Reviews

Mermaid by Jodi Picoult

Ruth West - Friday, September 08, 2017

Title: Mermaid
Author: Jodi Picoult
Publisher: Amazon
Published: July 25, 2017
Genre: Contemporary





Mermaid isn't the first Jodi Picoult novel that I've read. I loved My Sister's Keeper and wanted to dive into this short read. Having discovered that it's a different kind of Kindle book, a Kindle in Motion, I was curious what the differences would be. I read the entire book in a matter of minutes and I read it on my laptop using the Kindle Cloud Reader, where the Kindle in Motion was not functional and offered no benefit. Which was probably good so that I could review the story without being influenced by the technological aspects. For starters, the beginning of the book is bland and there is too much telling instead of showing that is happening. I suspect the author was influenced by the idea of making this book incredibly short with the benefit of doing something "unique" and in doing so the beginning wasn't strong. As the story progressed however, I did feel the writing was more on par with what one would expect from Jodi Picoult or any author that is well-versed in writing fiction. Mermaid follows the story (although it does jump in spots and is strangely choppy in some scenes) of Hope Payne, a professional Mermaid that trains at an aquarium theme park. I do know that such a place exists, I recently learned about this from someone and it is interesting and a unique job. Don't expect for Hope to be a real mermaid or for the story to dive into an Ariel or Siren tale of fantasy. In fact, the prose though flowing nicely while in chapters, was also choppy in sections where there were breaks, making the story break up and feel disjointed. As a story, it doesn't offer a strong resolution, though there is an ending. Hope's husband is a marine biologist and he has filled a pool with flounder, ten of them, only to discover they are vanishing. What happens to them is quite fantastical but also leaves us rather open ended with what it all means. Mermaid would have made for an interesting first chapter in a longer story. As a book, solely, without any gimmicks it's not a strong story. I was never able to complete downloading the book on my phone. It hung up around 80 percent and never let me read or open it, which made it impossible for me to see the Kindle in Motion features.
Reviewed by Melanie P.


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Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee

Ruth West - Thursday, September 07, 2017

Title: Not Your Sidekick
Author: C.B. Lee
Publisher: Duet, Interlude Press
Published: Sept. 8, 2016
Genre: LGBT, YA, Superhero




A diverse story that suffers from stylistic issues in the writing. Littered throughout the book are awkward sentences, not fragments or incorrect punctuation but sentences that just feel awkward. The story, although predictable suffers mostly from not having a decent round of strong edits to fix the phrases that don't feel natural. How best do I explain this? I feel like the book is being told to me, read by a voice that isn't my own. In most instances of reading you imagine the characters. Personally had the book been written in past tense the writing may have smoothed out some of the inconsistencies and awkwardness. I do recognize that many YA books are moving toward the trend of present tense, but this book clearly suffers because of it. Perhaps if it has been written in first person and the many instances of show don't tell removed, it would have been a better, stronger book. Third person present tense just doesn't work for this story. 

Here's an example that tripped me up while reading. I just felt like I was being tossed out of the book:

They gossip about Captain Orion's romantic life and then get into a silly discussion about the most attractive heroes in the League. The movie is playing but they aren't paying much attention. Jess lost track of the plot a few minutes in. She's enjoying her time with her friends as they argue about who is hotter: Starscream or Copycat.

I wanted to love this story, everything about the plot seemed great but the struggle of reading the style was too much for me. I recommend reading a sample before buying.

Reviewed by: Laura


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