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A Nonny Mouse (Middlesex)

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I Let You Go
I Let You Go
Price: £4.99

20 of 45 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 10 Reasons to despise this book:, 14 July 2015
This review is from: I Let You Go (Kindle Edition)
10 Reasons to despise this book:

1. It's been overhyped.
2. The characters are flat.
3. Over 200 pages are spent on descriptions of walks on the beach and not much else.
4. The dog is the best thing in it.
5. I saw one big reveal and the big twist coming a mile away.
6. The police are hopeless.
7. The prose is dull on the whole.
8. Not even the editor corrected at least two misuses of 'nauseous' that should have been 'nauseated', and there were a couple of other minor editor oversights.
9. The insect on the cover is gross.
10. Better books by unpublished and unagented authors are out there just waiting to succeed while this mush gets so much exposure.

Thank you.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 3, 2015 10:03 PM GMT

Everything I Never Told You
Everything I Never Told You
by Celeste Ng
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.84

2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dull, repetitive, and the author has a foot fetish., 19 Feb. 2015
The plot is underwhelming and this is more a study of this family rather than a thrill ride. That said, even with something more meditative and nuanced you still need to deliver satisfaction with your storyline to leave the reader knowing why they bothered reading.

I don't want to give spoilers, so I'll just say it was dull and I didn't care about the mundane family. As for the death - the author managed to make it so boring. The big reveals were underwhelming too. So lacklustre.

Finally, be prepared for a reference to feet (mainly toes - ugh!) on almost every page. Where was the editor to cut those down a bit? Awful.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 14, 2015 12:33 PM BST

You Should Have Known
You Should Have Known
by Jean Hanff Korelitz
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.99

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring, too long, and lacks drive. Where was the editor?, 2 Dec. 2014
This review is from: You Should Have Known (Hardcover)
Dire, poorly written and edited.

Most sentences are fractured and feature way too many clauses and parentheses. The prose had pleonasms and tautologies and I got sick of 'and also' and 'exact same'. Little drives the 'plot' and the characters are flat and dull, like a bad-hair day.

So long - especially for something with so little to say and no plot. Felt cheated on and struggled to finish it, but soldiered on. Very cyclical, repetitive ideas.


Dear Daughter
Dear Daughter
by Elizabeth Little
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.99

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Reads like an episode of Dallas with no real jeopardy., 17 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Dear Daughter (Hardcover)
Wow, I believed the hype but hated this. I won't rehash other reviewers' references to much plot, and I'll keep it brief.

Too many characters, none of whom were interesting or likeable.

Jane/Rebecca wasn't 'on the run', so why should I care if someone is trying to find her? She was released from prison - she didn't escape!

Boring, overlong dialogue, half of which didn't lend itself to anything.

Plot taken from any old episode of Dallas/Dynasty/Knots Landing etc. I don't think what someone's real name was or who's really someone's father is interesting at all.

Using a diary is a cheap and tired device.

Hated it. Could almost give it two stars out of sheer pity.

The Book of You
The Book of You
by Claire Kendal
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More like a study than a story. Disappointing and predictable., 22 July 2014
This review is from: The Book of You (Hardcover)
No spoilers, but some references to the plot.

I enjoyed seeing the escalating stalking play out, but felt this book's sub and main plots didn't gel. The subplot didn't pay off. I was expecting a surprise turn in which the sappy Clarissa outsmarted her stalker using what she'd learned during the court case, but it never came. The comparisons to fairy tales could have been more fully realised, and really, must a man save our poor heroine?

The predictability was the only surprising thing about this book. I didn't buy the police work being so lacking, nor did I appreciate the colourless dialogue. Only Rafe had a distinctive voice.

Despite a couple of punctuation and grammatical mishaps, the prose is fluid but uninspired.

If you accept this book as a study of one womans experience of being stalked, it might be better, but as a work of fiction it shortchanges the reader to a massive extent.

There is nothing clever about it. What a shame. Oh, and the cliche half a woman's face on the cover? Purlease!

Apple Tree Yard
Apple Tree Yard
by Louise Doughty
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing and unsurprising., 22 Sept. 2013
This review is from: Apple Tree Yard (Hardcover)
More rave reviews and more disappointment. I was expecting clever never-before-seen twists and plots but this book has none. It's a rather pedestrian account of an affair and its aftermath.

1. Cliffhangers never paid off to reveal any surprises.
2. So-called twists were things we already knew or things that were dull.
3. Sketchy characters.
4. Quite a few typos and grammatical blunders. There's mention of a 'desert' spoon,
rather than a dessert spoon, for example.
5. Unconvincing, amateurish attempt at psychological explanation for Mark's behaviour. It really lacked impact.

It works only as a study of how not enough has changed in the legal system to assist rape victims and how an affair just wasn't worth all the trouble it caused.

There's some intelligent prose, but it's let down by being boring, drawn out and in need of more careful editing (my usual gripe).

The Never List
The Never List
by Koethi Zan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars OTT, needs careful editing, disappointing., 25 Aug. 2013
This review is from: The Never List (Hardcover)
It was enthusiasm tweeted and retweeted for this book that drew my attention to it, but I wonder what negative comments were not retweeted. I don't mind hype surrounding a book, but the intriguing set-up and reviews left me feeling disappointed when I actually read the book. Oh, and the black edges on the first editions don't make it a better book. Been done before.

A terrified woman keeps telling us she's doing things she never thought she could do as she's such a nervous victim. Well, I couldn't believe in the character motivation any more than the character Sarah herself.

I felt the ending was revealed in terms of perpetrator motivation long before it was rehashed in more detail for the ending.

There were too many cliched phrases: knew it like the back of her hand, spread like wildfire, shaken to the core.

The prose was okay, but it was riddled with pleonasms and tautologies: sank down, lower down, crouched down, lift up, continue on, linked together, safe haven. Editors should be ridding the text of these.

There was overuse of ... yes, .... I ... I ... Jack ... Jack. Take my ... point ...?

The word 'since' was misused to mean 'given that', rather than indicating time between events had passed.

There was an amateurish triple apostrophe moment. 'RUN!!!' Apostrophes should be kept to a minimum in careful writing.

The amateur sleuthing was unnecessary given the involvement of an FBI agent. You don't need to go out snooping at midnight with a stranger if you have an FBI agent to do it for you. The sleuthing made it feel like an episode of Scooby Doo. So did much of the dialogue. I like exposition through dialogue, but it was clunky and forced dialogue.

There was a horrible scene in which a character called Helen Watson was called that and Mrs Watson, lacking consistency by the narrator. In the same scene characters overused Mrs Watson's name terribly. An exaggeration would be, 'Mrs Watson, please try to remember, Mrs Watson. Please, Mrs Watson.' I know Americans are fond over name overuse, but that scene was irritating, Mrs Watson.

The author also used the hideous business phrase 'going forward' around four times. It's such a no-no. Just say 'from now on'.

Editors should have done a better job on this. Disappointing, although I do appreciate the author tried to pack a lot in and offer surprises. I'm still waiting to be surprised.

By the end I thought the narrator Sarah rather fancied herself as heroic and I felt she was just self-involved and flat. Real-life survivors of long-term abduction cope much better than this. Yes, I have read a lot about them and feel that is a fair statement.

Finding Amelia
Finding Amelia
by Kimberly McCreight
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Young adult fiction dressed up as thriller for adults. Needs better editor., 4 Aug. 2013
This review is from: Finding Amelia (Paperback)
It took me a while to realise this book should have been marketed as young adult fiction, but there is nothing wrong with adults reading young adult novels. I accept books on their own terms, so was it good of its type? Yes, but it's flawed.

The story starts to feel exciting, then gradually leaves you feeling it's all a bit of a storm in a tea cup. However, in teenager's worlds, bullying and arguments seem very important, but as the story unfolded towards the end I'd lost the ability to care about the cliched melodrama. There was nothing new in the plot or story.

In terms of writing style, the author can write well but there are irritating flaws. There are an overwhelming amount of em dashes and they never have spaces each side of them. The author overuses 'aggravated' and misuses it, seemingly believing it's interchangeable with 'irritated: it isn't. 'Aggravate' means to make worse, not to irritate.

There is also an overwhelming amount of pleonasms and tautologies, such as 'exact same' and 'whole entire'. There were a few other grammatical errors too. I refuse to dismiss them as Americanisms, as wrong is wrong.

It makes the slushy thank yous at the end of the book rather embarrassing. All those cooks and still the broth was a bit manky.

Goodbye, Dearest Holly
Goodbye, Dearest Holly
by Kevin Wells
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable, but deserved better professional editing., 19 July 2013
This review is from: Goodbye, Dearest Holly (Paperback)
I found this book impressively detailed, moving, shocking and important. I say 'important' because I don't think enough people realise what happens to victims' families and how much the law enforcement and judicial systems need to be overhauled. The bias in favour of criminals demeans us all.

Kevin Wells surpassed my expectations in telling such a full, vivid account of his experiences and I hope he exceeded his own expectations. It goes beyond a tribute to Holly.

However, despite a credit to copy editor Reuben Cohen, this book looks as though it hasn't been professionally proof-read for typos, grammatical errors, punctuation errors and factual errors and consistency. There are errors on almost every page. I think Kevin and the subject matter - and readers - deserve better. Milly Dowler's name is spelled as 'Milly' and 'Millie', to give one example.

As Kevin is not a professional writer, and as it can be difficult to edit your own work, as you're so close to it, I cannot understand why an agent, editor, and publisher of the calibres involved failed to make this book polished and ready for buyers.

It is to Kevin Wells's credit that these unnecessary errors did not undermine my feelings about the content contained in the meaning and the story. I feel privileged to have learned the things Kevin shared that did not crop up in the public domain or on the news, but hope he is served better by industry professionals in the future if he writes another book.

Stalkers (Detective Mark Heckenburg, Book 1)
Stalkers (Detective Mark Heckenburg, Book 1)
Price: £2.99

9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Action over plot and in need of editing., 24 May 2013
To make this easy to read, I'll make some points in numbered form and try not to duplicate what other reviewers have said is wrong with this book.

1. Lots of action and little plot after an intriguing set up.
2. Terriby grim attitude to women as objects, not redeemed by a few characters who want the baddies to pay for their crimes.
3. Overuses phrase 'to all intents and purposes'.
4. Overuses word 'aperture'.
5. Gratuitious violence fills pages in place of plot and the action/violence scenes are way too long.
6. Corny dialogue. Really - 'blow this thing wide open'? Really? Oh, you didn't! What next? 'Good cop, bad cop'? Maybe he's saving that for his next book.
7. Unprofessional police officers with cliched problems, relationships and office politics.

Thanks for reading.

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