Beate's Reviews > Bluegrass State of Mind

Bluegrass State of Mind by Kathleen Brooks
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Mar 07, 12

bookshelves: romance, cowboys
Read from March 02 to 05, 2012

This book went from promising to annoying so quickly, it still has my head spinning, days after having read this book. The premise and the general plot is good. But the execusion is below par. What this book sorely needs, is a good editor who isn't afraid to tell the author when her writing sucks, and it needs some serious and heavyhanded editing. It really does have good parts, and it starts off with a really great plot. But somehow, for 80% of the book, that plot is ignored. Instead the author focuses on everyone worshipping the heroine. And I do mean everyone.

What I don't find believeable, at all, is that McKenna is a stranger in the town, yet somehow she is loved by all. Everyone is rooting for her, helping her, and generally treating her like a prodigy. Not one person in the whole town is sceptical to this strange woman who came out of nowhere. And no, I'm not bying the vague 'her grandma knew his grandma' excuse either.

Another issue this book had, were the huge info-dumps in the form of monoluges. Even early on in the book I skimmed/skipped these. Too much blah-blah and my mind wanders. Also didn't care much for the lengthy, constant repeats of what had happened earlier in the book. I understand the need for one character to tell another what went down, but the reader has no need to have it rehashed ad-nauseaum. There is a much better way to tell a new character what happened. You simply use the "and then she told him/her the whole gory story." See how easy it can be done?

In some places, the tenses were all over the place. Another reason to get a good editor to go through your book. Even if you're "just" self-publishing. Your reputation is at the stake here.

In general this book suffers from heavy usage of dialogue/monoluge. A lot of telling instead of showing, which makes it impossible to connect with the characters. It didn't help that Kenna was a betterweisser who kept on preaching down at people. I see that the author tried to write a kickass heroine who was strong. But Kenna came across as one major bitch with her head planted so far up her own ass, she...I don't even know what to say here. She just pissed me off. When the reader hates the main character, it defenitely is not a good thing.

McKenna wasn't 'amazing', and there really was no reason for everyone to be 'amazed' by her. She didn't do anything to warrant amazement!

I didn't mind the lovestory in this book. But I just wanted it to fit in with the original plot, where Kenna saw something she shouldn't have seen and someone trying to kill her for it. And the hero-worship everyone had towards her was just too far fetched. It felt like Twilight-Bella on speed, and it ruined the whole book. This book would have benefited from "less is more" in a big way.

It amazes me how authors can write out gory details of rape and abuse, but they can't bring themselves to use any stronger swearwords than 'oh my gosh'. This doesn't exactly endear me to the authors. I won't go into exactly what it makes me think, let's just leave it at 'not pretty'. I have done my share of editing, and I have yelled at my authors for that. Use your words!

Something that made me snort my coffee through my nose, was how Kenna was rubbing shoulders with royalty at a party. Erm...no. Just. No. First of all, they wouldn't be at a party like that. And second of all, mixing royalty into your story just cause it sounds good doesn't make it so. It's just too much. In a bad way. If you want to have the rich and famous in your book, add a Hollywood starlet, or a Nashville sweetheart. Just avoid the royals.

And no FBI agent with his head screwed on the right way would spew out a list of his credentials and education to some hinky lawyer. No matter how much of a big-shot she thinks she is. Having "everyone" conveniently there to hear the convenient confession of all wrong-doings towards Ms Popular herself was...too easy, dumb, amateur, should have been avoided. Off the top of my head, I can think of at least five different ways to do this.

Something for all to remember, is that when something has been done just once, it is not tradition! It could be the start of a new tradition, or something to want to be a new tradition. But it is not a tradition already.

The fact that the author faded to black every single time things were looking up, isn't inspiering me to give this book a better review. Some hanky-panky would have benefited this book.

I know there are two more books in this series. And I do have them. Unfortunately that has been a complete waste of my hard earned money as I'll surely never read them.

Having thought about it, I'm changing my review to 1 star instead of the 2 I was originally going to give.
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Reading Progress

03/02/2012
3.0%
03/02/2012
21.0% "Pretty good so far, some issues with info dumping, grammar and sentence structures."
03/03/2012
24.0% "Characters do tend to get a bit wordy with their monologues in this one..."
03/03/2012
31.0% "Instead of repeating what happened and the dialogue, just say "and she told what had happened." So much better than being repetitive."
03/04/2012
47.0% "Too much dialogue in several places. It's becoming an issue. Fade to black/giving the readers just the gist of what is going on is the better way to go. Too much yack-yack, and the reader starts skimming/skipping pages. Not. Good." 2 comments
03/04/2012
53.0% "This book is written in 3rd person. Instead of using monologue to recall a past experience, use "and then she told the court about how she had (insert here what, why, and outcome). Mix things up a bit. All the dialogue and monologue is getting a bit old."
03/04/2012
56.0% "There is no need to get too wordy and describe every single movement of something. It's much better to just say "she turned on her laptop and read the email."

Just about ready to flounce this one.

"
03/04/2012
64.0% "I'm sorry, but Kenna is a bitch and a bloody betterweisser who's preaching down to people like they're blithering idiots."
03/04/2012
69.0% "*snort* An FBI agent would not list all his education and credentials if he only met you an hour before. No matter how much of a lawyer you are."
03/05/2012
74.0% "European royalty at a party in a hinky dink town no one's heard of? No. Just. No." 3 comments
03/05/2012
74.0% "Ugh. Tenses! Watch your tenses!!"
03/05/2012
75.0% "How....predictable."
03/05/2012
76.0% "DO NOT FUCKING REPEAT THE WHOLE THING AS ANOTHER MONOLOGUE! AGAIN!!

Why can't author just use the very trusty and reliable "and then she told him the whole gory story."

"
03/05/2012
81.0% "Such a good premise for a really great mystery, and it's all secondary to all the fawning everyone does all the time over the heroine. What could have been an amazing book becomes...a meh love story."
03/05/2012
85.0% "*sigh* Everything is "amazing" and everyone is "amazed" when it comes to this girl. Not. Likely."
03/05/2012
88.0% "Of course, "everyone" was conveniently there to hear the convenient confession of all wrong-doings towards Ms Popular herself. *insert major eyeroll here*"
03/05/2012
91.0% "It is not a tradition if you've only done it once! *headdesk*"
03/05/2012
95.0% "Fucking hell! I was certain that was the last chapter twice now! And yet there's another one." 4 comments
03/05/2012
95.0% "A supposed kick-ass woman faints at a picture? Not. Buying it."

Comments (showing 1-11 of 11) (11 new)

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Ankit Agarwal Spot on! I kind of went through similar thoughts after reading the book. The book is disaapointing at so many levels especially when the book starts on a rather interesting note.


Mari i feel exactly the same way.


Ankit Agarwal Mari, have you got around reading others books by the author. After this one, I havent had the heart to buy her books


Mari Ankit wrote: "Mari, have you got around reading others books by the author. After this one, I havent had the heart to buy her books"

Not yet. I'm still wading through this one - and I'm only up right now because I was reading and ran into some stuff I knew she got wrong and just had to come google to make sure. :snort: For right now, I'll just say I'm glad I got this one for free. I more than likely won't be getting of her other books.


Mari I'm glad I got this one for free. I more than likely won't be getting any of her other books.

For the record, I was reading her blog today, and she stated that due to reader complaints she'd hired an editor to work with her on her past, current, and future releases. I take that to mean she self-edited and had no professional help - at least on Bluegrass State of Mind.

In my opinion, the story's heart is in the right place, but there are so many problems with it, I've had a difficult time getting through it. When I saw y'all misspelled on the first page, I almost stopped right there. But now I'm 64% of the way through it and have four pages of notes. With that level of commitment, I'll be finishing it and posting up a review.


Ankit Agarwal Heh! It is interesting to know that she had no external help. The story's heart is set right because the story is from the place she is from and that does come across to a certain extent. Will look forward to your review


Mari People keep telling me to make the review as positive as I can, but I'm not sure how I can make that happen. I have my pile of notes sitting here. Review coming some time later today.


Beate Mari wrote: "People keep telling me to make the review as positive as I can, but I'm not sure how I can make that happen. I have my pile of notes sitting here. Review coming some time later today."

Good or bad, write the review as honestly as you can. It's always the best way to go.


Mari Beate wrote: "Mari wrote: "People keep telling me to make the review as positive as I can, but I'm not sure how I can make that happen. I have my pile of notes sitting here. Review coming some time later today."..."

Yup. Always.


message 10: by Iona (new) - rated it 3 stars

Iona Wow, my thoughts exactly!


message 11: by Mari (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mari Thanks guys. I'm totally remiss with reading here at GoodReads and am so far behind. I ended up retaining my notes for this book but bailed on writing a review. I just couldn't do it.


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