I think I've read enough negative reviews to get a good idea of the common trends that are present in 1- or 2-star reviews (i.e. the types of things that come up a lot) and I thought it would be fun to take inspiration from such reviews and write a negative review for one of my own books. Yes, my definition of 'fun' may not be the same as everyone else's :)
Every now and then, I like to be a little cheeky and write posts like 'Don't Read My Books If' and 'I Would Never Write' just to mix it up. Us authors get asked so often about why people should read our books and we're so used to bigging up our projects, that it's refreshing to take the mick out of ourselves once in a while. Again, my definition of 'refreshing' might not be the same as yours :)
But I didn't stop there. No, I found myself creating an 'alter-ego' to write a negative review for Chasing Pavements, a contemporary romance novel set in London. Once I started thinking about my alter-ago's 'review' and how she'd describe herself, she sort of took on a life of her own (like a lot of my characters do) and I just went with it.
In this fake review, I've exaggerated some of the common themes that I've seen in negative reviews, and in places I'm just making fun of myself and my book and trying to be funny :) I mean no offence. I'm not trying to make fun of anyone, apart from myself. This isn't a retaliation to a negative review of my own projects or a favourite book of mine, although I know that celebrities (like Russell Brand, who I love) and YouTubers make sketches/videos reacting to hate mail and negative comments that they get.
I've made up the name of my book blogger as well as the other bloggers that have 'commented' on the review, because what's a negative review without a few supportive comments? Any resemblance to real people, dead or alive, is purely coincidental and not intentional.
So, here's introducing, Jessie Reads It All:
Hi, I'm Jessica, but you can call me Jessie Reads It All. Because I really do read a lot! Sometimes, I think I'm more of a bookworm than I am human. I live, breathe, drink and eat books. The only thing I love more than a great book is a bad book, as that means I can do a public service to book lovers everywhere and warn them about the books they should absolutely avoid. That's one of the reasons I started this book blog, and also to share my love for reading. I read between 100 to 200 books every year and still don't think there are enough hours in a day for reading. And my TBR hardly goes down! And tbh, I'm fine with that. It means I'll never run out of books to devour.
Happy Monday, bookworms, welcome back to my blog. I have another book review for you this week, so check it out below. Don't forget to share/comment if you like it :)
Book: Chasing Pavements (Soulmates Saga #1)
Author: Neha Yazmin
Rating: 1 'I can't believe I actually managed to finish it' star
So, this is a 'troubled boy meets troubled girl' story. Because there aren't enough of these types of books in the world. That was me being sarcastic, btw. I mean, honestly, why did this author bother to write this story when there are already so many bestselling books following this theme? Waste of time, if you ask me. She probably just wanted to write a book that no one would read. Either that, or she's never read a contemporary romance novel before, because this book doesn't feel like other books in this genre. And I have read a LOT of books in this genre! I'll be touching on this more later in my review.
Anyway. The H is a guy called Jamie, who is pretty much a total d**k, really. And he's not even muscley or alpha. If he was, it could have redeemed him in my eyes. If you're writing about a jerk, you might as well give him muscles and pecks. I mean, give me a alpha male hunk, the only type of H I want to read about, not this wiry-legged singer-songwriter that does the opposite of what I expect him to do. Like I said, I've read a lot of books in this genre and so my expectations stem from my vast experience of fictional Hs. Though the H's actions do make sense based on his character profile and aren't out of character. Kudos to the author for that, I suppose.
As for the h Mukti... The author needs to decide how she wants to spell this name, as I saw it spelt Mookti in one chapter. I mean, come on, if you can't spell your protagonist's name correctly, or consistently throughout your book, what confidence can I have that you'll deliver a good novel? Why should I even read anything you've written? Thankfully, the author does eventually stick with the spelling Mukti after one chapter with all the Mooktis.
Now, Mukti/Mookti has been through a lot but she hardly ever complains about it, which was totally unrealistic tbh. With a past like hers, she should have moaned about it at least three times as much as she does, if you look at other novels where the h has a heartbreaking history.
But I must admit that the way she deals with the sh*t that happens to her in this book is admirable and shows strength and resilience. That was probably my favourite thing about this book. The only thing I liked, really. So, not a lot at all. As for the things I hated in this book... we'll be here forever if I had to list them all. But I can't not mention that the author just goes on and on about the H's eyes! They're a pretty colour and the only things about him that are expressive, so what? Get over it. They're just eyes. Another thing that annoyed was that the author wrote out numbers, like twenty instead of 20 and so on, but she wasn't CONSISTENT (I see a pattern here with her writing) like when the number was at the start of a sentence it would be written out but if it was in the middle of the sentence then it would be a digit. I mean, what is up with that? Sheesh.
At this point in my reviews, I'd be critiquing the plot, but what's the point with this book? As I said earlier, it's a 'troubled boy meets troubled girl' love story, what more is there to say about the plot? They meet. They fall in love. They overcome various obstacles to 'get together'. And have their HEA. Original, NOT.
And the writing... it's nothing special. I've read tons of books of this level of quality so it's nothing I'm going to scream and shout about. Luckily though, there weren't any sections of descriptions that were trying to be all poetic and sweeping (which I find downright annoying), and just as well, because this book has a bunch of songs in it, the lyrics of Jamie's songs. They didn't impress me, though; the author failed in giving me a good idea of how those songs sound musically, like the tune and melody etc.
So it's no surprise that I didn't like this book. A 1-star rating for this is generous of me. What was there to like, anyway? The H and h are not like the ones I'm used to, not like the characters that dominate contemporary romance. I still can't believe that I finished a book where the H wasn't an alpha male! The writing was so-so and the plot revolved around the relationship between the H and h. What's so unique about that?
Okay, so you do hear a little from the H's family, but nothing from the h's family. And why wasn't the whole thing from just Mukti's POV, anyway? I mean, Jamie hardly talks out loud or tells Mukti his true thoughts, surely it would have made more sense to just not delve into his head at all, seen as Mukti had no idea what was going on inside his head most of the time. That way, the reader would be able to relate to Mukti. Sure, there were scenes with the H that the h wasn't aware of and that the reader needed to know about, but that could have been resolved with a info dump at the end like I've seen in a lot of books. Or maybe not, seen as Jamie isn't exactly verbose. What can I say, I prefer first person POV instead of multiple POV that's not in even in the first person.
At the end of the day, I don't recommend this book to any of you guys that follow my blog because I know you guys like the same books as me and you won't like this one. Frankly, I don't know if this book has a audience, it's just not what romance readers are used to.
Sorry, but this book just ain't for me. Don't know why she bothered writing two more books about Jamie and Mukti (she's either very vain or feels very strongly that these characters merit a whole trilogy), but I wish her luck and hope she stuck with a fixed spelling for her h's name in subsequent books.
Finally, because I do this for all the books I review, and to be CONSISTENT in my blog, below are the buy links for Chasing Pavements. Until next time my lovely people, keep reading it all :) xxx
Bookish Bekky: Great review, Jessie! You're right, I won't like this book.
--Jessie Reads It All: Thanks hun, glad you liked it x
The Bookmark Hoarder: No way, really? OMG. I swear some people should NOT be allowed to publish books if they can't spell their characters' names. What a joke! Definitely steering clear of this author!
--Jessie Reads It All: Haha, I know, right?
Angela Japp: @TheBookmarkHoarder Exactly! I mean spelling a word wrong here and there is acceptable, it happens, but the least I expect from an author is that they know how to spell their characters' names right. *shakes head, appalled*
--Jessie Reads It All: So true....
Dominique Bergese: Great review, as always Jessie :) About the name spelling, I think it was an intentional misspelling by the author?? I haven't read this book (only a preview of it at the end of one of her other books) and it's the h's colleague that 'spells' it Mookti because that's how it sounds to him when she says her name :)
--Jessie Reads It All: Just re-read that section and you're right. He assumes her name is spelt Mookti based on how she pronounced it, but 'spells' it right after she corrects him. I must have skipped this part by mistake or forgotten about it (the book wasn't memorable by a long stretch!). I'll add a 'EDIT note' at the end of the review to clarify this. Thanks for pointing it out, Dominique.
P.S. Which book of hers did you read?
--Dominique Bergese: You're welcome :) I read her poison blood series. It's a vampire urban fantasy. As soon as I rated the first book, the author sent me a friend request on GR (!) and followed me, probably to see how I rate the other books in the series.....
--Jessie Reads It All: OMG she did that to me, too! A few hours after I added Chasing Pavements as 'currently reading' she started following my reviews on GR. How creepy!! Needless to say, she didn't hit Like for my 1-star review of her book, though ;)
--Can't Have Too Many Book Boyfriends: Woah, there should be a law against authors stalking their readers online.....
--Selene Applegate: @Can'tHaveTooManyBookBoyfriends Well I wouldn't mind getting stalked by my favourite authors lol :)
--Jessie Reads It All: @Selene True about the fave authors, but when it's some random unknown indie author stalking you, it's totally creepy.
--Patty Singh: Ah hun, you should block this author. I know GR lets you block users...
--Jessie Reads It All: @Patty LOL! I'm not that rude :) :) But thanks hun xxx
All Things Books: Love the review, Jessie! Does anyone else get annoyed when romance authors go on and on about the Hero's body? Like, you've described his amazing abs in great detail in Chapter 1 when you first introduced him, then again in Chapter 2 when the Heroine first saw him, then again in Chapters 3, 4, and 5... do you have to keep drooling over his body every two paragraphs throughout the whole book? Uh, no! Repeat yourself much?! Did this book have this?
--Jessie Reads It All: @AllThingsBooks No - because the H doesn't have a hot body.
Marla Robins: Totally agree on the alpha male thing. I need a hunk or two in my new adult romances and if this one doesn't have one, I'm going to pass on it. Thanks for the heads up, Jessie :)
--Jessie Reads It All: My pleasure, hun x
Thank you for reading this post. If you're interested in my debut novel, Chasing Pavements (Soulmates Saga, Book 1), after that review, click here to learn more about it.
Like all my other books, it's also available on:
iBooks | B&N Nook | Kobo | Smashwords
And the first two books in my teen urban fantasy/YA paranormal romance series, the Poison Blood series, can be downloaded for free via:
Amazon US| Amazon UK| iBooks US & UK | B&N Nook Store | Smashwords