The Ex Games by Jennifer Echols (Book Review)

Posted October 29, 2012 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult Fiction / 8 Comments

The Ex Games by Jennifer Echols (Book Review)The Ex Games by Jennifer Echols
Published by Simon Pulse on September 8, 2009
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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2.5 Stars

Brace yourself for the battle of the exes...

Hayden and Nick used to be a hot item, but their brief affair ended with a highly publicized breakup. Now the two are "just friends," excluding the occasional flirtation.

When Hayden wins the girls' division of a local snowboarding competition, Nick is unimpressed, claiming that Hayden wouldn't have a chance against a guy. Hayden calls Nick's bluff and challenges him to a head-to-head boarding contest. Their mutual friends quickly take sides, the girls on Hayden's and the boys on Nick's, making for an all-out battle of the sexes. This friendly competition is bound to get heated—and they might end up igniting some old flames.

In honor of the first snowfall of the season here, I thought it would be fun to read a book with lots of winter and lots of snow. The Ex Games jumped out at me, because I have never read a snowboarding book. It was light-hearted, fluffy, and fun, but left me wishing I had been given more details and character development. As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. The characters are likeable and sweet in their own ways. They made me giggle a little inside, but that was it. I felt they were all rather one-dimensional and forgettable.

2. There was so much needless drama in this story. I got rather frustrated. Hayden and Nick would have an intimate conversation and a little romance, and then all of a sudden one of them would say something the other one did not like, a major emotional explosion would happen, and someone would storm off and slam doors. They would not talk for a while, and then they would reconcile… have another sweet convo/make-out session, and then get REALLY mad and storm off again. This relationship was majorly bi-polar, and I started to get really annoyed. The only reason they did not get together sooner was because they were being dumb.

3. The romance was all based off of a shamble of a 7th grade relationship. 7th grade? I don’t know, it did not seem realistic to me. So they were… what, 13 when this started? And the love was so strong that they chased each other for 4 years? Sorry, I just don’t buy it. I ended up making up my own ages for them, just because it made more sense that way. Young love is real, and I totally get that. I just wasn’t convinced this time.

4. I felt like I was reading the same thing over and over again. Nick and Hayden were either arguing or making out. All. The. Time. But that was not the only thing that happened over and over again. Someone tripped on the family dog, Doofus, sometimes twice on a page. Lots of time was spent on the slopes trying to talk Hayden into going off the jump. Seriously, how many times must we read about her fear of heights? Lots of time was spent in a cafe talking. I swear, only 3 things happened in this book… just over and over again.

5. While things are very predictable, it was a cute story with all the snow I was hoping for. I loved the setting of the book. It sounded a bit like a resort town just up the mountain from where I live. And I did enjoy the cute, romantic moments when Nick and Hayden weren’t yelling at each other.

Overall, this story won’t have you up at night dreaming over the swoonworthy moments. It was cute and happy, but forgettable. I’d recommend it to people who enjoy light romantic comedies.

2.5 Stars
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8 responses to “The Ex Games by Jennifer Echols (Book Review)

  1. I agree about the frustration in this series but the way that Echols can write that tension is very swoonworthy to me-can’t wait to see how she handles this in adult fiction as I feel like she’s come close to the line in her YA novels some times.

  2. I’ve read a couple simon pulse books and they are seem mostly the same, like the characters and setting are interchangable. They all have a lot of needless drama in them too, I think.

    I’m glad that you got your snow fix and that it was a cute read, though.

  3. I don’t know what it is about these books by Jen Echols but I just can’t get behind them. I tried to read Endless Summer during my trip in June and I was so disappointed. I had to stop.

    Seems like I’d be doing the same thing with this book. Boo to that! Isn’t it almost like someone entirely different is writing them?

  4. Bookworm – You are right about Jen’s ability to write tension. I’m glad you liked this one. :)

    Maji – This is my first Simon Pulse romcom, and I do think it’d be worth checking out some others as well. Sometimes light fluff is what we need!

    Jenn – Interesting that they are all so similar.

    Estelle – I could not have said it better myself. And I’d actually been interested in Endless Summer, so I’m glad you mentioned your frustrations with it!

  5. I read Echols’ Going Too Far and hated it with such a passion that I swore off all future books by her, so I was interested to read your take on one of her other novels. I’m glad you were able to at least somewhat enjoy it, though I can already tell the age thing would have grated on my nerves lol.

    I feel like with Jennifer Echols, you either love her or you hate her. She’s got a very specific style of writing, one that just didn’t click with me.

    Great review!

    • Jana

      Yeah… I tried another Echols book and it just wasn’t for me. I think I’m in the same boat as you are. I’m just not a fan of hers! I mentioned in this review that this book was forgettable, and BOY WAS IT! lol. I saw that you had commented on this because of an email notification and I was like, “Wait… What? Did I really finish an Echols book?” I had to re-read my review in order to remember anything. lol. Whoops. And wow. This review was super diplomatic. 4 years later and I don’t know if I’d be as nice. lol. Truth be told, if I were reading this book today I don’t think I would finish it. I definitely agree that Jennifer Echols pretty much writes love it or hate it books.

      Thanks for stopping by! :)