“I thought the premise for this book was ideal, and since I know and have worked with kids with Asperger's Syndrome, I thought that I would truly love this book. As I read, I couldn't help thinking that this was written more like a screenplay than a novel. It also felt like a book report instead of a novel...like a detailed book report that stays just far enough away from the action that it reads more like a summary. When I looked at the author bio, I realized that I was smack on about the screenwriting. She is a screenwriter.
It also had poor editing.
Writing in present tense and using universal point of view doesn't always work in novels. This one is one of those novels.
I did like the story line and the whole idea of it. But the writing just wasn't right. Most of all, I do wish that Karen had shown me the story instead of telling me it. You may know the axiom, 'Show, don't tell'. If you don't know what I mean, here's an example of the way she writes...I'll put in the same paragraph idea rewritten to show action:
Elliot merely grunts in response and heads into his bedroom. Amaryllis follows her nephew into his room, which she’s surprised to see is immaculate. It’s a bit of out of place compared to the chaos of the rest of the house.
I would correct it as something like this:
Elliot grunted as he headed into his bedroom. Amaryllis followed him but stopped short at the doorway. "Oh, my! Do you clean your own room?"
Elliot looked at her. Why does she always make those faces? Is she mad? Confused? Happy? He shrugged and said, "Of course. Mother didn't come into this area. This is my area. You can come in, but don't touch anything."
Amaryllis cleared her throat. "I mean, um, why isn't the rest of the house like," she waved her hand, indicating his immaculate room, "this?"
Elliot sighed. Maybe she's just stupid? "I told you. Mother didn't come in here."
I do hope that Karen keeps trying. The idea was wonderful...but I also hope that she reads a bit more about writing for novels. It is very different than screenplays.”