Tuesday, January 07, 2014


Moon River by Laurens Van Veen.  There is an interesting plot in here, but it's bogged down by severely problematic sentence-to-sentence writing: some good descriptors and similes, but at the cost of a ton of misfires.  Use of "just" far, far too often.  Problematic punctuation all over the place-- some comma errors, but also hyphens, dashes, italics, and compound word problems,
Fact point: female main(ish) character gets a position as a flight attendant as a summer job; she mentions that the training took a little while, but it looks like actual training takes up to 8 weeks, perhaps more.
average rating is about a 6.

Michael Divine: The Fallen by T.J. Richards.  This book would have scored much higher if I had put it down sooner; the more I read, the more unbelievable the book became.  My notes:

  • present tense, not my fave, but good first chapter, keeps the reader off balance.  [later] upon reflection, though, why do the first chapter like this-- focusing on a relatively minor character?
  • HS main characters-- we would classify this as YA.  Perhaps not the correct category.
  • language, particularly dialogue, is a bit stilted. Who is the intended audience?
  • revelation of the paranormal element is abrupt; story takes a real dive at the beginning of chapter 8-- flow of the story is thrown, reader isn't along for the ride.
  • the book mentions the Pacific Ocean and California, but also Central Park.  Do we know where we are?
  • does the target audience even know who KISS is?  and the paranormal elements aren't the only things straining credulity...
  • pg 116, Michael tells Ashely about the fight and sends her the video file; pg 130, she doesn't know about it and he sends her the file (again).
  • very sudden, rather unbelievable transition between mouthy demons who aren't really dangerous and demons who kill everyone in sight unprovoked.
a real shame, because the first half of this book was really good!  I'd put it a YA or even a paranormal category before "popular fiction."

average rating is about a 6.

Diaries: A Collection of Short Stories by Susie Newman.  Again, I consider short stories to be a separate category, not the same as other types of fiction.  I don't normally care much for short stories, because I feel like we don't have enough time to care about the main character or really get to know her/him.  If anything was going to change my mind about that, it would be this collection. Many of the entries don't feel like journal entries; they are more letters to someone you've never met.  The two are different in content, in approach.  Some of the voices miss, but surprisingly, most of the voices are both realistic and unique from each other.  Some voices, especially parts in the first chapter, are very (very) good at eliciting emotion.  Well. done.

average rating is an 8.

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