While traveling last week, I searched the bookstore for a YA novel. An author I didn't recognize had four titles on the shelf, which at an airport bookstore, is a lot. So I picked one up, read great reviews on the back, one comparing this author (who shall remain nameless) to my favorite YA author and after reading the opening pages which grabbed me, I bought it.
Now that I'm halfway through, I'm amazed that this book was published.
The dialogue feels forced. The author "tells" the entire story. Very few scenes feel active. The chapters don't end with hooks. I'm not sure what the plot is. The MC pops up with all sorts of stuff out of the blue - like we discover a serious hobby which is probably supposed to have metaphorical value 80 pages in. And it's very difficult to believe that the MC would make the choices or really feel the way she does.
As a writer, I'm completely puzzled. If I took this novel to my critique group they'd pound me with revisions. How did a book that feels to me like an early draft get published when my writer friends and I have written manuscripts that dazzle way beyond this?
I just don't get it. What "art" have you seen that you just don't "get"?
4 years ago