Note: The basis of this review is limited. Although the author has forwarded me their complete manuscript, I have refrained from further reading because the book lacks a particular element in its writing.
By Craig Hansen
Cold Honest Truth:
- With slight improvement, this book will ‘most likely’ succeed.
OVERALL RATING: B+
First, let me start off by saying something positive about this book before I decide to make any honest evaluation. I liked Becky… a lot. There seems to be something going for her that makes her a very likeable character throughout the story. I enjoy the fact there are athletic and social pressures that make her who she is. I like the decisions that she has to make as a person in order to overcome the physical abuses that affect her friend and the sexual tensions that the boyfriend pushes upon her. Sometimes I wonder exactly where the idea came from, I love its originality.
Apart from the positives, I had to stop the book for a couple of predominant reasons. This is one of them. Although I like the fact that there are ‘core characters’ in the book, the problem that I see within the first few chapters is the fact that there are way too many of them at once. Gina, Scott, Lynn, Lucy, Meg, and Tammy Jo are all introduced without giving any backdrop to make them the characters that you want them to be. When you also introduce Coach Lansing and her parents, you tend to become overwhelmed with the amount of people you have to remember and try to know about. Essentially this becomes a frustrating ordeal, especially when you’re getting involved with a really good plot.
Everything that I have read so far in this book has a really good rhythm and sounds quite down to earth. You can instantly imagine yourself within the realm of high school again, trying to compete with the other people in one big race. This book does a great job in demonstrating a sense of verisimilitude i.e., the conversations resemble something that readers can easily relate to because of the realities that we live in. My biggest problem in this book is that the dialogues grow a bit redundant after a while, especially if the pacing is not as even with the plot of the book itself. “I know” this book has its potential to influence readers as a YA and “I know” it’s worth a good read, but also “I know” people would get tired of reading the same phrases one too many times, really “I know.”
Reading any kind of book is as much of a frustration to me already since I am in the business of making reviews in hopes that I can have my name established out there for readers to look at. What makes me more frustrated is when the book is contained with multiple spelling, punctuation, and diction errors that exist in the novel. Although I do face grammatical errors as a writer, I would not hesitate to at least request another set of eyes to take a look at the book itself. If you cannot afford an editor, the only sure proof way to avoid making HUGE mistakes is to take the time out and read the book aloud. That way, the book won’t look as bad as it seems (apart from the missing page numbers).
Cover Design: A-
I can tell what the story is about even from the cover! That is definitely a good thing to work with. However, I noticed on slight mistake that you should alter to make the book more appealing. The name the author and title needs to be capitalized so that everyone knows that you really mean it as a serious writer who honestly believes in the work he puts forth. The last thing I want to mention is that you might want to re-title your work. I could not imagine that nobody else would not make fun of the title because of the cheesy implications that come from the work, not to mention that you threw in a cross in there to implicate that the book is a ‘Christian fiction’.
Parker’s Overall Grade: