Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Siri Mitchell: A Constant Heart

A Constant Heart: DNF
Some girl and some guy

Y'all know how hard I try not to be a hater.
I try hard.
Really hard.

Well, actually, that's a lie. I don't try hard when the writer writes something that is complete monkey poop.

In most cases, I force myself to read half the book before I toss it out the window. I got about twenty pages in when, in exasperation, I banged my head on the desk several times. So not only did I have a bitter mental experience from reading this book, I had a large forehead-bruise to show for it.

A Constant Heart takes place in the medieval times, when ladies and gentlemen paid their respects to the King or Queen by going to court.

Some Girl, with the face of an angel, is to marry Some Guy... an earl, if I'm remembering correctly. She is well prepared for the task, but is still scared, reasonably so.

Some Guy is some earl who has had a very bad experience of marriage because of the cheating ways of his first wife. He is determined to hate everything about Some Girl and Some Girl's business, and every aspect of married life.. better yet, he doesn't even want to marry her. He just needs her dowry to buy back his family's estate.

So off starts their brilliant and very charming marriage. Then they go to court. Some Girl is scared and she discovers that the Queen hates her. We don't know why. (Actually, it's just me since I didn't finish..)

Not so bad of a start to a medieval romance, you might be thinking.

Do not be fooled!

It was the writing style of the book that threatened to eat my soul. It is a book written in the first person POV, which normally doesn't bother me at all.

However, it switches off between Some Guy and Some Girl's point of view... indistinguishably! It would switch off between the Some Girl's first person POV and then Some Guy's.

This is an example and interpretation of a scene from the book and what Alice was thinking as she read through this jungle of point-of-views.

I was unhappy.
I was unhappy at the world and everything that was happening. Did I do something wrong? What was I doing wrong? I needed to talk to someone... I knew this wasn't a good idea.
Alice: who is talking?


I was unhappy. Was this supposed to be happening? Unfortunately for the both of us, we were in this situation whether we liked it or not. It would be in our interest to make the best of everything.
Alice: Right. Unhappy. Who??


Unhappy. I'm unhappy.

Alice: I'm unhappy too. Who are you?


I wished I had never married. I wanted to talk to my best friend (insert Another Girl's name).
Alice: We know that both of them are unhappy, damn it! Who the he--... oh.... *reads Another Girl's name)... this is Some Girl!

*Goes back up to the very front of the page to reread, keeping in mind that the first person who talked had been Some Girl.*

Now imagine doing this every two or three pages. The little dotted line (---) indicated a change in the perspective, but never revealed who was talking. The font was the same. The color of the font was the same. The I's and you's were the same.

And when a new chapter began (every two or three pages), sometimes it was the POV of the person who had been talking/ thinking at the end of the previous chapter... or it was the start of the other person's POV.

You had to read in order to figure out who was talking, and then go back to re-read everything in context.

How aggravating!!!!

It not only took me twice as long to read everything, I was tired of reading the same scene twice - once in Some Girl's POV and the other time in Some Guy's POV. For the love of mother earth, I don't need to know both character's thoughts for each. and. every. single. action they commit.

It's dreary. And boring. And dull. And uninteresting.

Moral of review:
If you're an author, don't write like this. It sucks.
If you're a reader, don't read this. It sucks.