Hello for a second time tonight, bibliophiles! This evening, I have one more review for you and then, depending on the time, I’ll try to get some other fun posts up before I have to hit the hay! What can I say? I’m determined to catch up before my inbox gets any larger or I fall even more behind on tasks.
Anyway, somehow I finished a few stories this weekend, and I’m hopeful that I’ll begin another tonight, so why not discuss the books while I can, right? What I dread is discussing a book that I didn’t quite care for, which is what I’m going to do now, so here we go.
Shortly after I finished Searching for Gertrude, I began another one of my review requests. I know I’ve mentioned it before in this space, but I have to once again stress that when authors submit books to me for reviews, they send me a synopsis of their stories so that I can determine if the subject matter is something I would consider and enjoy reading and reviewing. Believe it or not, I don’t say yes to every book that’s sent my way. I wish I could, but time won’t allow, and not every single plot sounds like it’s my taste. That being said, The premise of the book I’m about to review sounded fun. It sounded sexy, fast-paced, and like a quick, steamy tale. If you’re frequent to this blog, you know I have a spot in my heart for a solid romance. So, without further hesitation, I dove in, and was excited to do so. Now, let me talk about my experience with Off The Rebound by J.D. Nero.
This story is only about 45 pages, so it moves quickly, and it’s described simply as a “sexy memory”. When Jay’s main hook-up goes south, he finds himself in the middle of something new instantly. The latest situation escalates quickly, and the story describes one crazy and explosive encounter.
At least that’s what I was led to believe.
Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s so courageous to put your writing out there for the world to see. I’d love to do it myself one day, so I applaud anyone willing to try. However, I think this story needed more work before release.
Not only was this story riddled with grammatical, punctuation, and structure errors which distracted me to no end, but I had zero connection to the characters. This was based on a real-life situation, but that didn’t mean I shouldn’t feel an ounce of relation to the people involved. When I found I couldn’t have any common ground with them, I almost checked out of the story all together.
India was one of those people where I just wanted to roll my eyes at everything she said and her whole demeanor bordered on crude and appalling to me. With Jay, I didn’t feel much different. He was blunt and rude almost immediately in his description of the girls he was sleeping with, and that blasé attitude and blaming them when things didn’t work out was not for me.
This story read more like a lengthy Facebook post or a Reddit blurb. It may be described as an erotic romance, but there was nothing romantic about anything in this story. This was a bad hook-up and nothing more. Maybe I’m spoiled with all the romance novels I’ve read, but I just couldn’t do it with anything about this story.
If the author had taken more time to elaborate on this story, really develop the characters, build up the sexual tension, had all the grammar and structure fixed, and let the passion unfold slowly, I could’ve thoroughly enjoyed this encounter and I’m sad it didn’t pan out that way. Instead, I was left cringing at every aspect of the night Jay and India spent together.
Once again, I take no pleasure in writing this and wished so much I could have loved the book the way I wanted to when I received the request. However, while I understand many in the literary community don’t post negative reviews, no author can grow without criticism.
I don’t post negative reviews often. It’s not a frequent occasion that I come across a book I just don’t mesh with, but in this circumstance, there were too many elements I listed in my “con” pile vs. my “pro”, and I feel I have to proceed as honestly and as constructively as I can. I know as a writer, I would want and hope that someone would be as truthful for me if I had areas of my text I needed to work on, and I’d rather suck it up and speak my thoughts rather than fabricate a lie to flatter the author and nothing more. I try to do both the good and the bad of reviewing for the good of the stories and, I hope, for the benefits of the writer.
Nero gets credit and respect as a writer willing to put his work out to the public, and for that, I commend him greatly. By writing this, I by no means wish to discourage him from his words or future endeavors. Keep writing, and keep honing your craft. That’s the joy of reading. It’s entirely subjective, so while I may not have connected to this story or these characters, that doesn’t mean that someone else won’t. I think this story was just a mismatch for me.
My Final Rating: two out of five stars