Samantha at the Crossroads by SK Smith
Gear Towards: YA-Adult
Published By: SynergEbooks
Publication Date: August 2008
It's not often that I come to a book I can't make myself get through. Unfortunately, Samantha at the Crossroads, an e-book by author SK Smith was one of those books.
Samantha at the Crossroads is described by the author as "The volatile 1960s find thirteen year old Samantha in a small town in rural Montana, groping her way into her future as America is doing likewise." Based on the description I decided to give the author's review request a go. Not ordinarily the first book I'd gravitate towards, but there's nothing like getting out of your comfort zone from time to time. I figured worst case scenario it wouldn't be my favorite book, but as it turns out I simply could not finish this book. Infact, I couldn't even making it a 1/3 of the way through the some odd 388 pages.
No disrespect to the author intended in any way, because I'm sure she put her heart and soul into this, her creation. For me though, it just wasn't working. The story wasn't gripping enough to keep me entertained, and I found myself literally zoning out while reading. I was still reading the words, but my brain had shut down by that point and wasn't processing any of it. Perhaps, entertainment value aside, I could have made it through the book if it was even well written. But again, unfortunately, I found the writing style at times to be overly wordy, sloppy, and disjointed. I guess if I had to put my finger on one thing in particular it would be the flow that I had issues with. At certain places there seemed information was included that really had no bearing whatsoever on anything in the story. It was hard for me to stay focused when I couldn't always find a common ground linking all the pieces of the story together.
I debated for a while what to do about this review because I didn't want to be unfair to the author who came to me with the review opportunity. I considered writing the author and informing her of my dilemma, and just leaving it at that. Posting no review. To simply say I couldn't write a fair review because I couldn't get in to the story wouldn't really have been fair either though, because there were aspects about the book I felt strongly about. Yet I still wanted to be certain I wasn't overanalyzing in any way which would lead me to give an unfair review. I even asked my 'sister' what she thought I should do. As someone who writes herself, I knew she'd be able to give me some advice upon taking a quick look at the book herself. And after reading a few snippets, she came away with the same feeling I had about it.
As I already said, I did not complete the story. A lot of that has to do with the fact that I really did not enjoy the format, styling, or quality of the writing (as stated already). So, while I don't think I could give a fair overall rating for this book, I believe it's only fair for me to share what opinions I do have.
In my opinion, and again I truly hope the author understands I'm only one person and most certainly my opinion would not necessarily be shared by everyone else (I actually discovered a very positive review of this title here.), I think this book is rather unfinished. Not having completely read the book I can't speak on the story itself, but on the composition I can say I think there's definitely room for some serious editing.
I hope the author will understand that I do not mean to criticize or tear down her work. I only wish to impart my thoughts, since she did ask for a review. I think with a little work this could very well likely turn in to a decent book. Just at the moment I think it's coming up short a bit.