After reading the first installment of The Arrangement, I'm left weeping. Weeping over the half hour I spent on this poorly crafted, cliche ridden, eyAfter reading the first installment of The Arrangement, I'm left weeping. Weeping over the half hour I spent on this poorly crafted, cliche ridden, eye roll inducing... what? I can't call it a novella because I'd be insulting novellas across the board. Labeling it a piece of work would only be fitting if delivered with a healthy dose of derision. So what does that even leave? Maybe I'll come up with something at a later point - though I daresay I won't be spending much time thinking about this story after this review. My point is, it's half an hour of my life I will never get back.
Now, as a wannabe writer myself, I'm not about to bash someone for the occasional slip in editing. Seeing 'of' instead of 'off' once throughout an entire manuscript isn't about to set me off on a grammar Nazi rampage. But when nearly every page is riddled with inconsistencies (some pages containing more than one) one begins to wonder if the author even did a read through before going ahead with publishing.
Because if she did, well, I'd suggest a change in career. By a third of the way through I'd given up noting down the errors because there were just too many to keep track of and I just couldn't be bothered anymore. Bitching about poor writing aside, this story was obviously just not my cup of tea, because on a personal level I couldn't find one thing I genuinely enjoyed about it.
I felt the characters were one dimensional and cliched. Avery was a poor college student, something the author felt the need to place immense emphasis on by giving her a car that constantly stalls (somehow making it a prime target for carjackings?), will only restart with a dose of ether, and has a driver's side window that doesn't do up because it's broken. Slight digression, but who needs a car in New York? By the sound of it, she'd spend less time battling public transport than she would with that hunk of crap. And who'd want to steal such a hunk of junk on a busy New York street? Oh, and back to inconsistencies - first Avery informs us her window doesn't go up because it's broken. Next time she's in her car, she's winding the window halfway down. Maybe the magical car fairies came to fix it while she was sleeping.
Back to poorly developed characters. Sean was the cliched male protagonist - incredibly good looking, outwardly flawless, perfectly charming despite his supposed bad boy demeanor - dude drives a motorcycle. And he just happens to be in the right places at the right time. The happy coincidences kept amassing where Sean was concerned, and of course Avery was quick to fall head over heels for him after their first short encounter. Seriously, she makes a point of steering clear of relationships to focus on school and her future, but suddenly after ten minutes in Sean's company she's smitten? What happened to a main protagonist who's supposedly driven and focused and determined to avoid distraction? I really hate it when authors force a character's motivation down my throat, only to retract it the second a hot guy comes into the picture.
I found no appeal in Sean whatsoever. His 'charisma' was eye rolling and snort inducing. The dialogue between him and Avery was just so forced and unnatural it was off putting. And the shroud of mystery surrounding him was so obviously vague without there being a purpose.
There was a very confusing moment where Avery is going on about dorm life on campus and living in the dorms and complaining about her roommate who barricades her out of their dorm room from time to time. And then in the next chapter Avery is leaving the apartment. HOW DID WE GO FROM DORM ROOM TO APARTMENT? Seriously, how did it go from cheapest, tiniest dorm on campus to apartment with an actual kitchen in it? It would be great if the author could pick some descriptive words AND STICK WITH THEM because she kept confusing me and making me have to turn back pages to see if I'd missed things.
I've run out of steam, but not out of things to criticize. Essentially, this is one of many pieces of writing that negatively affects aspiring writers. Because when people read shit like this from a mostly unknown author, they start to think unless someone is on the New York Times Best Seller list, they're not worth the effort.
H.M. Ward - It won't kill you to take some fucking time to edit! For the love of God, stop being lazy and impatient and take the damn time to ensure you're putting out something worth reading.