Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Read in 2013 - 19: Darkness Falls Over Joppy Hill

There is no nicer way to put it: This was the worst book I've read in quite a long time, in terms of writing style, ortography, grammar, and with a rather foreseeable plot, too.

Why did I read it, then? For one thing, it was short enough (56 pages, according to the product info on Amazon) not to waste too much of my time. Also, I really did want to give the story and its characters a chance to grow on me, and thought that maybe at some point the author would surprise me with a good idea, with an unexpected turn of events. It was not to be.

To outline the plot: Orphaned girl grows up with hard-working aunt who sends her to stay with old friend in the country for summer holiday. Girl meets local boy and hears rumours about old friend's house. Old friend and her family are behaving strangely, and big old house harbours a dark secret.

It could have been a gripping story, but didn't quite get there. From Amazon's author page about Latasha Rose, we learn that it is called "young adult horror" - something I normally do not read. It is entirely my fault, of course, because I simply downloaded it while it was for free, without checking the product information first. 

To give you an example of what I mean, here is a quote from early on in the book:
My mother and I were inseparable; I could talk to her about anything, she anything she could for me anything.
Or this:
She hesitated but then responded, "I told Mia it wasn't a good ideal for you to come hear, but she never listen me."
The author does not see such errors as a problem; in fact, on her Amazon page, she says "I don't care about misspelled words and other grammatical errors, those things can be fixed". 
Well, sadly, they weren't fixed before the book was published, and although she doesn't care, this reader certainly does. I know I am a bit finnicky when it comes to correct spelling etc., but if the story itself is good and the characters are credible enough, some errors do not take away too much from the overall reading experience. In this case, though, they were dominant, and that on top of it not being a very original story in the first place made this hardly worth reading. 
I am sorry for Latasha Rose having put as much effort into this as she states on her page. Just a little more effort to get words and grammar right would have helped.

15 comments:

  1. That's one reason I often have a peek at the one-star-reviews of free books before downloading (if the book and author are both new to me). More often than not, those reviews will also include warnings about bad grammar and spelling... An occasional error or two can slip into any book, but when there are lots of them, I find it hard to excuse - and sometimes I suspect that to be the reason why Amazon made it free or lowered the price in the first place!

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    1. You are so right, Monica. Funnily enough, "Envie", another book by the same author, has some rather enthusiastic reviews.

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  2. Tsk, tsk, tsk..."Sailing Alone Around The World" is waiting for you!

    Life is too short to read books you don't like! (At least, it WAS a short book!)

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  3. I looked this book up out of interest, and it was apparently editd by an editing service, for which the author had to pay! I think she (or you, we a reader?) should complain. Editing your own stuff is very hard, and the author did go to the expense of paying for a service she apparently failed to get!

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    1. Sorry...that should have been "as" a reader. This device won't let me correct things!

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    2. Frances, I agree with you 100 % about editing one's own stuff being very hard, which is why it should always be at least one pair of eyes other than the author's own to go over the entire book, in terms of spelling/grammar/punctuation as well as in terms of plot and story.
      I am really sorry if Latasha Rose paid money for work that was done so sloppily. Not sure how I could let her know, though.

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  4. That kind of thing would put me off too because it actually makes the book hard to read. It feels like a slight insult when someone can't be bothered to correct the stuff they give you.

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    1. Yes, like I said, a few minor typos do not bother me too much if the story itself is good. But this was just too much.

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  5. I would have not finished the book....I have so many good books waiting to be read! I bet you do too.

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    1. Indeed I do, Kristi. Somehow I was determined to give the story a chance to develop into something I could have said anything good about.

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  6. Oh, yuck! Hate that feeling. I do notice misspellings and mistakes more often in ebooks. The world needs more proof readers.

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    1. 100 % agreed, Nan! Trouble is, good proof-reading doesn't come for free. Since I got this (and so many other ebooks) for free, I shouldn't be complaining.

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  7. It took me a few seconds to work out what 'ortography' (sic) was. The fact that it took me a few minutes to recognise what the word should be probably tells me more about me that I want to know!

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    1. Oops, I thought that's the proper word!

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