“I was interested in this book because of the topic: romantic life after 40. After getting it based on the A- rating from All About Romance, I was thoroughly disappointed in "Leaving Normal". The book needs an active editor overseeing a major rewrite. There was so much bad grammar and and so many misspelled/misused words, it was hard for me to concentrate on the story line. It didn't help that the author didn't seem 100% certain where the story was going, exactly - it seemed to jump all over the place, like reading the mind of someone with ADD. I kept thinking, "Huh?? Where are we going??"
Her metaphors were wonky and meaningless - handwriting that couldn't find its way out of a paper bag?? Huh?? There were an incredible number of cliches. There was so much unnecessary "product placement" in the text - store names, brand names, TV shows - that the story is already dated. None of it added anything to character development or plot. I just kept wondering over and over where she was going - and finished the book still wondering... Ok, I got the gist of it: heroine over 40, younger hero, happy ending - what were all the rest of those words in this book about?
The AAR review talked about the hero being so refreshing, with his unassuming confidence and lack of ego. Now, how did we know that? Because the author kept telling us, over and over - he was unassuming, he was confident, he had no ego, he was a gorgeous hunk with women falling all over him but hey, he didn't care about them because he had no ego. The author seemed to miss that all-important plot-writing point: show don't tell, because she just kept telling us and telling us and...
I guess I've been spoiled by better romance books, and was expecting better characters, better plot, better writing from a book with an A- rating from AAR (sorry Lea!). I know we all get something different out of every book. For me, Leaving Normal was a disappointment and a waste of time, mostly because it had the bones of a good story but wasn't ready to be published.”