May 09, 15
Read from November 24 to December 17, 2011
I won this book as a Goodreads giveaway. However, I didn't really enjoy it. Before I list my grievances, I first want to state that I couldn't even finish the book. I stopped on page 152 because I simply couldn't force myself to read any more.
Now, for my grievances. First of all, Sadie sounds way too formal and proper. I know she's not exactly a normal kid, but she is a teen. Heck, my friends say I'm proper but I wouldn't say half the things Sadie does.
In addition to being too proper Sadie also is very naive and child-like. I know she's thirteen, but she acts much younger. Sadie seems more like she belongs from a time several hundred years ago, because there is almost no way a kid could be like her and still go to public school and be from the 21st century. Also, I wish her emotions and what she was feeling were mentioned more. I would have felt more involved in the book and possible enjoyed it more. Because of all of this above stuff I couldn't relate to Sadie at all. Now, I'm a little sorry it may seem like I'm really harping an her, but it's because she really does need a lot of improvement, as a character.
Now, I want to talk about the writing, itself. Many of the sentences felt like they're worded awkwardly. I know that most of it was because they used proper grammar and not what the general public usually uses, but it still felt like I was taking the SAT or ACT and not reading an enjoyable children/teen book. I mean, if it's done right, the book could include proper language and grammar and not seem awkwardly worded, but it wasn't done right at all in this book.
For my next topic, the book needs MORE EXPLANATIONS, DETAILS, AND DESCRIPTIONS, ETC. The book talks about all these creatures, some common mythological creatures, some not, but descriptions are only provided for half of them. For example, the bird-men. What color are they? Which of their body parts belong to birds and which to humans? Without such a description, it made the scene quite boring. Remember, a scene is being created and the author is in absolute control. However, it must be conveyed to the audience every little detail pictured in the author's mind. Without accurate explanations, details, and descriptions a reader will become very bored, confused, and lose interest in the book (which I did). A reader could also have a burning question they wish to ask the author because they were not provided the detail. For example, when Arthur the chair handed Sadie a handkerchief, how did he do it? Does he have hands? Sadie must have noticed, so the audience needs to know, too. (Also, how does he talk? Does he have a mouth?) All this magical stuff should be some of the most interesting things in the book, but unfortunately, at the moment, it's quite boring and I feel as if it could've put me to sleep.
Now, what was with the weird spacing? Every so often there would be some sentences that had an abnormally long space between them. Why was that? Were they supposed to begin new paragraphs? If so, why didn't they?
What was with all the shouting? The characters kept going straight to shouting. It seemed very fake and unrealistic. There's a humongous difference between shouting and yelling, raised voices, heated tones, dead serious voices, and etc. People do not always jump straight to shouting. If they did, they would be considered very weird, loud, and annoying.
Last of all, the story felt rushed and forced. I never got to really enjoy reading about things.
Just kidding, this is last of all. The book seemed very childish. I know it was aimed for an audience of young teens, but it seemed like it was meant for 3rd graders. The story needs to seem more mature, which it can be, but still seem like a magical fairytale.
Overall, this book could've been so much better. There's a lot of room for improvement, but the author needs to focus on developing her writing and getting an idea across clearly. After that, she can work on making the book get your attention, and then never let it go. It needs to be much more entertaining. As a first attempt for a manuscript of a novel, this book wasn't too bad, but it needs several years' worth of work and a couple red pens before it can become shelf worthy.
I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.