Friday, April 2, 2010

ABNA Review...and they're not good.

Since I really haven't had time to blog this week. I thought I would post the two reviews I received from the ABNA contest. They are horrible, so brace yourself. The good thing, they like my writing, the bad thing, they hated my book. LOL.

ABNA Expert Reviewer

What is the strongest aspect of this excerpt?

This excerpt was okay to read. It moved at a good pace and had some well drawn characters that seemed realistic to a point. The author did a good job with the overall piece with technical details, pace, plot, and puncuation. These aspects of the excerpt are done well.

What aspect needs the most work?

I think the language and content of this excerpt are a bit too spicy for young adults. I remember a book my teenage daughter began reading that was liberally sprinkled with profanity, she gave it to me and said it didn't appeal to her. Young adult would be 18 years old or younger and I can't say this would appeal to my 18 year old daughter who is in college either. The category for this piece should be general fiction and not YA. This piece deals with more adult situations and not your average teenage experience in high school. It's also not surprising what horrible thing is going to happen with the craziness of the kids of the school and the sudden attitude change of the character, Matt. I think the story had some fine ideas but it was written with so much content over the top that it was obvious what is going to happen, therefore it lacked originality.

This was all a generalized, stereotypical view of bullies, underacheivers, and cheerleaders of high school that doesn't represent reality as a whole. I think the story could be told better if it was told in a way that wasn't so obvious to the reader.

There really wasn't much that was fresh and imaginative in this piece it was all fairly cliche and didn't have the shock value I think the author was trying to give the writing. It was just about some mean perverted teens picking on the outcasts that finally get enough.

I think the author has enough talent to write real stories that have meaning but I don't think this story is the one. The author should create something new and exciting and has the talent but it was wasted in this overly dramatic piece.

What is your overall opinion of this excerpt?

I think this author has a talent for writing, however, it wasn't showcased in this excerpt. I think this piece belonged more to general fiction category than young adult fiction. I found it too over the top to be fresh and original and I knew what was going to happen from the first page of the excerpt. While these types of things happen in high school at times, it was a bit generalized and cliche and the narrative gave too much information too fast as to how awful the bullying kids were and it all seemed a little ridiculous.
Everything in the piece was a little too obivous for it to be an interesting story.

ABNA Expert Reviewer

What is the strongest aspect of this excerpt?

The strongest aspect of this excerpt is the author’s technically proficient writing. The grammar is good with only a few minor typos or spelling errors.

What aspect needs the most work?

Many aspects of this excerpt need work. On the technical side, there are too many personalities. In just these few pages, the author puts us into the viewpoints of five different people. Even worse, almost all of these personalities are horrible. Not horribly written (again, the writing is quite good): just horrible personalities. Worse, these characters are doing horrible things. Even worse is that all of these horrible things pale before the atrocity that the author uses as the hook.

What is your overall opinion of this excerpt?

Overall, this is a pretty bad excerpt. Technically, the author does a very good job with his writing. But, his choice of material makes me ill from having read it. Since one of the things I’m supposed to rate this excerpt on is whether *I* would want to read more (and I certainly don’t), when I average out the numbers I have to rate this as simply pretty bad.




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John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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