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Friday, 6 January 2012

*** Review*** Taffy by Becca Smejkal

On the Back of the Book

Coming from a disjointed family with an absentee father, Stephanie thought she knew all there was to know about heartache. When she spends summer vacation with her best friend, Kat, she finds that might not be so true. As Stephanie struggles to understand the relationships around her she also discovers a girl she never knew within herself.

Pre Read Thoughts

I was scouring through Amazon’s selection of free books for when my Kindle decides that it needs to be in my life. (Christmas present Kindle was faulty. Long story much ranted about on Twitter.) Although I got it for free it’s currently listed on Amazon for £1.98. The cover isn’t particularly eye-catching though the font that the title is written in is pretty cool. The synopsis sounds interesting so I decided I would download the book.

Post Read Thoughts
I wasn’t impressed with this. The idea of the story and the way it was set out was actually a good idea and I’ll give the author credit where it’s due. This could have been a really good story, but there was one massive, fatal flaw – the writing. I found it to be pretty stilted. The conversations and Stephanie’s internal monologue felt really stilted and came across as incredibly boring. The whole flow of the book was off and it was a battle for me to read it without wanting to throw things across the room. Now I don’t mean to be horrible and this is just my personal opinion but I kind of feel that this book would’ve been better in the hands of someone who actually has a clue about writing a decent story.

Stephanie – She’s the main character in the book. Her nickname is Taffy, though she doesn’t realise it until she goes on holiday with Kat. Even though her internal monologue made her seem like the dullest person in the known universe, I thought she could’ve been alright. Sure she was a bit of a goody two shoes but I genuinely believe that she meant well. I thought she was selfish and what she said in one of the final scenes annoyed me. It wasn’t the time or the place and I liked her a bit less after that.

Katherine – Stephanie’s best friend. You’re constantly told how nice she is but this isn’t the side of Kat that I saw so it’s just annoying. I think that she was inconsiderate and selfish leaving her best friend on her own in a place she’d never been before. She allowed herself to be put in dodgy situations and ultimately she paid the price for that. I have no sympathy for her and I don’t care if that makes me seem heartless. She didn’t appeal to me and I refuse to get emotionally involved with a fictional character I didn’t connect with.

Aaron – He’s the incredibly boring love interest of the story. He’s really full on with Steph from the moment they meet and that freaks me out a little. I didn’t find him particularly memorable and I don’t really have that much to say about him.  I’m trying to think. Oh! I know! I thought he was too perfect, he really didn’t appeal to me. I wouldn’t want to meet him. I’d be scared of what he’d say to me.

Overall this is a good idea that has been ruined by catastrophically bad writing. This author needs to step away from self publishing and either stop writing (I like this idea) or invest in a good editor or someone (anyone) to just rewrite the whole thing and make it readable. My original draft review is so much nicer than this edit but I decided I’d rather be harsh and honest than to feel like I held back my opinions to keep an indie author happy. I’d feel like I was letting myself down.

My Rating

2 stars – It’s okay, the author can hunt me down and thank me for my kindness and leniency later. I know you’re thinking why and the answer is, this book only deserves one but I’m so generous I’m giving it an extra star. I don’t recommend this unless you’re one of those readers who likes every book they read, and if you are, I hate you. Only because I want to be like you though. 


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