Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Look Mom, I wrote a book review!

Warning: This is my first book review I've ever really done. Bare with me please.

The other week I had a little gift card money in my amazon account so I decided to spend it on some ebooks. I had a small wishlist and most of the ones I downloaded were 99cents. Only one was a traditionally published book and the rest indie authors. Lat night I opened up Anomaly by Thea Akinson. I had read a sample chapter on her blog. The story intrigued me and I knew one day I'd have to read the rest.

And I did. In one sitting. That right there is a sign of a good book to me. If I can't put it down, if hours slip by unnoticed, if I miss appointments (which I have for other books in the past. Oops.) The story sucked me right in and throughout it all I was cheering for J. When he teetered towards a relapse into drug use, I was on the edge of my seat pleading, DON'T DO IT! And when he didn't, I cheered.

J was a raw person, there really wasn't anything sugar coated about him. He was a man physically but didn't always feel like one and often switched from dressing and acting like a man to dressing and acting like a woman when the moods hit. And all that confusion about what gender he really was sent him down dark paths that are slowly revealed. Also, I love his obsession with bras and underwear and the care he gives each piece. It wasn't painted in a perverted light but a light of someone who enjoyed to occasionally wear those items or a female lover wear them just so they could be taken off.

As for the other characters. Molly... I loved and hated her. I wanted her on the same path as J and be free of drugs and she was so stubborn at times, deflecting J's attempts to care. Their friendship and past were revealed perfectly. I will admit in the beginning I was confused. Molly is a lesbian but I couldn't figure out if she and J actually had sex at one point while he was in a feminine mood.

Stephanie and Sherona I would have liked to see more but their parts in the story were actually quite perfect. I guess what I would have loved was the story to continue and see what happens next. But all good stories must come to an end and that's another good sign for me. When I don't want the story to end (BTW J was in my dreams all last night. Don't remember what went on but I know he was there.)

But as I noted when talking about Molly not all was perfect. The biggest problem I had was confusion. At first it was mostly about J while he and Molly were in the bar. I kept wondering what gender was he dressed as. Some of the early confusion also stemmed from the fact that J was the way he was and until I got used to how he acted and thought, I was confused. I think if I read it again, there would be less confusion in the beginning. Other bits of confusion came at sentences that just felt too full of words, I had to reread slowly and pick it apart to understand and even then I didn't always.

There were a couple typos. A period outside of a quotation and one dialog that didn't have beginning quotations. They made me stop but only to wonder how those got missed. I guess I expected any typos to be more subtle. I'm the type who thinks it's cool to find a typo in a movie or book. I laugh it off and continue enjoying the story. (Typos I have found: Night at the Museum, one of the mics drops into the picture. Evermore by Alyson Noel, the dog changes gender! Anomaly, a couple grammar typos. My list is growing!)

Suppose I should touch on the cover a little. I'd say, the glaring white of the title and catch line at the top could be darkened, it screams just a little too much. I'd tone it down just a touch, you want people to see the title but you always want them to look at the rest. Covers are art and a good balance is must. Draw the eye through the whole piece and not just focused on one spot (and never in the center! Do not draw the eye directly to the center, the rest of the piece will be ignored. Learned that in college. I was an art major.) The font I enjoy and the angel ties in perfectly with the story.

Now to wrap it up. I loved this story and think it deserves 4.5 stars. Maybe 5 stars if I forget some of the confusion I had on and off! I would read more of Thea's books and even buy a physical copy (Another sign I really like a book I have to have a physical copy.) Are physical versions available? I didn't look. Anyways, great story, great read, great author and I wish her the best of luck.

PS: I did not expect to write this much.


  1. Good review! You gave us enough information without giving away the whole story.

    I wrote my first review last week after being asked by my pastor's wife to present it at our ladies' meeting. Then, on Sunday, I had a similar experience to you. I read a book in one sitting and just had to go right to the computer to write a review. Well, at least we have both got started! Wonder where it will lead?

  2. I am absolutely gob smacked! totally totally thrilled to silence. thank you so much for such a thorough and thoughtful review. I just don't know what else to say. That you took the time to make me your first review? I'm humbled beyond measure.

    I'm also very pleased you liked J. He still speaks to me. I really liked the character and the vulnerabilities I was able to explore through him.

    And the cover? yup. working on a new one, actually, as I've never really been fond of what I have. but i don't want to rush it. it's finished and waiting another critical spin before it's unveiled. thanks for commenting on that too!

  3. @Diane, hopefully more reviews!

    @Thea, ...so you liked it? J/K Glad you liked it and can't wait to see the new cover.

  4. Great review for a great book!!! So complete and insightful. Nice work, Diane.

  5. Hey, that's a fab review. It's also a wonderful book that I've been recommending too.

  6. Great review. This is on my TBR list! :)

  7. What a wonderful review! This is on my TBR list. Thank you.

  8. Great review I enjoyed reading it. One comment though about the typos, I know American English and British English can be different so not sure how valid a point this is. In British English a period should be inside the quotation marks if it is dialogue, but outside if it is a quote, so it may not necessarily have been a typo. Might be different in America though!

  9. A small point on Kindle typos.

    Even some big names like Charlaine Harris are getting slammed for typos in their Kindle versions, and I find it hard to believe major publishers are releasing Kindle versions in that state.

    We are aware of instances when our own book has mysteriously acquired errors that we know for sure were not there when uploaded or when quality checked before confirming.

    I've seen versions on two different devices side by side and one has errors the other does not...

    We suspect there may be a download gremlin in the Amazon works that just occasionally sends a duff ebook out.

  10. Hmm, download gremlins, thanks for the heads up Mark. lol