Hello Internet. Welcome back to Review #8. And to go on another negatively-charged rant, this week I review a book which I probably shouldn’t be too critical of. Probably.
I tried to read “Searching for Arthur”. I really, truly did. Maybe it’s just because I’m overtly hypercritical after finishing the latest Kylie Chan novel on the weekend, or the fact that I have Gone and a Halo book on the to-read list, and comparing this to the ones I’ve got lined up to properly finish is like jumping off a bridge and picking things to land on. It might even be the fact that after a decent weekend I have to put up with another lesson from a teacher who has the intelligence and IQ of a huge sub-species of cow. But I can’t believe that this author has managed to produce an entire trilogy from this book when the first few chapters were so utterly terrible that I would compare the style of writing to a six-year-old writing their missives about not having the right Lego set.
First of all we are introduced to a character who is presumably supposed to resemble the girl on the front, apart from the fact that the character is described as (typically) flawed in everything. They could at least have chosen a model who has some semblance of acne! Or looks actually 17 instead of 25! I mean, how hard is it to have the author at the photo shoot to say to the producers “hey now, the girl in this story is supposed to be an empty, flawed vessel for other like-minded late-teenage girls to sympathise with over non-existent body flaws, like pimples and thin frames, instead of a large-boned, pampered-yet-disdainful looking model who’s about 8 years older”?
And the style of writing? Look, I’ve mentioned before about how some perspectives should never be written from. One of them is a naïve and ignorant character in a time of absolute horror (*cough* Boy in Striped Pyjamas *cough*), and another is post-pubertal teenage girls, ever. The self-narrations and first-person viewpoint are so over-used that by the 20th or so time (that’s the third flipping page) they start to feel like the narrative equivalent of freshly manicured nails down a chalkboard made of sandpaper. And the one-line-one-paragraph technique to say a shocking statement? I’ll give you a hint.
It doesn’t work.
Look, at the end of the day I can honestly claim that some people may find enjoyment in this series. The same people who find enjoyment from Twi… look, I know I’m not going to finish that title, so bear with me; and things like Undead (which I have said enough about). So to those people? Go for it. Just don’t drag me down with you.
Searching for Arthur was published in 2013, and can be found on Amazon here.
Yours: J.M. Pear