Just over two months ago I joined the reader book review site “Readers’ Favorite” – it allows me access to new e-books, for free, from both indie authors and those traditionally published. The site also runs a yearly contest for writers in order to win an award for a well-written and received book in over 30 categories/genres.
The only problem is that if I review a book and it’s less than 4 out of 5 stars I am not able to “publish” that review. Instead, a critique goes directly to the author and I have no fodder for my own website any more.
The last two books I read for Readers’ Favorite have been 3 stars. I obviously can’t tell you the names of these tombs but I would like to vent a little:
Both books had awesome potential regarding storyline, their blurbs were extremely well written, and some interesting ideas came about by the end of each.
But my praise ends there.
The characters were two-dimensional and/or stereotypical. The writing in the first favoured a male perspective even when the point of view was a woman – that’s unnerving to say the least. The second book doesn’t favour one gender or the other but remains ambiguous, neither allowing the nuances of these perspectives to bring the characters to life or come across as realistic.
Then there’s the fact that these books (book two more so) “tell” their story rather than “show” it. It is not engaging for a reader and kept my imagination at arms length throughout the novels.
What particularly bothers me about book two is the fake/forced happiness and the abundance of “love ins” happening – the writer loves a good feast and being overly sappy (with almost all the characters). At first I thought the author could have been writing a fairy tale but even Disney fairy tales and happy modern romances show depth of personality (and more than one at that!) and characters working their way out of adversity toward that happiness.
Needless to say, there’s a very good reason why I couldn’t bring myself to award these books a 4 out of 5 and officially post their review.
In the next few weeks I will be returning to my own library of books so that I am 1) able to read one of my favourite authors and 2) experience a well-written and presented story… my cravings have not been satisfied thus far 😛
By M.J. Moores, OCT. Author. Editor. Freelance Writer.