♡Karlyn P♡'s Reviews > Sweet Dreams

Sweet Dreams by Kristen Ashley
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Jan 26, 14

bookshelves: dnf, genre-contemporary, ebook, read-2011
Read from December 04 to 07, 2011


Sigh, DNF

This was my first -- and last -- book by this author. Her stories may be interesting and heartfelt (according to many of her fans), but her writing is NOT great. I found this book to be nothing more than an unedited rough draft not ready for prime time. More so, she doesn't have a polished writing voice, nor does she have a solid grip of basic writing rules. So if you care about well written stories, be sure to read the free chapters online before you buy. Many readers have been able to look past the writing issues, so maybe you can too.

In full disclosure I only made it 10% (60 pages or so) into it before I couldn't take anymore, so this review is not about the story itself. In truth, she may have told a great story in this book but I will never know.

So what is wrong with the writing? The major issues I found were:

Problem 1: It felt as if HALF the sentences started with the word "I", which to me showed a lack of creative story telling. "I went into...", "I noticed that...", "I couldn't get...". Wow, this got old fast! (Read the first few pages of the Sweet Dreams sneak preview and you'll see what I mean. I skimmed the rest of the book and sadly the writing voice issue never stopped.)

Problem 2: The loooooong run on sentences are a constant problem, not an occasional one. It is difficult to follow her meandering train of thought through these poorly written sentences.

Example:

"But it hit me just then that since not only did he feel free to shout those things about me when he barely knew me but also he knew I heard it and he didn’t apologize but told me to shake it off and let it go because I should somehow accept he was in a shit mood and just deal with it, that he obviously wasn’t a very nice person and maybe, even though I was a nice person, there were some people who deserved to get back what they got."


Problem 3: Poor punctuation, or should I say the lack of it.

Problem 4: Parentheses over-kill. She uses A LOT of parentheses to help clarify her meandering thought process. Because of this, the story unfolds in such a choppy manner.

Problem 5: Editing. Words like "past" instead of "passed"..etc. Argh.

Problem 6: Lack of brevity. A common rule of writing is to omit useless words and repetitive statements. If this book was edited for brevity alone, I bet it would reduce the overall page count by several dozen or more -- at least.

Problem 7: The story often meandered making it hard to follow her train of thought.

Examples:

Tonia ignored this totally and I soon noticed she was good at ignoring a lot of things, including me, who she didn’t say so much as “boo” to, and her customers, unless they were good-looking.

or
Her legs had a hint of tan I guessed because she was often out watering her flowers or cleaning the pool or sweeping the walkways or cleaning the cool deck around the pool with a blast from the hose and I noticed she was always in a sundress.


Argh.

On a positive note I will say she does a pretty good job of keeping it in an active-voice (show me) instead of a passive-voice (tell me). I mean no offense to those of you who love her books, but she is not an author I'd personally recommend to anyone based on her rough, unedited writing style.

This book is a classic example of what Indie authors should not do. There is no excuse to skim over the proofreading and editing steps when publishing a book. Indie authors have a huge uphill battle to prove themselves as worthy as the big name published authors, but as long as such unprofessional manuscripts are being pushed out by Indies that battle will only continue. I honestly couldn't imagine any professional publishing house releasing a manuscript with so many writing errors as this one had.
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Reading Progress

12/04/2011
5.0% "How many sentences are going to start with "I"?? Is the whole book written like this? I'm tempted to DNF, but will hold out til I see the story develop. Still, the writing is driving me nuts. Long run on sentences, poor punctuation, and too many sentences beginning with "I...". I hope it gets better."
12/04/2011
10.0% "Ok, the story is starting to peak my interests, but the writing style has not improved. The authors train of thought meanders wildly at times, and the constant use of parenthesizes to better clarify the subject at hand is hard to follow. I'm still not sure I'll finish this one, which would be sad as the core story has potential."

Comments (showing 1-50 of 66) (66 new)


message 1: by Karla (new) - added it

Karla I went to the Ammy preview and OMFG. >___< Talk about "I" strain. What a rambling, "I"-centric mess. A couple minutes' reading had me itching to red pen it all to pieces.


♡Karlyn P♡ LOL! Love the "I"strain comment, too true! The red pen would run out of ink.


message 3: by Jasja (last edited Dec 21, 2011 11:57AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jasja I actually understand you completely, even though I am actually enjoying this book =oD . The grammar, spelling, wrong words can be a fair bit disturbing though. It kind of has me wondering if some things are intentional (in which case I really don't find it at all believable that 2 people who come from completely different backgrounds have the same odd way of talking). I mean, in half the sentences I seem to be missing a verb of some sort, and in the other half I am missing pronouns.

English is not my native language (which may be why it's easier for me to more or less ignore all these mistakes), but even for me it's hard not to notice them. I would really like for Ms Ashley to find a good editor and re-release her books, because they would make them a whole lot easier to read and possibly appeal to a larger audience.


KindleRomance Reviews Wow! Very helpful information.


message 5: by ♡Karlyn P♡ (last edited Dec 22, 2011 12:48PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

♡Karlyn P♡ Thanks Jasja and Kris! I know many people honestly loved this book (and this author), which makes me believe if she did clean up all of her writing errors she might actually take off. I wish she would! I find it perplexing that so many of her fans say her books only have 'a typo or two', but that is not the case. It is interesting, Jasja, that English isn't even your native language and you can spot more errors then many of her fans.

Personally, I spent too many years crunching term papers through college level writing labs NOT to recognize the errors. I had more papers red lined than I care to remember, but my alternative was to get D's and F's.


message 6: by Jasja (last edited Dec 21, 2011 11:15PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jasja Oh goodness, people really say she only has a typo or 2? Now I know I have typos of my own in the post above (*edit: hopefully not anymore because I edited my post O=:) ), but that's mainly me not hitting the space bar properly...lol.

I am tempted to go back and read a chapter again, just so I can count the typos.

Mind you, I saw that one of her books seems to have had an editor work on it, so I am very tempted to try and find it (I don't own a credit card so I am a bit limited on where I can shop) so I can compare it to the 2 I've read so far.

And since I'm on the subject of typos; shouldn't it be more than instead of more then... ;) . I am a wee bit anal (that is the right word in this sentence, isn't it?) when it comes to language. I am always tempted to correct people when they make mistakes, but unfortunately not everyone appreciates that, so I ty to restrain myself.


♡Karlyn P♡ Jasja wrote: "Oh goodness, people really say she only has a typo or 2? Now I know I have typos of my own in the post above, but that's mainly me not hitting the space bar properly...lol.

I am tempted to go b..."


LOL, yep. Fixed. :-)


message 8: by Audrey (new)

Audrey Extremely useful review - thanks for the warning, KarLyn. :)


Kristen (Peddler of Smut) Very informative and honest review, KarLynP. You're one of the few who didn't love this book. Not having read the story yet, I appreciate your honest thoughts and feelings.


Wendy Great honest review KarLyn.

I also found that Kristen Ashley could have cut her sentences down and got straight to the point. But I managed to finish and enjoyed it in the end. :)


♡Karlyn P♡ Kristen wrote: "Very informative and honest review, KarLynP. You're one of the few who didn't love this book. Not having read the story yet, I appreciate your honest thoughts and feelings."

Thanks Kristen, but keep in mind I actually didn't hate the book, I simply hated the writing and found it unreadable. I wish it didn't bother me, then I too could enjoy the story others did.


message 12: by ♡Karlyn P♡ (last edited Jan 03, 2012 10:01PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

♡Karlyn P♡ Wendy wrote: "Great honest review KarLyn.

I also found that Kristen Ashley could have cut her sentences down and got straight to the point. But I managed to finish and enjoyed it in the end. :)"


I NV u :-)


Elizabeth (Liz) Great review! This is what I was worried about. But, I have two of her books now, so I'm hoping I can look past all of this to enjoy the stories (oh, I hope so! ;).


♡Karlyn P♡ I honestly do hope you enjoy it Elizabeth. My advise for anyone wanting to read this book is to first read the free previews. If you can get through it, then you should be able to enjoy the entire book. When I started reading it I was not forewarned about any of the issues. I thought it was a joke that this was the book that so many people called "OMG, 6-stars, best book evah!" I think if you go into with the right expectations, you might not struggle like I did.


Anne OK I just read your review KarLyn. I've signed up for the buddy read and will go forth but I'm a little concerned now. However, I have been reading numerous new-to-me-authors and their self-published works lately so I won't be shocked encountering those writing problems.

Your review made lots of sense and I am in total agreement with your views on the self-publishing issues.


Jasja Anne, I've gone and read most of Kristen Ashley's books now and developed a love hate relationship with them... the moments where I cringe are (now) far less than the moments that make me laugh so hard I cry. The more I read, the easier I find it to look past the odd things and the errors.


♡Karlyn P♡ Jasja - I've heard that before too. I read on another site (Amazon) that one poster claimed that after three books she finally got used to the writing errors and style. I personally couldn't last THREE books, obviously. :-) Still, there is a part of me that wants to try this book again, but when I look at those looooong run on sentences (and remember how many there were!), I just can't. Just can't.

AnneOK - I honestly hope you enjoy it!!


message 18: by Taryn at My Secret Romance (last edited Jan 09, 2012 04:34PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Taryn at My Secret Romance I'm reading this now...only 2% in and the writing is driving my nuts. I'm trying to ignore it because I'm only 2% in, but I'm finding myself having to reread sentences. Very Frustrating.

The run on sentence you posted was hysterical...because I noticed it too.


It felt as if HALF the sentences started with the word "I", which to me showed a lack of creative story telling. "I went into...", "I noticed that...", "I couldn't get...". Wow, this got old fast!

OMG...That was the first thing I noticed!


message 19: by ♡Karlyn P♡ (last edited Jan 09, 2012 04:49PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

♡Karlyn P♡ I am so sorry Taryn!! You have no idea how much I wish I liked this book. So many others have, but the writing drove me bat shit. The 'I' strain was just one of many problems it had. Sigh. The looooooong run on sentences also made it quite difficult to read. There was also a point where she shifted the story forward a few days, then all of a sudden she's back to where she was with no explanation as to why that happened. I was constantly being pulled out of the story. I'm honestly shocked at how many people can overlook the rough, amateur writing style. Writers might as well fire their editors, turn off grammar check, and just hit 'publish'. Why bother with the editing steps if books like these can be big sellers. I don't get it, I honestly don't get. Is this really the future of publishing?


message 20: by Taryn at My Secret Romance (last edited Jan 09, 2012 05:01PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Taryn at My Secret Romance I hope this isn't the future of publishing! I know a lot of authors are trying to do the self-publish thing right now. Some are great with it, others are clearly not...

I'm going to try and give it this book benefit of the doubt. Hey, I'm no writer and I make mistakes all the time so I can't complain...yet. I'll have to wait and see.

I posted this as my status update a little while ago:

He seemed to be peering in the room like he expected to see something or someone, something or someone important, something or someone he was looking forward to seeing.

Huh?

When I first read it, I had no idea what she was trying to say...had to read it a few times to understand. I thought it was one huge typo. I haven't read since reading that part....I'm not even eager to...


message 21: by Karla (new) - added it

Karla I think maybe a lot of people have rated it on the author's intention? Sort of like, "I know what you were trying to say and it was a great idea, so therefore good job!" Even though, you know, the actual writing was terrible. I'm not that kind of reader. :P


message 22: by Taryn at My Secret Romance (last edited Jan 09, 2012 05:07PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Taryn at My Secret Romance Karla (Mossy Love Grotto) wrote: "I think maybe a lot of people have rated it on the author's intention? Sort of like, "I know what you were trying to say and it was a great idea, so therefore good job!" Even though, you know, the ..."

Well, that would make a lot of sense then. I'm really going to try because a lot of friends like this book/series. And to be honest? They sound soooo good! To the point of I want to buy all her books right now! But we'll see....


♡Karlyn P♡ Karla (Mossy Love Grotto) wrote: "I think maybe a lot of people have rated it on the author's intention? Sort of like, "I know what you were trying to say and it was a great idea, so therefore good job!" Even though, you know, the ..."

Oh, I don't doubt that. And I've had some private posts sent to me by people who didn't want to comment publicly on my review. There are definitely people who quit reading after just a few pages because of the writing issues. The rating doesn't reflect all of the DNFs by people who couldn't get but a few pages into the book. I have no doubt the story is a good one, but I think it's best enjoyed by those who only see 'a typo or two'.


♡Karlyn P♡ Taryn-does it have romance? wrote: "He seemed to be peering in the room like he expected to see something or someone, something or someone important, something or someone he was looking forward to seeing."

Ditto!! I know, it's way more than just a 'typo or two', LOL.


Stephanie Too bad you couldn't get past the errors, it really was a good book. Amazing characters.


Alicia Spot on. I would also include the style of dialogue..who on earth talks like that? It drove me crazy.


♡Karlyn P♡ Alicia wrote: "Spot on. I would also include the style of dialogue..who on earth talks like that? It drove me crazy."

Thanks Alicia! :-)


PrettyBrownEyes The editing is horrible I agree. My suggestion is to read The Gamble by this author before you write her off. The editing is a tad better. But the story is a much better story!!! I'm glad I read The Gamble first otherwise I would not be interested in reading anything else if I had started with Sweet Dreams.


♡Karlyn P♡ PrettyBrownEyes wrote: "The editing is horrible I agree. My suggestion is to read The Gamble by this author before you write her off. The editing is a tad better. But the story is a much better story!!! I'm glad I rea..."

That's good to know, thanks! She's a very popular author, but I was so bewildered after this one I didn't have hope that any of her books were well written and edited. I'll think about trying The Gamble, maybe one day I'll try the free sample. :-)


Tammy Walton Grant Great review, KarLyn, and thanks for the heads up. This is one of the reasons I haven't read her yet. Well, that, and the fact that it seems like everyone on GR has read nothing but KA for months, and it also seems like she churns a book out every 15 minutes.

Someday perhaps I'll try her, but I'm going to wait til the hype is over. :)


message 31: by ♡Karlyn P♡ (last edited Sep 16, 2012 11:09AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

♡Karlyn P♡ Tammy, LOL. I am learning to just ignore the copious comments, but some days it does get a bit much. People honestly love her books, and with her producing a new book every few weeks (seriously, one per month) this might go on for a while.

I got caught up in the early hype, or I might not have written this review. Normally I would never bother to review a book I only read 10% then DNF'd. But shortly into the book I felt like I had the word 'sucker' stamped on my forehead. No one warned me how raw and unedited the writing was going to be, so this was not what I expected. All I had read about her writing was: "WOW!!! OMG!!! AWESOME!!! 6 STARS!!! BEST WRITER EVAH!!!" My expectations were set too high. She might have crafted one of the hottest heroes in fiction, but you really have to overlook a lot of errors to get to the actual story. I just wasn't willing to do it, not even for Tate.

If she could take the time to proofread and edit, I'd get behind this author and try another book. It's just hard to support an author who feels the editing steps are not needed, but in her defense she would be right. She doesn't need to proofread or edit, as she clearly has a large fan base willing and able to look past the errors. So now she can produce a book a month. KA fans constantly tell her how much they love her writing, errors and all. So if everyone is happy then good for them.


message 32: by Has (new)

Has I was eyeing one of her books and bought her latest - Knight because I was in the mood for erotic romance, I disliked it and barely finished it. I totally agree with you about the editing issues. I really do think she needs to take time to edit although I can see the appeal, but definitely not for me.


message 33: by Karla (new) - added it

Karla Good for them, but having studied like hell to grasp the common concepts of grammar in grade school, seeing writing like that makes me wonder, "Why bother?" And EL James' success with publishing fanfiction is yet more proof that the less effort you put in, the bigger the reward. Basic standards that were taken for granted have been tossed out the window. :-\

One a month? Good God.


message 34: by Has (new)

Has Oh that's a huge factor with quite a few self pubbers but there are also those who do edit and ensure they produce a quality edited book. I think some people are not bothered with lack of grammar but producing a book a month says it all for me. I'd rather wait for a year or 6 months for a good book than one that is written quickly because they will be more memorable but yes I do think the whole less effort thing - but if you mass produce so much wouldn't that dilute your work sooner than later? You get fan base but there's only so much books you can read at a time and I think there's a danger in that. But maybe that's just me.


message 35: by Karla (new) - added it

Karla but if you mass produce so much wouldn't that dilute your work sooner than later?

One would think so. Either KA has lots of ideas to keep up this pace, or her fans won't mind the same plots/characters showing up over and over for years on end. Some of those long series (JD Robb, etc) still have dedicated readers even though, by some accounts, they've gotten stale. Even if KA burns out within a year or two, she'll have gotten a buttload of $$$.


Tammy Walton Grant I think this trend to slam your self-pubs out in virtually first draft form is pretty sad. If she's that compelling a storyteller, imagine how good she would be if she took the time and spent the $$ to edit and hone her work.

Wonder if anyone will remember her a year from now?


Taryn at My Secret Romance ♡KarLynP♡ wrote: "All I had read about her writing was: "WOW!!! OMG!!! AWESOME!!! 6 STARS!!! BEST WRITER EVAH!!!" My expectations were set too high. She might have crafted one of the hottest heroes in fiction, but you really have to overlook a lot of errors to get to the actual story. I just wasn't willing to do it, not even for Tate. "

Not only is this hysterical, but it is so damn true!


message 38: by Karla (last edited Apr 17, 2012 04:33AM) (new) - added it

Karla Tammy wrote: "If she's that compelling a storyteller, imagine how good she would be if she took the time and spent the $$ to edit and hone her work."

Even an honor student with good grades in English would be able to help her out. I know I'm harping on it, but her grammar goofs are so basic.


message 39: by Missy (new)

Missy LaRae This is what I find so frustrating as a self published author! I worked REALLY hard on my editing, and so many times I read blogs from reviewers who DON'T review self published titles. Then I read other books by self published authors, and they're so full of mistakes (not that I think mine is 100% perfect), and then I get seriously frustrated.

The long run on sentence you showed was ridiculous. I don't even know how someone professing to be a writer could actually get away with that and think it's okay. An awesome character can NOT overshadow bad writing and editing. It just can't.

Thank you for the review!


message 40: by Erin (new) - rated it 2 stars

Erin This was a great review!! I agree with you 100% on the issues self-published authors are having, and the specific points you made are rampant in a lot of them. But what I love most about your review is that it's productive and respectful. I have seen a lot of reviewers completely trash authors, and it's just childish and hurtful. Many times there are absolutely issues that need addressed in their writing, but it can be mentioned in a positive way...like your review! =)


sassygirl I have read about 6 of her books. The only one I truly liked was Knight. I do not think I will read anything else written by her.


Holly I am glad to see I am not the only one who just can't handle the author's writing style. I have attempted to read 3 books by her, and I haven't finished any of them.


message 43: by Erin (new) - rated it 2 stars

Erin Holly wrote: "I am glad to see I am not the only one who just can't handle the author's writing style. I have attempted to read 3 books by her, and I haven't finished any of them."

Yeah, I read 2 of her to the end, then (yes, I know the definition of insanity...) tried one last time and gave up 25% in. I couldn't take the same neanderthal hero being in every one, and that coupled with the obvious editing/writing style issues I couldn't take any more.


message 44: by Aman (new)

Aman The first book was even more annoying, Max won't even let Nina talk! It went on throughout the entire book! And there was just too much going on and not enough time. I couldn't read more after page 125.


Bridget Unusual and interesting review!


♡Karlyn P♡ Bridget wrote: "Unusual and interesting review!"

Thanks Bridget. I only want to review my thoughts on the parts I read, so not a complete book review.


♡Karlyn P♡ Aman wrote: "The first book was even more annoying, Max won't even let Nina talk! It went on throughout the entire book! And there was just too much going on and not enough time. I couldn't read more after page..."

I started with this book as it was the most recommended, so never tried to read the first in this series. Now that she has a real editor, I might try one of her new books. Have you read any of her later stuff? Just wondering how they compare to these original (and unedited) books.


message 48: by Aman (new)

Aman Gotcha.
No I haven't read any of her latest ones. I have her Law man (Dream man, #3) marked to read but kinda didn't want to after The Gamble (Colorado Mountain, #1). I didn't know that she didn't but now does have an editor. So maybe i might give it a try, you never know i might like it! :)


♡Karlyn P♡ It is just her latest few books that have been edited. I don't think she is self publishing anymore. ? I might read a sample soon, who knows.


Bridget ♡KarLynP♡ wrote: "Bridget wrote: "Unusual and interesting review!"

Thanks Bridget. I only want to review my thoughts on the parts I read, so not a complete book review."


I understand. I honestly enjoyed the first book I read (The Gamble) but this is the second now and the writing is getting very repetitive.


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