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Author Topic: Northern Light  (Read 668 times)

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pmcd9

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Northern Light
« on: March 01, 2016, 04:51:52 am »

I've got to get something off my chest and this is the only place I can do it.

My sister wrote a book, got signed by a publisher and now it's been published. Here it is on Amazon. To put it plainly, it's awful. I mean, I'm trying to take into account that it's a romance novel, which I would never choose to read even if Cornelius Bear wrote it. And I'm also trying to take into account that it's Christian. Even overlooking these huge obstacles, it's just objectively bad. The story is poorly conveyed, the characters and situations make no sense. I mean, one of the central conflicts in the book centers around a sister who is losing  her mind to insanity. They keep talking about her, but not really giving any clear examples of how she's going mad other than she's hanging out with an old man and his war damaged son and it's somehow inappropriate. The dialog is stilted and I can't really tell one character from another except by their poorly researched accents.

Of course I have to keep this all to myself because the entire family is over the moon and they all think it's fantastic. I'm sure I'm the only one who has secret reservations. I would love to tell her honestly how I feel, but that would not be worth the damage it would cause. But I need to talk about this with someone so I turn to you my brain trust. I know this is a lot to ask, but if you click on the link and then the Look Inside link, I think the whole damn book is there. Will someone read it, or at least read enough to tell me that it's really as bad as I think it is and I'm not just being an asshole? Or maybe I am being an asshole. You can tell me that too.

Here's my sister reading a short excerpt from the book.
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wombat

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Re: Northern Light
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2016, 12:13:35 pm »

I read the sample. It's only a couple chapters so it's hard to tell about most of what you say - not much time for character development and the plot doesn't really get started yet. All I can really judge is the writing style, which to me is at best lame and annoying. But when it comes to any kind of genre fiction, I feel it's really hard to judge when you're not familiar with the genre. The style might be exactly what people are looking for.

This goes beyond style too. Maybe the stuff that doesn't make sense to you about the plot is typical. Maybe she's using tropes that occur in all these books that it would seem strange to spell out, for the reader who reads a lot of them.

So maybe all you can really say for sure is that you think this entire genre is awful. For sure I would rather never read a book again in my life if all novels were like this one. But has she successfully written a typical book of this type? I can't say. I'd have to read a bunch more books like this to know if this was a particularly bad one and there's no way in hell I'd do that.

So it wouldn't be fair to tell her the book is awful. All you can tell her is that it's not to your taste.

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pmcd9

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Re: Northern Light
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2016, 05:05:52 am »

I appreciate your opinions. What you say makes sense, and obviously I am not all interested in reading another book in this genre to find out if she's typical or if they are all just typically terrible.

As far as I'm concerned, you reading one makes you a saint of a brother who is fully qualified and within his due rights to make over-general and non-committal comments that the listener can take as approval.

I don't think I've been too effusive in my praise, but I've definitely kept my real opinion to myself. Her book sucks, but she's my sister and I have to support her.

I'll tell you, talking to my family is turning into a minefield. Between politics and religion and now this goddamn book there's a lot I have to keep to myself.
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pmcd9

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Re: Northern Light
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2016, 04:28:51 pm »

Okay, I finally finished this fuck*ng book. It was just... It was awful.
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pmcd9

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Re: Northern Light
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2016, 01:06:56 am »

C'mon man, at least the fuck*ng was good?

THERE WAS NO fuck*ng!!!!!
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theinevitable

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Re: Northern Light
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2016, 01:31:06 am »

You left a nice review for the book on Amazon. You're a good brother.

I don't know if I am that good of a brother.
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pmcd9

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Re: Northern Light
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2016, 03:50:35 am »

You left a nice review for the book on Amazon. You're a good brother.

I don't know if I am that good of a brother.

Believe me, honesty is not the best policy with my family. And if I were to be honest, what could I say? What I would want to say is 'you are a terrible writer and you should quit writing.' I honestly think that the rest of the family thinks the book is awesome. My dad especially is over the moon. He's read the book twice now. His big compliment is "It's an easy read." He's said this to me on a couple of occasions. I don't think he realizes this is not really a compliment. He's basically saying the book is simple, which is true, but not something to take pride in, I think for a book that's geared to an adult audience. But that's really the least of it's problems and a blessing in disguise for me because I don't think I could have gotten through it if it were more complex. Although if it were more complex it might have been more interesting, but I doubt it.

Almost every opportunity for real drama is missed. Instead the book focuses on the superficial and the cutesy. I could go on and on about the problems with this book, but I guess I'll stop here. I just needed a place to vent because I don't dare voice my honest opinion to my family. I would not be seen as the hero who said what everyone is thinking. No, I would be the asshole who hates his sister.
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AugustWest

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Re: Northern Light
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2016, 03:26:49 pm »

The world needs crappy pop songs and shitty romance novels too.  Though such stuff may not be to our tastes, there are millions of folks who eat it up.  They need something to read too.

Your sister created something that didn't exist before.  Not everybody does that thing. 
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jaydub

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Re: Northern Light
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2016, 05:59:23 pm »

Do you really want to know what your sister thinks about fuck*ng?  Blessings: counted.
THERE WAS NO fuck*ng!!!!!
C'mon man, at least the fuck*ng was good?
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wombat

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Re: Northern Light
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2016, 05:59:38 pm »

What Aug says. It's OK for books to be "just" entertainment and not always LITERATURE. Books can play a lot of roles.

I'm sure I would think that book sucked too but I feel that beyond a very basic level of coherence and competence, what kind of story you like is a matter of taste. There are successful books that I think are crap, and others that I like that are nowhere near as successful. You think the book didn't have enough drama, but maybe for some people, real life has enough drama, and a mild level of excitement is all they want in a book.  I hate suspense in fiction, for instance. I think it's A, not fun, and B, almost always bogus. Being able to create suspense is almost supposed to be a universal good in writing, but really, there is no universal good.

I feel your pain though and you are a very good brother for writing that review.



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If you're going to change your life then you have to change it every day, not just the days the world isn't taking a shit on you. -Doc

pmcd9

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Re: Northern Light
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2016, 07:29:30 pm »

Thank you all for defending my sister. I really needed that, truly. I needed to find some hook to hang my opinion on that isn't simply 'this book sucks!' It's a nice easy read as my dad would say.
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