As much as I love reading real books (it’s a complete sensory experience for me), I’ve been recently reading some books on my phone since I have the Kindle app. I’ve read all three books of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games trilogy there, as well as Veronica Roth’s Divergent and Kathryn Stockett’s The Help, and I had a positive experience.
So I decided to search for another book to download. I was looking specifically for a YA paranormal romance written in the third person POV. I came across Sophia Sharp’s book Shattered, which is the first in a trilogy (Dream Realms trilogy). It was only available in Kindle, there are no hard copies of this book available, but I went ahead and purchased it after most of the reviews I read on it were positive (it was really inexpensive, too).
However, I was sorely disappointed.
First of all, the grammatical errors were unbelievable. I understand the world of self-publishing is different, but books that are published in any form must have serious editing done. I know typos happen when writing (heck, I know I’ve had my share on here!), but a published book is something different. Kids are reading this. If they’re told to read to improve their writing skills (like I encourage my students to do), how the heck are they going to do that if what they’re reading is written poorly?! It’s distracting and annoying and a huge pet peeve of mine. I should’ve stopped at the first error, which happened early in the book (I’m talking subject/verb errors like “they was” and other similar grammatical mistakes).
But I didn’t. I kept going because once I start reading something I have to finish. And it was like watching a train-wreck and not being able to turn away.
Mistakes, flat characters, plot holes, overuse of adverbs and clichés and unbelievable dialogue. Really, a four-hundred+ year old vampire would probably not speak like that. AND, it reminded me of other, popular stories out there (cough-Twilight-cough).
That said, this story could’ve been a good first draft. The story does have some unique elements (the whole dream part is pretty cool) that with proper editing and revising and reworking, could’ve worked out. It’s a good story but it needs work. It was hastily published with, in my opinion, poor results. I tell my students this all the time (and I tell myself this, too): writing takes a lot of work. You have to write, revise, write, revise, and keep writing and revising. Sometimes, it’s a seemingly never-ending process. This book needed to make its way through the process a bit more.
So now I’m going back to the search, looking for a paranormal YA romance that doesn’t involve vampires, written in the third person, only this time, I’m going to be more careful in really reading the reviews and sticking to books published in both hard and electronic forms.