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karlynp

Karlynp & The Doggone World

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Sweet Dreams  - Kristen Ashley Sigh, DNF. This was my first -- and last -- book by this author. Her stories may be interesting and heartfelt (according to many of her fans), but her writing is NOT great. I found this book to be nothing more than an unedited rough draft not ready for prime time. More so, she doesn't have a polished writing voice, nor does she have a solid grip of basic writing rules. So if you care about well written stories, be sure to read the free chapters online before you buy. Many readers have been able to look past the writing issues, so maybe you can too.

In full disclosure I only made it 10% (60 pages or so) into it before I couldn't take anymore, so this review is not about the story itself. In truth, she may have told a great story in this book but I will never know.

So what is wrong with the writing? The major issues I found were:

Problem 1: It felt as if HALF the sentences started with the word "I", which to me showed a lack of creative story telling. "I went into...", "I noticed that...", "I couldn't get...". Wow, this got old fast! (Read the first few pages of the Sweet Dreams sneak preview and you'll see what I mean. I skimmed the rest of the book and sadly the writing voice issue never stopped.)

Problem 2: The loooooong run on sentences are a constant problem, not an occasional one. It is difficult to follow her meandering train of thought through these poorly written sentences.

Example:

"But it hit me just then that since not only did he feel free to shout those things about me when he barely knew me but also he knew I heard it and he didn’t apologize but told me to shake it off and let it go because I should somehow accept he was in a shit mood and just deal with it, that he obviously wasn’t a very nice person and maybe, even though I was a nice person, there were some people who deserved to get back what they got."


Problem 3: Poor punctuation, or should I say the lack of it.

Problem 4: Parentheses over-kill. She uses A LOT of parentheses to help clarify her meandering thought process. Because of this, the story unfolds in such a choppy manner.

Problem 5: Editing. Words like "past" instead of "passed"..etc. Argh.

Problem 6: Lack of brevity. A common rule of writing is to omit useless words and repetitive statements. If this book was edited for brevity alone, I bet it would reduce the overall page count by several dozen or more -- at least.

Problem 7: The story often meandered making it hard to follow her train of thought.

Examples:

Tonia ignored this totally and I soon noticed she was good at ignoring a lot of things, including me, who she didn’t say so much as “boo” to, and her customers, unless they were good-looking.

or
Her legs had a hint of tan I guessed because she was often out watering her flowers or cleaning the pool or sweeping the walkways or cleaning the cool deck around the pool with a blast from the hose and I noticed she was always in a sundress.


Argh.

On a positive note I will say she does a pretty good job of keeping it in an active-voice (show me) instead of a passive-voice (tell me). I mean no offense to those of you who love her books, but she is not an author I'd personally recommend to anyone based on her rough, unedited writing style.

This book is a classic example of what Indie authors should not do. There is no excuse to skim over the proofreading and editing steps when publishing a book. Indie authors have a huge uphill battle to prove themselves as worthy as the big name published authors, but as long as such unprofessional manuscripts are being pushed out by Indies that battle will only continue. I honestly couldn't imagine any professional publishing house releasing a manuscript with so many writing errors as this one had.