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Fourth Poor Review: A Lady Pays Her Penalties…

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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. All grades are based on honest evaluations and will be supplemented by a couple of examples to prove my point.

A Lady Pays her Penalties

By Ashley Zacharias


Cold Honest Truth:

  • This book is far ‘too cruel’ beyond measure.



From what I understood with what the book was hinting at i.e. the game of backgammon, I was not sure exactly how or why this game was chosen as a point of interest. Never have I ever touched a board set and sat down to play backgammon. Perhaps I could be wrong with the idea in general; I do not think anyone who took a serious interest in the book would believe the game is all that interesting, unless it’s something that has been fairly popular throughout the ages.


Of the many problems that led me to put the book down, this section of writing was the primary cause of my dislike. The novel does not officially establish its setting on the first page. This is quite essential if anyone is ever to understand the primary plotline throughout the book. I can understand some of the ideas conveyed from what I have read, but the primary message seemed to have been too vague for anyone to read. Second, the openings, middles, and endings need to be worked on severely. Since the book has no chapter or page markers to make it easier for the reader to know where he or she is at in their points of reading, one would assume there would be an opening/closing throughout the novel to enforce the point. Again, since I could not find a place to pause from reading and continue onward, I had a very difficult time trying to follow the plotline. Many times, I thought the character introductions, action breaks, and dialogue startups were not as efficient for anyone to understand the complete story line. The book needs better execution.


Although I should read more into the book, there were reasons that did not led me to read the book further. First, it completely riddled itself with redundant phrases like ‘cruel, plays, and smiled’ within the first half of the page. Although I am not entirely aware how many more times these phrases will be used throughout the course of the book; I was about to give up by the end of the fifth page. Another problem I noticed within the novel’s beginning was the wordy sentences and sporadic pauses that made the book seem quite disruptive in its flow throughout. If I was to read this book aloud, the rhythms I would hear resemble the abrupt shrieks, shrills, and screams a parent makes when he or she teaches an adolescent how to drive a car. This needs to be worked on if the book would ever to sell more copies.

Cover Design:  B-

The book cover did not draw up any point of interest for me as the reader other than the fact that it did a nice job luring the reader into thinking that backgammon may be an interesting game.

Formatting: D

See characterization for explanation.

Overall Grade:





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