Thursday, December 29, 2011

The One That I Want by Jennifer Echols

The One That I Want by Jennifer Echols
Release Date: December 6, 2011 (eBook Format Only. Print release pending)
Publisher: Simon Pulse

Gemma can’t believe her luck when the star football player starts flirting with her. Max is totally swoon-worthy, and even gets her quirky sense of humor. So when he asks out her so-called best friend Addison, Gemma’s heartbroken. Then Addison pressures Gemma to join the date with one of Max’s friends. But the more time they all spend together, the harder Gemma falls for Max. She can’t help thinking that Max likes her back—it’s just too bad he’s already dating Addison. How can Gemma get the guy she wants without going after her best friend’s boyfriend?  - Goodreads.com

So-called friend is right!!  Addison has to be one of the most unlikeable characters I've read in a long time.  But then again, she was supposed to be.  I'm sure some people will read this and think, "how could Gemma stay friends with this girl?"  That was my first reaction too, but after reading it a bit more, I couldn't help but remember some times in my teen years when I had friends just like her.  You know the kind... You're close to them because you either feel obligated, or because who would you be without them, you think.  I remember having friends like that... friends that used me for things (usually a ride, because I was always older than everyone else and was the only one with a car), but when they didn't need me, they weren't there.  So really, if you think about it, Addison was completely realistic, and so was the dynamic betwen her and Gemma. 

Just as Addison was realistic, so was Gemma.  A flawed teen who struggles with image somewhat, and in a way that is so typical to teen girls, but really all women.  I loved Gemma.  She was so strong, but didn't know it.  It was a subtle strength that grew and expanded throughout her experiences.  It was great getting to watch her blossom.

Her love interest was so sweet and cute and funny and quirky.  He was perfect for her and the two of them were awesome together!!

Let's go straight to the heart of Jennifer Echols' talent as a YA writer.  She just has a knack for writing realistic teenaged characters in teenaged circumstances.  Her characters, the situations they're in, and their reactions, all ring so true.  It really sinks you into the story until you forget you're reading a "story."  She's one of my favorite YA writers for this reason.  Her stories are simple.  They're about real people in real situations.  The emotions are so clear and bare for the reader.  And when the conclusion finally comes, you just feel satisfied.

Her next book, Such a Rush comes out in July 2012.  How will we wait for the next one???

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