“I'm on page 133. I have to say, even though I have a shelfari bookshelf of over a thousand books, this is one where I'm actually struggling very hard not to stop reading - and I have a bachelor's in English! I've never reviewed a book that I haven't read entirely, but I'll make an exception now.
I do love tigers, I liked the idea and the introductory blurb sounded interesting, but I can't get past the writing...which is actually surprising, because I've been a reader and writer in the fanfiction world for almost a decade, and there is a lot of bad writing out there. A decent storyline can be saved with either decent writing or decent characterization. Unfortunately, this was horrible writing and even worse characterization.
The writing is just horribly stilted. Most of the conversations sound forced, Phet sounds like some horrible (and rather offensive) caricature of an ESL speaker, and Kelsey is prone to rambling on and on. Yes, the tiger can't exactly speak back, but the writing in general tends to ramble as well. There are tons of irrelevant detail that don't add to the story, but rather unbearably slow down the pace. Come on, "The Plane" got its own chapter and that was almost 20 straight pages of description. I mean, because readers totally need to know that she was reading a magazine and doing Sudoku on the plane. Yes. Totally. Plus, the flip side of the problem is that there's very little detail in the parts that would actually benefit from having some detail.
If you even tried to read out the dialogue, you would immediately know why it sounds so forced. No one, absolutely NO ONE, talks in huge paragraphs all the time. But somehow, every character talks like that and talks pretty much the same way.
As for the characterizations? First of all, I notice a lot of Twilight lovers out there. Ren, unfortunately, is even worse than Edward when it comes to how perfect he supposedly is. I can sum up his character in five words: "ohhhhh, handsome tragic tiger prince!" Kelsey's reactions, as of pg. 133, are completely unbelievable - I mean, she gets abandoned in India with a tiger and all she does is reminisce about how her mother told her that "if life gives you lemons, make lemon meringue pie"? There are a lot of sections where I literally started laughing because Kelsey's responses were so forced and she sounded and reacted nothing like a teenager. To be honest, she didn't even sound or react like a grown woman. ”