Greg Spry's Reviews > My GRL

My GRL by John W. Howell
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really liked it

Overall, I enjoyed MY GRL. The beginning pulled me in enough to convince me to read on, the author kept me mostly engaged throughout the story, and I couldn't put it down throughout the climax. This novel is a solid murder mystery/thriller that should appeal to most readers. I could even see it on the big screen. On a ten-point scale, I'd give it a seven, but out of five stars, it deserves the bump up to four.

The areas I noted for potential improvement were the dry prose, over-explaining, and convenient or cliche aspects of the plot.

The prose often consisted of very short, simple sentences to the point that someone reading it aloud might sound like a robot. I took this to be the author's style, and for the most part, it worked well enough. The important thing was that I was able to comprehend the story without getting pulled out. I've read a lot of writers who get too cute with colorful metaphors and convoluted sentences, and I'll take this author's style over wannabe poets any day of the week. Don't allow form to get in the way of content, I always say. Still, there's room for the author to improve his flow and sentence structure.

At times, the author spent too much time explaining things of little significance. For example, I didn't need to know every detail about what the main character ordered for breakfast. Again, this issue wasn't a huge problem, but there were numerous opportunities to trim unnecessary information (it's actually more appropriate to tell rather than show in cases where the details aren't critical to moving the story forward). Then the author could devote more page space to showing and expounding upon what was actually important. For instance, the main character ended up in the water, yet not one word was mentioned about him feeling cold or wet or his clothes getting soaked. I'd rather know what he's experiencing during a critical juncture of the climax than that he ate eggs Benedict during a low point in the tension.

There are certain aspects of the plot that could certainly happen (no actual plot holes) but nevertheless seem far too convenient and/or boneheaded on the part of the bad guys. The last thing terrorists should do is put their two hostages in position to help each-other escape. Also, the main character's ally just so happens to have the specific skills necessary to help foil their nefarious agenda? Furthermore, instead of simply killing the hero, the terrorists place him in convenient position to be able to circumvent their plan, all based on irrational motivation. This is what happens in practically every big budget action movie. Whenever I encounter this cliche, I hear Dr. Evil from Austin Powers in my head saying, "I'm going to place him in an easily escapable situation involving an overly elaborate and exotic death." Still, this aspect was no worse than any Hollywood flick, and it kept me entertained.
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Reading Progress

February 5, 2015 – Shelved
February 5, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
March 19, 2015 – Started Reading
April 9, 2015 –
page 113
April 21, 2015 – Finished Reading

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