Thursday, October 22, 2015

Review: Endless Summer (The Boys Next Door #1-2) by Jennifer Echols


SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS:
Two irresistible boys. One unforgettable summer.

Lori can’t wait for her summer at the lake. She loves wakeboarding 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? 
MY TAKE:
This book is composed of two parts/books, and I kinda wish it had stopped at the first one.

In Endless Summer, Lori has always been one of the boys. However, she has decided to become more girly and try to catch the attention of Sean. To that end, she enlists the help of Adam, Sean's brother. However, things between Adam and Lori get complicated quickly and now Lori must decide which Vader brother really has her heart.

First, let me get this out of the way. The brothers' surname made me laugh. I like Star Wars, and while I immediately thought of Darth Vader, I also thought that perhaps it wasn't actually a reference to Darth Vader. However, later on, it seems their mom's (or dad's?) first initial is D. making her D. Vader. I thought that was cute.

Anyway, back to the story. I enjoyed the first book, The Boys of Summer. While majority of the book is Lori and her trying to hook up with Sean and falling for Adam, I enjoyed the parts that were about her friendship with the boys and the boys' relationship with each other. My husband has two brothers as well, but his relationship with them now is much more mellow than the relationships in the book. Of course, if I remember correctly, at that age, their relationship wasn't all that rosy either. To that end, I thought that while the conflict and hatred in Sean and Adam's relationship was too much, overall, it does resemble a typical brother-brother-brother relationship.

As for the romance, I was cheering for Lori and Adam. The way Sean was presented, at first, he just seemed so slimy and unlikable that it was obvious from the start who would end up together. Lori's scheming was just unnecessary and painful to watch sometimes, but she and Adam were good for each other. It got a little cliche sometimes, but they were fun to watch most of the time, especially at the end of The Boys of Summer.

Taken alone, I would have given The Boys of Summer four stars. the problem, however, is the second part (Endless Summer?).

The second part has chapters that alternate between Lori and Adam's points-of-view. It was a bit disturbing to see Adam's jealousy and anger. The anger, I guess, I can handle. However, the jealousy was scary to see. Part of it, I think, is his insecurity, his youth and his immaturity. I worry, though, that it may be something a little darker. Hopefully, it's not and it will go away when Adam's ADHD is under control.

Lori, however, didn't do herself any favors here. She doesn't seem like the brightest bulb, sometimes. I also worried about her. She points out that the boys don't plan ahead, but even though Lori plans ahead, her plans aren't exactly well-thought-out. She tries to be manipulative and conniving, but since it doesn't come naturally or she's just not that good at it, things become even more messy.

At about 3/4th of the book, I was exasperated at both of them. It was like they were creating unnecessary drama. Thankfully, things started to look up again, and while I thought the ending was cheesy, I was happy about it anyway.

THE GOOD:

  1. The boys' relationships are realistic.
  2. It's an easy read.
  3. There are some very funny lines here. 

THE BAD:

  1. Lori and Adam still have a bit to work out before their relationship can be considered healthy. 

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
“Let's go," I said.
"Go where?"
"On Lori's date with Parker."
Now he looked at me over the nerdy spectacles he wore for reading.
"I wasn't aware it was a double date. And you're not my type.” 
READ IT IF:

  1. You like Jennifer Echols' other books.
  2. You like love triangles.
  3. You like love triangles wherein the rivals are siblings. 

RATING:
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