Friday, 28 June 2013

Book Review – ‘Freelance Love’ by Barbara Alvarez

Book Review – ‘Freelance Love’ by Barbara Alvarez ~ 2 Stars!

I really hate rating books at less than 3 stars, as all books have the potential to be five stars, but oh dear, this book is the perfect example of why authors who self-publish really need to hold fire with putting their books up for sale, and have somebody proof-read and beta it.

Freelance Love had so much potential, it had a great storyline that could have been given the respect it deserved should there not have been so many spelling and grammar errors. In the first three pages (Kindle edition) I highlighted at least eight issues with the writing. The conversations between the characters seemed extremely forced due to poor turn-taking with speech.

Here is an example;

“Hey, Grace, how’s it going? Me, I’m loving writing at home. I can set my own schedule and I am bringing a decent income in. I’m looking for ways of refining my schedule so I can add another client to my schedule.”

As well as grammatical errors, this kind of sentence is in desperate need of polishing and should have been one of the first things to do when you edit your work. This reads very much like a first draft. An issue that also presents itself is turn-taking. The line before it had been explained that main character Morgan was the one who received the phone call from her friend Grace. For one, it seems unrealistic for Morgan to start talking about herself and her own life when Grace was the one who phoned her, and hadn’t even spoken to her yet. Secondly,turn-taking is a must. This conversation would read so much better if this speech was cut up into chunks. For example;

“Hey Grace, how’s it going?”

“Great thanks. How are you enjoying working from home?”

That would have given an opening for Morgan to then talk about her enjoyment of her writing and how she is bringing in a decent income.

Thirdly, why is the word schedule used three times? I know a big no-no in writing is making overly enthusiastic use a thesaurus, but in cases like this using an alternative word is a must. For example;
Instead of;

“I’m looking for ways of refining my schedule so I can add another client to my schedule.”

why not use;

“I’m looking for ways of refining my timetable so that I can add in another client.”
This kind of thing continues on throughout the novel.

The passage of time in this story was also very strange. There were many occasions when Morgan made plans to see someone, a meeting which held potential promise for character and story development, only for the next paragraph or chapter to be set a week later with the meeting only briefly mentioned. If this was how the author wished to set out the story, that is completely fine, but I felt there should have been a mention of the event at the beginning of the paragraph or chapter and a clear indication of how much time had passed. As I found myself waiting for a meeting or event to occur only to find out much later that it had already happened and there had been a gap in time.

I really hate giving bad reviews but this book could have been so great. There was a really interesting and inventive storyline yet the writing read like a first draft and could have been improved so much with another proof-read and edit.

My own suggestion to the author would be that they take the book down from online suppliers, and have two or three people give it a proof-read and then edit accordingly.

2 Stars.

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