Friday, September 25, 2015

Review: Eleanor

Title Eleanor (The Unseen #1)
By Johnny Worthen
Genre YA, Paranormal/Supernatural
Pages 355

In a small town, staying off the radar isn't easy but  Eleanor does a pretty good job of it. That is, until David comes back to town. David with his kind smiles and attention. He begins to draw Eleanor out but when you have a secret like Eleanor's you need to say hidden. With her mother dying of cancer and the whole town starting to notice her Eleanor' secret may soon be out.

First Sentence The coyote circled the campsite in ever tightening spirals.

What it has going for it
I wrote my own synopsis for this one but if you'd like, you can check out the one on Goodreads. It and mine (I hope) are pretty vague and that's what drew me to this story. I wanted to know what Eleanor's secret was. And as it started to slowly be hinted at and revealed, I was intrigued even more. Not to say you won't catch on to her secret pretty early in the story; you will. But by then you're invested enough to want to know how it's all going to pan out. That desire to know what's going to happen and the very unique idea behind this one, kept me reading. They were definitely the strong points to this story. Oh, and the cover. Isn't that a beautiful cover?!

What's lacking
Oh, but for the poor execution. I was never quite sure if the writing in this one was bad or if it was just a style I'm not fond of. It felt so choppy and immature. The whole book needed a very heavy handed editor. Check out this sentence for example.

The following Thursday was parent-teacher conference, a meeting between educators and student guardians held three times a year to discuss performance. 

Um, yeah, I know what parent-teacher conference is and so does every kid in this book's audience. It's a simple case of over-writing that should have been edited out.  By the end the writing felt all over the place and the story became a bit unbelievable. At times I felt like the characters were perfectly young. You know, not twenty somethings acting like teens. And sometimes I felt like they sounded like ten-year-olds. Especially David. Like I said, choppy writing.

Yea or Nay?
I'd love to recommend this one for the uniqueness of the story concept but without a good editing job, I wouldn't feel comfortable doing so.


  1. *Shudders* I SO could not handle that kind of writing. Such a bummer, though, since the book has an intriguing premise. I was totally sold until you mentioned the editing problems. Overwriting seems like it would be easy for an editor to fix, too. Lame.

    1. Yeah, it could have been an easy fix. Oh well.

  2. I'm sorry this one didn't work for you. There was something about it that I didn't like, but I liked the premise so I gave it three stars. I was trying to put my finger on what I didn't like and I think you've described it--the writing. I liked it enough to maybe read the next one ... maybe.

    1. Yeah the premise was great but the editing... not so much.

  3. Oh snap! The story sounds very intriguing but over-writing is not something I care for (even though I tend to over-write too)

    1. Yeah it's not pretty. Especially in a book.

  4. I've been hesitating about this author, and I'm not sure I'll give him a try. Bad editing really bugs me.