Thursday, May 20, 2010
Harper Collins Review!!
-added after the original post- In a strange twist of irony, I realized that this was my 100th post. I was wondering what I was going to do for the post, and then it went by without me noticing.
I guess, though, this was way better than anything I could have thought up alone.
-end of edit-
So, I was set up for a mean review. I was waiting. I was waiting, and I was waiting, and I was waiting. I was waiting to be destroyed.
Ripped to shreds.
In fact, I had my Emo Corner all decked out, ready to collapse inside with a pint of ice cream and some really, really bad literature. That way, I could not only gain ten pounds, which is, of course, EVERY sixteen year old's dream, but I could assure myself that not every published author is fabulous. That would mean I, someday, would have a chance.
So, yeah. I was waiting, eying that corner and considering putting some purple pillows inside and decking it out with posters of Alex Pettyfer.
And so I got the email last week. I frantically went over to Inkpop and checked it out--only to see that they'd accidentally gotten the wrong story and posted THAT review instead.
And let's just say...that review was a tad harsh.
So I knew I was in for it.
And I waited. I waited a little longer. The Emo Corner was now fully decorated.
I got the email in sixth hour today. I was in the middle of a game of Scream (a card game that takes a lot of concentration.) I then proceeded to promptly lose the game and try and load the review.
It wouldn't load.
The girls I sat and played cards with were getting annoyed by my lack of playing-ness.
And I waited while it loaded, still mentally eying my emo corner...
And then I got this.
My Harper Collins Review (Yes. It does need to be capitalized) lies below.
Oh, wait, let me tell you a story about this butterfly...
No? You don't want to hear about the butterfly? You just want the dang review?
Here it is:
I must commend you for being able to take a subject with the potential to fall into a clichéd category, and putting your own spin on it. There were times when I thought I could predict what would occur next within the story; but I was completely wrong – and I liked that. The surprise proffered upon each chapter, each page even, was so refreshing; it made me hungry to learn more about not only the characters, but what would occur to each one of them. The fact that I felt empathetic towards the characters made me create a bond with them, and establish a friendship between myself and these fictional individuals. That is quite a talent on your part.
You do not waste words within your writing. For some, this can be detrimental, as flowery, overly-described narratives are oftentimes favored; however, in your case, the bluntness found within your dialogue, and within your writing in general, is enjoyable. You get straight to the point, making for a very fast-paced, thrill ride of a tale. Nevertheless, you do not rush through areas that need more thorough explanation – for instance, the romantic relationship that builds between Ash and Ky. To be frank, you know when deeper description is desired by the reader, and required to make the story flow more smoothly; and when it is not.
The characters themselves, I feel, is what truly drives the story. While the plot found in ALTERED is engaging, and definitely an intriguing factor, if it weren’t for the characters, I feel that it could, quite possibly, fall flat. Your strong point is the way in which you craft characters that are believable. At no point did I feel that dialogue between them was forced, or that they were fake in any way. They come off as real people that you may bump into on the street on any given day.
Ash is a fantastic MC. Her desire for normalcy, yet fate of anything but, makes the reader feel for her; and, in a way, shoulder some of the burden that plagues her existence. Which is, oddly enough, one of the reasons why the budding romance between her and Ky is such a welcome addition to ALTERED. The thought that Ash may be able to love someone and have that person love her back is truly such a beautiful concept, considering the abnormalities she has had to face alone throughout her seventeen years. And Ky…let’s just say that female readers are destined to develop a crush on him as his character builds from the first pages to the very last.
Though your characters are your strong point; they have the potential to become your weakness, as well. Ash, Ky, Markal…these are memorable characters who can easily stand alone. Not only are they well-developed; they each harbor unique personalities that are not easily forgotten. The problem is the secondary characters – or rather, the volume of secondary characters.
You introduce so many secondary characters within ALTERED that it can be slightly confusing. Many of these characters flit across the pages as nothing more than names – popping up and disappearing without any true development to their personalities or reason for being there. The problem with these individuals being introduced in the first place is that when they did resurface – if only briefly – I felt the need to backtrack to refresh my memory on who, exactly, they were. I feel that these characters either need further development; or should be removed from ALTERED entirely.
All in all, this is a clever addition to the science fiction genre with the potential to appeal even to those who typically turn their noses up at such subject matter for the sheer fact that you have loaded it with humor, in addition to fantastical elements. This is not your typical, everyday, run of the mill science fiction novel; it is chockfull of personality and heart. Great job!
So what do you all think?
The first read through, I gotta say, I was a tad disappointed. I thought I was being patronized, maybe. Surely they were going to be meaner. The problem they pointed at was the problem I recognized. I wanted it ripped to shreds.
And then I realized that these are editors.
They aren't going to be patronizing, because it isn't good business, and that is what publishing is.
And then my mom printed it off.
And I realized that it's over a page. Someone had over a PAGE of good things to say and two paragraphs of bad stuff.
So, I gotta say...
I'm actually pretty pleased.
Back to the editing board. It's actually not that huge of a job--I've actually been working on this for a while...
I gotta say--I'm excited.