Tuesday, November 30, 2010
The Book Review Club - This Book is not Good for You
by Pseudonymous Bosch
I wanted to like this book. Who wouldn't? It's about chocolate. Delicious, tempting chocolate. Any writer whose been stuck in writer's block h*** has likely turned to the sweet temptress for relief now and again, right?
Which made it so hard to find that the bitter aftertaste of the main protagonist, Cass, made it hard to swallow all of this book.
So why review it?
Because it was a hit with my 9 year old. Granted, the age range for this middle grade may be pretty slim because my 11 year old was not so thrilled. She too thought the main protagonist, Cass, was, in her words "sassy" and "thought she was better than everyone." And here's my favorite part. She thought the writer - who had periodic monologues - talked way too much.
I thought the basic plot idea - kid has to save her mom from an evil society that is trying to make a chocolate that lets you live forever - was very clever. But the Cass' sarcasm and the interruptive monologues really made it hard to finish this piece.
So what is a writer to do with criticism like that? Does it matter?
My theory is that we sometimes learn more from what people don't like than what they do. For me, when it's my work, it tells me that something isn't working. It might not be precisely what the reader doesn't like that needs fixing, but I realize that there are holes big enough that they need to be filled.
So, if you're looking to learn something from holes, check out This Book is not Good for You, and see if you can find what you don't like. AND...what you might fix.
For other stimulating reads, hop over to our fearless leader, Barrie Summy's, blog!