Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Review - Endless Summer / Jennifer Echols

Two irresistible boys. One unforgettable summer.

Lori can't wait for her summer at the lake. She loves wake boarding and hanging with her friends--including the two hotties next door. With the Vader brothers, she's always been just one of the guys. Now that she's turning sixteen, she wants to be seen as one of the girls, especially in the eyes of Sean, the older brother. But that's not going to happen--not if the younger brother, Adam, can help it.

Lori plans to make Sean jealous by spending time with Adam. Adam has plans of his own for Lori. As the air heats up, so does this love triangle. Will Lori's romantic summer melt into one hot mess? Goodreads

Review - Presented in alternating perspectives of the love struck duo from The Boys Next Door, Echols throws us back into their story right from the moment we left off. Just like the proceeding novel, it's quick as a flash, with delectable banter and enough emotional turmoil to propel a train across a continent.

Lori's still caught up in her need to fix things using the most devious (and doomed to fail) methods. Adam's still struggling to keep his feelings under control. As they are already together, the plot of the book is mainly devoted to their manoeuvring around Lori's dad's decree that they aren't allowed to date (or go anywhere near one another). It's all hustle and bustle as the reader is thrown from steamy and stealthy couple time to fierce sibling rivalry to the very real threat of parental interference. It's all high emotion and as a result you are bouncing from one incident to another like a bug in a matchbox....except it is more fun.

Echols has a way of weaving a tale so that you feel right there, next to the protagonists as they experience the many emotional hurdles she places before them. Both Lori and Adam are their own worst enemies in completely different way. Lori's stubborn devotion to her craptastic plans gets tiresome after awhile as she focuses solely on what she wants to achieve and not about the possible implications along the way. She irritated me so much that I wanted to reach into the pages of the book and throw some of the dreaded bryozoa at her. Adam's need to stick his foot in his mouth, kick his teeth a little and floss with his shoelaces also add both humour and a seriousness that keeps the reader of their toes. What I am trying to say is that the characters are real in their waivering judgement, their immaturity at times and their inability to communicate what the other needs to hear. They are fully formed individuals. Of particular note is Adam's issues within his family, specifically his mother and Sean, they are addressed and serve to highlight his constant battle with ADHD. A scene between Adam and Lori's father further spotlights how this condition affects his attention span when his focus is very necessary. They are flawed people with flawed decision making that happen to be perfect for one another.

Adam and Lori are engaging characters. The alternating perspectives allow them to rationalise their choices but also allow the reader to feel actively involved. Engagement is the key here. Whether I wanted to kick Lori's butt, applaud McGillicuddy for his brotherly antics, fan myself during kissing scenes or laugh at an incident involving male egos and heights, I was right there with them. A book that doesn't make you feel is just a pile of paper.

If there's anything to critique, I would say that there was a little too much couple action going on. Echols hadn't planned on there being a sequel to The Boys Next Door and I suspect that, combined with the time frame, this may have constricted what she could achieve with some of the secondary characters. I love the brothers, this novel allowed them to be fleshed out more and portrayed the truly contradictory nature of siblings. On the other hand, there wasn't a huge amount for Lori's friends to do but the story didn't suffer for this. The story is Lori and Adam's, football bruises, snogs and all.

A perfect summer read for those who like their reads saucy.

Published: May 25, 2010
Format: Volume of The Boys Next Door and Endless Summer, 587 pages
Publisher: MTV Books
Source: author
Origin: USA


Rowena said...

I read and enjoyed this book. Lori drove me crazy but even though Adam did too, I adored him.

A great beach read and I totally agree that Echols does a fantastic job of making the reader feel what the characters are feeling. It's an engaging read, for sure.

Pens said...

Great review. I am a big Echols fan, her rom coms are fun and adorable. My only critique with this one was as you put it so well, "Lori's stubborn devotion to her craptastic plans gets tiresome after awhile as she focuses solely on what she wants to achieve and not about the possible implications along the way. She irritated me so much that I wanted to reach into the pages of the book and throw some of the dreaded bryozoa at her."

ITA-I kind of chalked it up to her age and relative inexperience,a Echols showed a character-basis for the behavior (same goes for Adam), it wasn't just random. I think because Echols is so strong in every other element of her storytelling it is acceptable, but in a lesser writer it could have been a huge problem.

Chachic said...

Great review! I haven't read The Boys Next Door so I'm really looking forward to Endless Summer. I enjoy reading Jennifer Echols' books and I can't wait for this one. I'm glad your reading slump is gone. :)

Carla said...

I just love these books, it's just pure love! I have lost the power to be anything but ecstatic about this womans work, all my self control instantly vanishes when an Echols book is in my hands. Fabulous review!

Amanda said...

Can't wait to read this one!!
BTW, there's a blog award for you over at my Blog!