Next Up For Review

Next Up For Review
The Center Cannot Hold, Elyn Saks

Monday, April 25, 2011

Tales Still Need Edits

Good morning fellow readers, writers & bloggers. I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter Holiday weekend filled with different cuts of pig, hard boiled eggs, and other assorted delicacies. I know I sure did. I consumed enough ham to cure my insides. The homemade strawberry cake was the closest I came to fruit all weekend (it did have strawberry puree in it). I'm beginning my week with a sugar/fat detox. 
Enough about my piggy eating habits. On to the topic of books, writing & other assorted randoms.

1. Tales of Aradia, The Last Witch. Book One
This gem came to my attention via another site. The author, L.A. Jones, posted a request for reviews, with a link to download the book for FREE on Smashwords. I jumped on it. We all know that when it comes to Elsie's (Egads, I'm relating to myself in third person?) favorite things Kindle & FREE reads get my heart pumping with excitement. Plus, the cover art was simply divine.We aren't supposed to judge books by their covers, but we all do, and in this case the cover made the download. It was good enough that I might have even paid for the book. Might. Let's not get crazy here.
The story is a YA tale. The bulk of it happens in Salem ( a little cliche for a book about a modern day witch, but in a clean Disney way). The main character, Aradia, is the last true witch. She has supernatural powers & no idea that she is a witch. She knows she's different, but has no idea how or why.
Her friends in Salem High are the usual characters: Vampires, Werewolves (therewolf! Sorry, couldn't resist), Fae, and other assorted 'hidden' elements that live happily alongside humans without any suspicion being cast. Sound a little Twilightesque? Yeah, it kinda is. But that is the least of it's problems.
The real issue with this book, is that it lacked editing. I mean, really lacked any & all editing.
The way the book was written, I felt like I was reading a book written by a someone the same age as Aradia. So much so, that I researched L.A. Jones to try and uncover her age (listed as 23).
I think young teen girls might really enjoy this book, but most adults won't be able to get through it due to the haphazard writing style.  Perhaps the first book is free and the second & third volume (at roughly $5.00 a pop) had a serious make over? I'm not willing to fork over cash to find out.
I give the book two stars...for the STORY.  One star for the lack of editing (no, it doesn't add up to three. it comes in at one and a half). I split it (which I NEVER do) because I think there is potential for a much better book if Ms. Jones gets a publisher & an editor. 
Again, if you have a twelve to fourteen year old girl moping around that likes Vampires, witches, magic & wolves, give it a shot. It's clean & Free...why not? Everybody else, skip it.

2. My Freelance Debut.
It isn't out yet, so I can't post a link.
Remember my snarky 'resume' I submitted to the publisher in London? They loved it! They gave me the opportunity to submit two editorial type pieces of work each month!!!! This is a HUGE milestone for me. 
It is the very first thing I can put on a real resume that give me some creds as a writer (dare I say journalist?).
I submitted my first piece last night. As soon as they post a link, believe me, I'll share.
The title?
"If Your Title Starts with 'A' (and you make it free) They Will Come."
Come on, you've got to admit, that's funny right? You love it. I just know it.

3. Nook On Sale
Last tidbit for your Monday enjoyment.
Most people have at least considered coming over to the dark side of eReaders. Deny it all you want. I know you've looked. If your tech budget is meager, and holding you back from that purchase, now is a great time to look at a nook.
Right now on OVERSTOCK.COM 
They are selling refurbished (but guaranteed to work for two years) nooks with basic wi-fi for $79.99. That is the cheapest yet. They also have great sales on other varieties of the nook (with built in 3G etc) and all the accessories you could imagine. All shipped for $2.95. So, if you need a sofa, check those out too. Might as well get your money worth.

Well, that's all I have for this dreary Chicago Monday. Enjoy your week. Get out, walk off that ham and if the sun should appear...sit in it & read a book (Because you never know when it will dip behind those clouds again).



  1. Thank you for the courage to write a review about a book that isn't quite ready for purchase. I think you did an excellent job of explaining your likes and dislikes without ever being nasty. Kudos.


  2. Thanks Ellyn,
    It is tough to review for other writers. If they have agents, and are selling like hotcakes, then they're fair game. otherwise, I really try to make the review as fair as possible. Writing is a tough gig!

  3. Thanks so much for the visit/follow and very kind comment- am following you back. Love your post- interesting review of Arcadia (I do love that cover!) and look forward to hearing about life as a snarky freelancer, lol!

  4. Hi! Thanks so much for linking another free book to BBB! If I ever cross over to the dark side, I'll have it made with all your recs. Well, not this story but you know what I mean! Shame it lacked editing-- Wonder why authors do that? No way would I put something out that hadn't been edited!!

    Congrats on the freelancing!

  5. I still prefer to hold a book by its covers and turn the pages. I need to see how many pages have been flipped and how many thrilling pages left to turn. I love a personal bookmark. And the pages that looked "ripped" as if a letter opener sliced through the folds - just lovely. The cost of free at the public library (if I ever returned all books on time) cannot be replaced. Even by a nook or a kindle. I am not yet converted. Give me paper bound with a spine anytime!

    Ham, just okay.
    Eggs, my boiled ones never peel easy.
    but oh, the carrot cake with cream cheese frosting - yum and double yum the live long day!

  6. Rebecca...I felt the same way, until I held my Kindle in my hands. It was just as magical in a completely unique way. I love it. I read more. No one was more shocked by my transformation than me!

  7. Elsie this might possibly be the most honest review I've ever read. Boy am I glad that I stopped by. I haven't been doing reviews for very long, so haven't had to give an unfavorable review (yet). I dread the day. But now that I have read your review, I know that it can be done tastefully, without malice, and with true intention. I thank you so much for this review and I am confident that the author should thank you too!

    Congrats on your Freelance gig...soooo excited for you!!