Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My Amazon Book Reviews 2013



I have been spurred on to write Amazon Book Reviews. It was a confluence of Amazon probing me to write reviews of of my purchases, and an abundant  overload of really bad (read: free) ebooks.

I have a Kindle, and I know how to use it. I also have a pipeline for free ebooks from the eReader Cafe and BookBub—and I've been an involuntary invalid. I just can't believe there's so much bad escape fiction out there. In self defense, I'm doing something about it review, by review. Maybe it's also self-inflicted punishment for reading so much drivel. Cat-o-nine-tails. Reviewing books is not an easy writing form for me. My cousin said: Why don't you review them too? And so I did. Another tool in the craft toolkit.



Deep Fried and Pickled (The Rachael O'Brien Chronicles Book 1)
Price: $4.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great ideas, fun, quirky readDecember 16, 2013

I liked much of the story, how it was written, the format (month by month chronicle of freshman year in 1986), the end of chapter notes to the character's self, and the mystery element. I was never convinced the heroine Rachael O'Brien was an art history major. We're told this about one third way into the story--so it required readjusting one's definition of the central character, and so much of the story is dependent upon this fact. I'm also not convinced of clueless Rachel's sleuthing skills. The introduction of the art theft and forgery ring was a great idea, but full of holes. One reviewer accurately noted that the story was carried by stereotypical drunken college parties, attempts to get laid, irresponsible behavior, and road trips. The story is very juvenile. Not exactly Cold Sassy Tree, but it was a sassy read. Better quality than the usual free ebooks. That said, I'm still deleting it from my library. Meh

The Riddles of Hillgate (Z&C Mysteries, #1)
Price: $3.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your time, it's worth more than this free ebookDecember 16, 2013
To say this book is poorly written is an understatement. It's so bad, it made me cranky enough to want to write my first review, and a negative review at that. Reviewers who posted that this book a well-written great read and rated it five stars, must also find cereal boxes entertaining. Or, they're shills. Trust me, wonderfully written, this book ain't--and I'll read just about anything, including cereal boxes.

Many reviewers commented that this book sounds like it was written by a child, rings too true--only I suspect this ebook was dictated by a 2nd grader with an over-indulgent mother typing every utterance verbatim. I found myself gnashing my teeth and literally yelling at the author(s) over myriad goofy sentences and plot leaps. It's not exactly escape fiction when the reader is fighting with a poorly crafted book.

Virgin Shirley Temples? Really? Hmm, I thought Shirley Temples were already virgin. Odd appearances of other virgin drinks had me wondering if the mother-daughter duo had a secret drinking problem. And how does this relate to the plot? But there's plenty of booze under all the sinks, and plenty for rum cake too.

Wow, first, the mother & daughter duo are broke, then, with no money, they turn the mansion into a hotel, and then and a niteclub all in one fell swoop? Did I miss a chapter or three? We won't mention that the ditzy duo slept in the same bed, and their boyfriends in a separate wing. Really? Claire falls through the rotted floor--where a new washer-dryer were installed? Really? And how did the skeletons get in the basement? We also won't mention the contrived IRS scenario. Segues would be good. Whatever happened to the concept of the suspension of disbelief? Or pyramid structure of ideas? Myriad improbable scenes and dropped storylines galore are guaranteed to have readers gnashing their teeth.

Mother author: seriously? I think it's adorable that you're writing books with your baby daughter (insert awww-factor here), but whatever happened to fostering basic writing skills? At least take some responsibility for the readers who have to READ the stupid books.There's no excuse for this kind of bad writing. Even in a free ebook.

Utter lack of plot development and sequence. Lose the adverbs, adjectives--or at least place the dangling modifiers in the right part of the sentence. Develop plot sequence. Get an editor. Make that several editors: concept/plot; development/sequence editors, and a copy editor too. Attending a writers' group would be useful as well. Hint: spellcheck is not your friend. Just because a word is spelled right doesn't mean it's the exact right word.

One reader mentioned that it read like a Nancy Drew mystery. At least books FOR children are well-written. This one is not. Irritating writing--and as a writer in the schools, I've worked with kids of all ages--I know what they're capable of. Far better than this drivel. Thankgawd no trees were harmed in the process. A colossal waste of time. Minus five stars.



To read my newer reviews, please visit:

My Amazon Book Reviews 2014

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