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Monday, March 19, 2012

The One That I Want by Jennifer Echols

Release Date: Feb. 7, 2012
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Age Group: Young Adult
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Pages: 288
Buy: Amazon / Book Depository / IndieBound
Description: Goodreads
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?
Jennifer Echols does it again with her new character driven novel The One That I Want, which by the way has nothing whatsoever to do with Grease, the musical.  I have to say that I trust Jennifer one million per cent as a writer and she is my “go to girl” when I want a good romantic story hence the reason I picked this book up last night and READ IT IN ONE SITTING.  Not to mention the fact that she had me googling “hot Asian guys” for inspiration (you’ll see why).

First off the bat, I know nothing about American Football or majorettes (Gemma twirls a baton), I’m not really a sporty person and will often bypass any movie or book that is sports related but it didn’t really matter in this case and I still enjoyed the story.  I learnt this lesson when I watched the movie The Blind Side which I thought was about American Football but it was about much more than that.

Let’s talk characters and I’m going to start with Gemma’s best friend, Addison.   Addison is more of a frenemy than anything else, she is obviously insecure to the core, spoilt and selfish.   I desperately wanted Gemma to tell her to get lost and then I got mad with her when she didn’t but you know what?  Then I remembered a similar situation from my teenage years.  There was a girl who I thought was my friend but whenever we were around any boys, she would constantly put me down.  I think I may have even confronted her about it once.  The thing is, even though I knew what she was doing, we continued to hang around with each other because we were all each other had and so I had to admit that I totally got it.  Thankfully, eventually I got away from her as I’d had enough.  What I’m trying to say is that even though we all know it’s wrong and you shouldn’t have to put up with it, when you’re a teenager, sometimes you do put up with it until you wake up and smell the coffee.

Gemma is the main protagonist in the story and I think a lot of the things that she is going through are definitely relatable - from the estranged father, the weight and confidence issues to the difficult relationship with her mother.  Thank God she has a distraction in the way of Max who is the hot kicker from her school’s rival football team.   What I like most about Max is that he’s not just hot, he’s a nice guy who is dealing with his own insecurities.  Remember I said I was googling “hot Asian guys”?  Well, this (left) is what I came up with for Max:

HELLO!!! Right??  I have to add a caveat here though by saying I don’t recommend you start googling “hot Asian guys” as you can imagine some of the websites and images I came across *shudders*.
I also wanted to give a little mention to Carter who hangs around with Max and let’s face it, he’s a complete doofus but he sort of redeemed himself at the end of the book.

The One That I Want reminded me a little of The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott so if you liked that, you are sure to love this book.  Once again, Jennifer serves up a fantastic story and I CANNOT WAIT to read her first hardback offering Such a Rush when it is published in July, 2012.  The good thing is, I don’t even have to know what the story is about - if Jennifer Echols name is attached to it then I know I need to be reading it.

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