Tag Archives: Jennifer Echols

Author Interview with Jennifer Echols
Author Interviews
July 2, 2013 posted by Nichole

Author Interview with Jennifer Echols

Jennifer Echols was born in Atlanta and grew up in a small town on a beautiful lake in Alabama—a setting that has inspired many of her books. She has written nine romantic novels for young adults, including the comedy MAJOR CRUSH, which won the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the drama GOING TOO FAR, which was a finalist in the RITA, the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the Book Buyer’s Best, and was nominated by the American Library Association as a Best Book for Young Adults. Simon & Schuster will debut her adult romance novels in 2013, with many more teen novels scheduled for the next few years. She lives in Birmingham with her husband and her son. Find out more about Jennifer Echols on her website.

Tacos or Burritos?
Enchiladas verdes!
Nashville or The Vampire Diaries?
Because of my new book release, I’m going to say Nashville, OBVS. But I don’t watch a lot of TV, and I’ve never seen either of these shows.
Harcopies or Ebooks?
Hard copies forever! I get annoyed with having to turn the page on e-readers, and I forget what’s stored on the device. I like to hold books in my hands and look at them on my shelves. Don’t tell anyone.
Can you tell us about your upcoming book, Dirty Little Secret?
It’s about Bailey, one-half of a bluegrass duet with her sister, who tries desperately to hold her life together after her sister is given a huge recording contract and Bailey is hushed away. Then she meets charismatic Sam, who is determined that Bailey is just what he needs to get a contract for his own band—and he will do anything to convince her.
What made you choose Nashville as your setting?
Originally the book was going to be set in honky-tonks in Atlanta because I was born there, I’ve lived there as an adult, and I just know it better. Sometimes I need my editor to say really obvious things to me like, “YOUR COUNTRY MUSIC BOOK SHOULD BE SET IN NASHVILLE.”
What was your favorite scene to write?
Oh, the awkward, romantic first time with Sam.
What was the most difficult scene to write?
My editor asked me to rearrange, take out, and fill in some scenes at the beginning, when Bailey plays in a string of strange tribute bands. It’s always hard to see a book through someone else’s eyes, but the story is better with those revisions.
I have to say, Bailey’s parents infuriated me. Was it difficult to write about them at times?16058488
No. If they infuriate you, you’re seeing them from Bailey’s point of view, which is what I intended. But if you look at the situation from their perspective, I think you can understand why they react to Bailey the way they do. At the beginning of the novel, Bailey is able to communicate her fury but not the love behind it.
Will Bailey or Julie get another book, or are their stories finished?
I like to write about one couple per book, so Bailey won’t get another, but I would love to write a book about Julie.
A large part of Dirty Little Secret surrounds music. How much research did you have to put into that?
Not very much, honestly. When I was growing up, my dad was listening to a lot of country music, watching Hee-Haw on TV, and teaching himself to play the banjo. I was actually a music major in college before I switched to English, and for years I’ve researched music stars in all genres because I’ve been fascinated about how they got started. So I already had the building blocks to write the book. I just double-checked my facts about the musicians I mention, picked out the chords on the piano (I don’t have perfect pitch like Bailey), and took a trip to Nashville to make sure a night in one of the Broadway bars was as fantastic as I’d imagined (it was).
What are you working on next?
Biggest Flirts, the first YA romantic comedy in my new series for Simon Pulse, is coming out next May, and I’m currently writing book two.
What is currently in your To-Be-Read pile?
Weirdly, a lot of sci-fi! Every week I listen to a fantastic podcast called Writing Excuses, and I’ve gotten interested in reading books by the speakers—Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, and Mary Robinette Kowal—and some of the authors they recommend, like John Scalzi. I have no plans to write sci-fi, but I’ve always loved reading it. A good story is a good story.

Dirty Little Secret – Jennifer Echols
Book Reviews
July 1, 2013 posted by Nichole

Dirty Little Secret – Jennifer Echols

16058488From the author of the “real page-turner” (SeventeenSuch 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…


As someone who used to claim that she hated contemporary books, I have read SO many of them this year. And it just so happens that it was Jennifer Echols that made me fall in love with contemporary. I remember reading Such a Rush last year, and all the feels that it made me have. It is probably one of my top ten favorite books. So, obviously, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on her upcoming book, Dirty Little Secret.

Dirty Little Secret is about a fiddle player named Bailey. Since she was just a little girl, her parents have dragged her and her sister, Julie, around to gigs in the hopes that they would get noticed and get a record deal. And one day that does happen….but only for Julie. Bailey has been excluded from the record deal, and her parents have demanded that she quit music altogether so that she does not mess up Julie’s career.

Since Julie got her record deal, Bailey has spent the last year screwing up and doing everything in her power to disappoint her parents. But after a car crash that involved drugs, Bailey has been cast out of the family to live with her grandfather. And if she messes up just one more time, her parents won’t pay for her college tuition.

Bailey’s grandfather gets her a gig at a mall, where she ends up meeting Sam. Convinced of her talent, Sam persuades Bailey to join his band on some gigs. Afraid of her parents threat, Bailey is terrified to perform with the band, but her love for music and her new found feelings for Sam convince her to live just a little. But with everything that’s going on in her life lately, Bailey isn’t quite ready to allow Sam in her life once and for all.


Jennifer Echols’s writing style is so freaking beautiful. This is the second book of hers that I’ve read, and every single time she makes me feel so many damn feels. Whether it be crying over Such a Rush or screaming at the stupid parents in Dirty Little Secret, I always have so many emotions going through me. I don’t think that I could ever DISlike a book by Jennifer Echols. I don’t even think that it is physically possible. However, I will say that this book pissed me off probably more than it should have.

My first issue with Dirty Little Secret was the stupid ass parents in the book. I hated them so much that it made it really difficult to enjoy the book at times. Seriously….what kind of parents ditch one kid to fawn over another? WHO DOES THAT?! They treated Bailey like absolute shit. They told her to give up her music…something that she loved more than anything!…and then they threatened not to pay for her college tuition if she didn’t listen to them. Now….not that my parents can afford to pay for my college tuition. I mean…most parents can’t, and I have a pretty decent chunk of student loans, but they would NEVER do that to me. I mean…maybe I had so many issues with the parents, because I’m freakishly close with my mother, but I HATED THEM. I would scream at my book, I would slam it shut and refuse to read any more of it for awhile, I would vent. I would just get so damn mad at this book because of the stupid parents. I have to stress that this is NOT bad writing! I mean….I think that it’s pretty amazing writing to get me so damn upset over a character. But they just made me so mad!

Another thing is that I hated…hated hated HATED Sam. I found him to have very abusive behavior. Abuse isn’t always physical, and I just found him to be a crybaby who was emotionally screwing up Bailey to get his own way. Bailey went along with it, too, which upset me even more. So the romance in the book was a major miss for me. It’s really hard when I find myself not enjoying several characters. Loved the writing……wanted to bash in several faces.

There were some negatives in the book for me, but there were also several positives. First, I LOVED that this book was set in Nashville. I don’t know if any of you have watched the television show, Nashville, that premiered this year. I love it. It’s probably my favorite television show this year…if not one of my top favorite shows ever. I’ve never been a huge fan of country until Nashville, and now I can’t get enough of it. Dirty Little Secret had the perfect setting. The perfect atmosphere. The perfect music. The perfect everything. I was in love with what this book was about. And Bailey’s a freakin FIDDLE player! How cool is that?

Although I didn’t enjoy some of Bailey’s decisions, I actually really liked Bailey herself. She was very laid back, and she was very easy to follow and get along with. It was a bit difficult at times, because I really hated Sam, but I enjoyed her throughout the whole book.

Dirty Little Secret is the first New Adult book that I’ve read all the way through. I’ve been seeing some crazy talk out there about new adult books, and I don’t really understand the issue. I mean…yes…there were some more advanced romance scenes…but it’s a new adult book. It wasn’t porn or erotica. Maybe not something you would want your little kid reading, but nothing too major or that any teenager hasn’t heard of already. I actually enjoyed the more advanced scenes, probably because I’m almost 23 and it’s nothing I haven’t heard of before. Personally, I wasn’t offended, and I think that a lot of people are going to enjoy the new adult genre.

Overall, I would recommend this book to everyone. I am a huge Jennifer Echols fan, and I’m going to read every single book that she writes. Even though I had some problems with this book, I still liked it. Yes, I hated the parents, Sam, and I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending of the book, but I love her writing. Definitely read this one once it comes out!


Pages: 288

Publication Date: July 16th, 2013

Publisher: MTV Books

Rating: : ★★★½☆


Teaser Quote: ” I sidled forward and put my hand in the pocket of his jeans. Feeling warm as his eyes widened, I shoved my fingers as far down as they could reach into his tight jeans and fished out his guitar slide. I placed in on his middle finger and lifted his hand to my eye level so I could see my tiny, rounded reflection, then brought my lipstick out of my own pocket and reapplied it.

He laughed. “You have style, Bailey.”

“I ain’t nothing but class,” I agreed.


Such a Rush Giveaway
Book of the Month
August 8, 2012 posted by Nichole

Such a Rush Giveaway

Such a Rush, by Jennifer Echols, is our book of the month for August. I fell in LOVE with this book, and I want everyone to have the chance to read it. Thanks to MTV books, we’re able to offer one of you a finished copy of Such a Rush. To enter, fill out the form below.

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.


Nitty Gritty:

Open to US residents only

Giveaway will run from August 8th, 2012 to  August 31st, 2012

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Such a Rush- Jennifer Echols
Book of the Month
August 3, 2012 posted by Nichole

Such a Rush- Jennifer Echols

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.

Leah Jones’s life has always been far from perfect. She has jumped from trailer park to trailer park ever since she was a little girl, dragged around by her dead beat mother. Her new trailer consists of a total of three pictures of herself, an empty fridge, a soggy bathroom floor that is about to cave in, and a pitbull who would eat her alive if only he could get off of his chain. Yeah, Leah Jones’s life is not even in the same hemisphere as perfect.

One day Leah stumbles upon a job opportunity at the airport. Little did she know that she had a deep love for airplanes. Everything about being in the air was pure perfection. The thrill. The glory. The rush.  Before she knew it, Leah was on her way to become a full fledged pilot. That all came crashing down once Mr. Hall, her flight instructor, died of a heart attack.

Desperate to continue flying, and to keep a family secret hidden, Leah takes up Grayson, Mr. Hall’s son, on an offer (or rather she submits to his blackmail threat). Now Leah must date Grayson’s twin brother, Alec, for reasons unknown to her. Join Leah, Grayson, and Alec throughout this book of love, threats, mystery and tears. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.


When I first started this book it was out of pure desperation. I needed something to read, and I needed it to amazing. I had heard great things about Such a Rush, by Jennifer Echols, and I just happened to have a copy of it laying around. I was nervous, though, because I’m not the biggest fan of contemporary books. So, I went into the book thinking that I would give it about three stars. Boy was I wrong.

I loved Leah so much. Not only did I think she was a brilliant, realistic character, but I also related to her on many levels. I know what it feels like to have people hate your guts, and I just wanted to throw myself into the book and jump to Leah’s defense. Leah was so strong and brave. Honestly, I don’t know how she accomplished half as many things as she did in her eighteen years of life.

This book was so realistic to me because I’ve witnessed a lot of the images and confrontations that are displayed throughout the story. I’ve been to the types of trailer parks described in Such a Rush. I’ve witnessed the neglected animals, the drugs, the angry fighting, the beat up trailers that receive no maintenance. I’ve seen everything that Jennifer Echols mentioned about these trailer parks. It’s horrifying to witness, but it’s ultimately real.

Grayson. Grayyyson, Grayson, Grayson. What can I say about him? Other than that I’m completely in love with him, of course? Grayson broke my heart on so many levels. He had just lost two important and beloved people in his life, and he was not coping well. He was obviously devastated and trying to act like nothing bothered him at all. He wanted people to believe that he was fine so much that it went against him and showed people how truly broken he was inside. It was hard for me because I knew how wrong it was for him to blackmail Leah, but it was hard to stay mad at him because of the reasons. He was just….so loveable.

I wasn’t a big fan of Alec or Leah’s best friend, Molly. They got on my nerves a little bit. I wouldn’t say that this took away from the story, but they didn’t have the appeal that Leah and Grayson had. At the same time, though, Alec and Molly added to the realistic feel of the story. Everyone was so real that it was almost scary at times. All of the characters acted exactly how they would or should have in real life.

If only I could express how much I wanted to jump into the story and beat Leah’s mother to a bloody pulp. She was despicable! What kind of mother abandons their child and relies on them to fend for themself and pay all the bills? Who does that?! To say I was appalled is an understatement. I know that this kind of stuff happens, but it really disgusted me. I was not raised in an environment like Leah. I have always been able to depend on my mom. She’s my mom…that’s her job. That’s how it’s always worked in my family. Sometimes Leah was home alone for ten plus days at a time, and I got the feeling that this started while Leah was still in elementary school. I was really horrified at the whole situation.

Overall, I loved this book. I really just want to go out and buy every single book that Jennifer Echols has ever written. Yes, I loved it that much. I think that everyone needs to have the chance to read this book. It’s real. It’s inspiring. It’s just a beautiful story all around. So what are you guys waiting for? Go get this book now!

Some places you can buy this book: Amazon , Barnes and Nobles , The Book Depository

Pages: 325

Publication Date: July 10, 2012

Publisher: MTV Books

Rating: : ★★★★★


Teaser Quote: “I gripped the controls. The trees came fast and I was about to slam into them. In my mind I was taking off again, in control of my airplane, sailing over the trees and over the ocean into the clouds.

I let one sob escape. I heard it in my headphones.

…That’s when I screamed.”

In My Mailbox #32
In My Mailbox
April 9, 2012 posted by Nichole

In My Mailbox #32

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren, inspired by Alea and explores the contents of our mailbox on a weekly basis


Welcome back! So, I was walking out to my mailbox this morning, and I noticed a bunch of packages. Now, my mailbox is really tiny, so the mailman had to really squeeeeeze them in there. So, I’m feeling around one of the packages, and I’m like…”this feels like four books. Who would be sending me four books?” And then I realized what it was and got SUPER excited! I think you guys might just be as excited as I am to see upcoming reviews of these books.




EEK! I’m SO excited to read and review these books!

For Review
Struck by Jennifer Bosworth

Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols (signed copy!)

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

What’s Kiona up to?

Kiona is currently reading:
The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda
Flirting in Italian by Lauren Henderson
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Want to see what I am currently reading or what’s on my TBR list? Check out my goodreads page! It is the perfect place to find out where I am at in a book. You can find that here.

That’s all for now, folks. See you next time!

Going Too Far – Jennifer Echols
Book Reviews
April 14, 2009 posted by Nikki

Going Too Far – Jennifer Echols

One night, while drunk and high and making out with the town loser down by the train bridge Meg and her friends manage to get themselves arrested. As punishment, they’re sentenced to spend a week with the police, ambulance and fire services observing crime and safety and come up with some kind of proposal that the town officials can not only use, but also shows that they’ve learned their lesson. Meg gets stuck riding in Officer After’s police car and Meg couldn’t think of anything worse. Officer After is a staunch, stuck up, law-abiding citizen and as far as Meg is concerned, the exact opposite of her.

But Meg isn’t the only tortured soul in town and little does she know that Officer After is harbouring some of his own dark secrets, too. Having Meg in his car seems to break down Officer After’s hard exterior, little by little.

There’s something about After that gets under Meg’s skin. Maybe it’s his blindingly good looks. Maybe it’s just because she doesn’t understand him. But her lack of understanding makes her want to understand. More than anything.

In a move so out of character that it takes her completely by surprise, Meg finds herself falling for Officer After and that can only lead to bad, bad things. Meg is in her final year of high school. She has big plans for herself. Plans that involve leaving the dead end town where she lives. How can she leave if she’s got something like a boyfriend holding her back? But Meg isn’t the relationship type, so what does she even care?

See her predicament?

When I first started reading this novel, I was worried that it was just going to be another story about a good, wholesome boy taming a wild, out-of-control girl. Boy-oh-boy, was I wrong. Both After and Meg are deeply rich characters with many layers that need to be peeled back before the reader is exposed to the real Meg, the real John After. While I do think that Meg is somewhat “tamed” by the end of the novel, I would argue that After is more the trigger than the reason. Meg doesn’t want to be so empty, so void, and John just shows her that she feels this way.

Going Too Far is unapologetic and refuses to pass judgment, instead transferring that responsibility onto the reader. And there are lots of opportunities to judge but I found myself completely unwilling to do so. Echols doesn’t sugar coat her prose or her dialogue and captures the do or die essence of adolescence perfectly. My only criticism is that we didn’t get enough of After and Meg together. Why do writers do this to us? They always leave the union – the bit we’re all waiting for – right till the last couple of pages. Here’s hoping she’s planning a sequel!

Rating: : ★★★★☆