fun and interesting situations and romance. I wanted to read books as an escape and as a break and romance is a guarenteed good time and an escape. Echols books are more than just romance, though, they are all about character and growth and that’s what makes them great.

Echols writes excellent contemporary novels, they have excellent romance in and the characters feel real. She is difficult to classify as straight up YA writer because often her writing is a bit more serious than YA tends to be, but I wouldn’t say it’s NA either, but honestly such classification doesn’t matter. Whatever kind of books she writes they are fantastic.  I have read the majority of her books (not all) and I find it hard to fault her. She is an author that does not stray far from a formula that works, but each characters feels different and each story is most definitely different. She writes well, something I did not even think about until I began this post. It’s not pretentious, but it is beautiful. She has the ability to write characters you can relate to and understand and who you can’t help but like, even if they 17931990are not the nicest of people.

I have to say I think my favourite book by her may be Such a Rush, which feels like such a cliché, that is the book everyone loves by her. It’s so good, though, there is a reason everyone touts it out as one of her best books. It is about a girl overcoming adversity, working her way past where she grew up so she can become more. It is an amazing book. I dismissed it, at first, because a book about a girl flying planes sounds pretty boring, right? WRONG! It is way more than that, it is fantastic!

It’s hard to say which Echols book may be best for you newbies to read, I might say Such a Rush, because it is everywhere, it is not just me raving about this book, it is everyone. But I don’t know, I really enjoyed all the books I’ve read by her, I have yet to read one I haven’t enjoyed. She has a newer series, the Superlatives which I’ve really been enjoying. The third book, Most Likely to Succeed is due out this summer so it would be the perfect time to start reading, really. It is one of those high school contemporary romances where each book focuses on a different couple of characters. The first two were great and my favourite has probably been Biggest Flirts, there was just something I loved about these characters. Also, aren’t these covers so pretty, they did an actual casting call for the cover models and everything, that is dedication to a book cover. I adore the outfit of the girl in the second one.

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And that is all I have to say about Jennifer Echols, I hope you go out and give her a chance, and don’t forget to go visit Kaja and her post on Robin Hobb which I will be reading soon because I have never read her! And don’t forget you can always join in and tweet us using the hashtag #AuthorAddiction. Stop by next month when we will be going old school and discussing our love for Jane Austen, you are all welcome to join then.

Have you read any Echols, what did you think? Please give me a favourite book if you have, and tell me all about those authors you love who create characters so real you feel you know them.

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