Next Up For Review

Next Up For Review
The Center Cannot Hold, Elyn Saks

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Painting Outside the Lines

I'm back. Back from the joys of vacation. Back to daily dishes & vacuuming. Book to book reviews and other wandering thoughts of little or no consequence.
Betcha missed me, didn't you?

No reason to delay. Book review first.

1. Painted in a Corner, by Autumn Dickinson:

Warning! This review contains spoilers!

Typically, I avoid spoilers at all costs; but for the purpose of accurately rating this book, I feel I must include some. The following is a synopsis from

Bianca Barrett returns to her hometown after graduating college to find herself feeling trapped and haunted by her past. An old flame burns brighter and the girl who considered herself reserved throws caution to the wind, along with her inhibitions. Strong love, new friendships, lies, betrayal, and revenge turn Bianca's world upside down. Will love be enough in the end?

Not intended for young readers.

My Thoughts:

Cover: B
Sometimes simple is better. I think that is definitely the case with this book. Often, writers, especially those that create their own covers, will get a little 'nutzy' with color/detail. The cover is a super important part of a book; but it isn't supposed to tell the whole story. It can make or break sales. This cover is simple and effective. It didn't knock my socks off; but the overlay of the peering eyes & the texture with the grey scale gives it some added draw without being gaudy & overdone.

The Story: B-
I read the book rather quickly and enjoyed it. The plot, especially the surprise ending (almost a double surprise. There is a big BANG! but wait...there's more...) took some twists and turns that I could not predict. I hate knowing everything before it happens. Not good when that happens. This book will throw you a curve ball or two.
It did have some editing issues: i.e. using the wrong words- past where it should have read passed. Also, a couple of scenes had some minor head hopping issues. Not enough to make you dizzy, but if you are a stickler on that issue you will see it. 
I also thought Bianca was an enigma wrapped in a riddle. One minute she's complaining up a storm about how awful her brother/sister are (typical YA behavior)and the next she's saying things like "My brother maintained his youthful good looks" He's 25...he never lost them! LOL

(Here come the spoilers)

This book has some girl on girl throw in a boy action in it. I'm not a prude; however the premise for that material in this story didn't ring true for me. I thought it was just some spice for spice sake. It was well written; but I had a tough time taking the relationship between Bianca & her female experimental springboard the way the author intended.

Overall Grade: B
I find myself reading more & more indie work these days. Quite a bit bores me to tears, annoys me due to glaring editing & plot issues, and overall leaves me flat. It's just 'Meh'. This book (I believe a first try for Ms. Dickinson) was better than the average. It has the disclaimer due to the sex; but it really reads like a younger woman's fantasy. I would think that girls between 17-24 would eat this up. At forty (God, I'm forty?!?!)I had to chuckle at a few things I found a bit ridiculous.
This book is available on for a paltry $0.99 for your Kindle. Great price...interesting read.

2. Hope Tugs at America's Heart Strings
About a week ago I wrote a post for my national blog page titled,
I choose Hope.  
I liked it. It was a heartfelt expression of gratitude. I'm happy to report that quite a few others did too, because at last count it had over 1,000 hits! That's a PR for me. Just wanted to share my baby milestones with you. If you'd like to take a peek, click on the title & you will be there.

3. Editorial Debut Friday!!!
 If you follow my wanderings at all you know that I recently started writing for a publisher in England. It's an experiment in some serious (ha! As if...) journalism for me. My first Article is set to post Friday!!!!
As soon as I get the link, you'll be the first to know.

Until then-


  1. Interesting review. I enjoyed it. Thanks. Donna

  2. I just interviewed Autumn Dickinson on my blog this week :)
    This is a fair & honest review, keeping in mind it is Ms. Dickinson's first published novel. She told me she is switching gears with a different genre in her new book.