Next Up For Review

Next Up For Review
The Center Cannot Hold, Elyn Saks

Monday, March 19, 2012

Revisiting Aradia, Book One

I don't often revisit a book once I've reviewed it. Come to think of it, I never revisit a book once I've read and reviewed it. Like the old saying goes, 'there's a first time for everything'. This is my first.
A long time ago, when this blog was in its infancy, I read and reviewed, Tales of Aradia, The Last Witch, Vol. One
I really liked the premise of the book. It had really great potential. But, I just could not get past some of the basic story telling issues. I ended up giving it a rather poor review, with side bar notes explaining why I felt I had to do so.
I felt bad doing so; really I did. As a writer, I'm acutely aware how much bad reviews sting. 
The author, Ms. L.A. Jones read the review and sent me a personal email asking what I thought she could/should do to improve the book. Of course, her kind insistence that I share only added to my massive guilt. One I finished blundering through my apologies about being so hard on her, I tried (with my limited, not nearly an expert experience level) to point her in the right direction.
She met with an editor, worked through some rewrites and sent it back, asking ever so kindly if I would take another peek? I agreed. Although most of her story was grammatically correct (and I'm no grammarian, so please take that with a grain of salt) it still lacked some of the vital elements the book required to flesh out the best story. Now I had the daunting task of having to break the news to Ms. Jones that I still did not think this was work worth putting out there. 
I think I said something like: right work, wrong editor.
At this point, if I were L.A. Jones, I would have told that snobby, nobody of a writer, Elsie Love to *suck it*. But, because she was determined to see her project through to its true potential, she went out and found another editor! (I love determination. Nothing makes me happier than a good underdog story).
Guess what? She gave me another crack at her book. I admit, I was hesitant. After all, what were the odds she actually found an editor who 'got it'? In spite of my reluctance, I agreed. 
I'm very glad I did. 
This last round took the Tales of Aradia and moved it from the category of a bunch of good ideas lacking continuity, proper scene set up, good conversation and flow and turned it into a winner!
So now, without further tongue wagging I would like to say to LA Jones: Congratulations! You, my dear, put in the time and effort, never giving up and it shows! Your editor, Mr. Harrison Bradlow was the perfect partner for your writing tango.
I would *highly* recommend this book, especially for lovers of YA series. You will not be disappointed!

1 comment:

  1. I love a story with a happy ending! I am so glad the author contacted you in a kind way to get your thoughts. It sounds like your feedback was very helpful! I think it is fantastic that the book showed so much improvement. I will keep my eye out for this one. I appreciate the author's hard work.