Monday, May 24, 2010

The Beautiful Cover Lies

I recently received an advance uncorrected proof of Jenna Black's Glimmerglass. Here's a picture of the cover, which is gorgeous:

Glimmerglass is the first book in a young adult fantasy series. Chronicling the adventures of a teenage girl named Dana, this book follows her from whining about her alcoholic mother to whining about being in Avalon to whining about her father to whining about missing her alcoholic mother to whining about more stuff.

As you might be able to tell, I was not a big fan of this book. The plot was okay -- the plot actually dealt with some pretty interesting ideas. What I came across was something I come across a lot in fantasy: I didn't care about the characters. I've written before about the importance of caring about a character, for me. In the case of this book, I do not feel that the characters take a background to the story and the world-building, however.

I feel like most of the writing is simply not as sympathetic as the author wants it to be.

Having an alcoholic mother and constantly being on the move is hard. Not knowing a parent is hard. Running away is a stupid action that usually doesn't turn out the way a teenager thinks it will.

But I just felt like Dana was whining.

I feel like the writing needs to be refined, like this book should have been further revised.

Then again, I wasn't a huge fan of Twilight, either, and that's a bestselling series. And Twilight has a teenage protagonist who is insecure and annoying and boring, but people love it. And Twilight is a fantasy novel with an interesting plot that could stand to be revised. I do think Twilight is slightly better written. The Glimmerglass plot moves along quickly, but it's not effective due to the way it was written - it feels hurried. There's a lot that happens, but it all feels too fast.

The cover's awesome, but I recommend a pass on buying this book. I think Jenna Black is going to refine her writing. This book has a lot of good elements, but it's not all put together well yet.


Possum said...

Indeed, that is a pretty cover. The marketing team did good. Because I would BUY that book just because of the cover.


Especially because the review isn't so good.

(Also! Because you review books, you should, if you don't already, email authors and stuff when they are talking about sending out ARC of their books to reviewers!)

Oooh, I was able to tell you weren't a big fan of the book.

Characters are IMPORTANT! And when they're not good, the story LACKS SUBSTANCE. Garhugbn! Fail already, book. >.<

Shelly Quade said...

It isn't silly at all. People want to buy pretty things. Marketing people know this, and exploit it.

Yes - not a fan. Like I said, the author's writing will probably get better as she continues to write. This book, however, is not something worth spending your money on.