Always You by Kirsty Moseley
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
I got this book mainly because it was featured on iBooks' book of the week and though it was self-published, I thought I'd give it a try since I have read some really good self-published books in the past.
Always You is Ms. Moseley's second self-published book and though I have nothing against self-publishing, I have to say that this ebook copy that I have was published through Smashwords and it had a ton of grammatical errors throughout the book which is quite unforgivable. One or two errors is fine but hundreds of them from page one to the last page? Big no.
The plot is interesting enough for the more mature young adult audience that this book is targeting as for adults who just like reading YA fiction (myself included), there's not enough tension to keep the interest going especially since it goes on and on for six hundred plus pages when it could have ended quite nicely at around three hundred fifty pages.
Half of the book is based on Riley Tanner's point of view and then all of a sudden, on the second half, it alternates every two chapters between the point of view of Riley Tanner and Clay Preston. I guess even Ms. Moseley got tired of Riley's annoying personality.
While the major and minor characters in this book are pretty consistent I have to say that protagonist Riley Tanner makes me feel like she is a woman from the 18th century in the body of a 21st century teenager. Why? Because no teenager can be that helpless, stupid and crying buckets of tears all the time especially during moments when Riley is feeling fearful and in dangerous situations involving Blake, the psychotic antagonist.
There are lots of moments where I feel that Riley could have been more "kick-ass" whenever Blake is around and harassing her. For instance, when Blake kisses Riley forcefully and rubs himself all over her (more like assaults her really), Riley could have swung her purse at him or dig out a pen and stabs Blake in the ear or the neck and run away screaming for help.
And then there's that scene where Riley got kidnapped by Blake and they were on their way to Blake's home, instead of Riley thinking about "how to hot wire a car" she should be shown dialing 911 even with the phone in her pocket and going on with the dialogue where Riley says, "Why did you take me from school against my will and where are you taking me?" so that the emergency people taking her 911 call would immediately know that she has been kidnapped. The book didn't say that she had a flip phone and teenagers, texting a lot, she would've easily known the layout of her phone's keys like the back of her hand. So her phone being a brick phone type she should have been able to call 911.
The same thing when she got the chance to use her phone, instead of calling 911, she calls Clay. Really? If you have been kidnapped and you are in serious danger of being raped and held captive (Blake is psycho and all the doors and windows in the house were locked), you call 911 and not your best friend.
In the scene where Riley locks herself inside the car and Blake was trying to open the door and ends up smashing a rock against the window, in the time that Blake was trying to open the door with his key and picking up a rock, instead of trying to peel off the steering wheel column cover to "hot wire" a car, she could've just honked the horn until a neighbor comes out then she could've been rescued without Clay almost dying. Another scene was the one in the kitchen where Riley hides a kitchen knife under a towel. This is seriously annoying. It would've been better if Riley took the knife with her, kept the hand with the knife behind her, followed Blake to the front door and threatens him with the knife so when the door opens and Clay is right there, she could've just maimed Blake a little and run the hell out with Clay. And remember too, that all this time, Riley was calling herself "stupid" which made it all the more annoying because at the hospital when Riley was arguing with Clay's parents, she turns around and tells them that she's not "stupid." What on earth was that? From page one to this moment in the book, it is quite obvious Riley is stupid. Everything she did does not make any sense. In all the years that I have been reading, I have never hated a character as much as Riley Tanner. Right now, she tops my very short list of unlikable characters.
Now for Riley's parents allowing Clay to sleep over three days out of seven, and then towards the middle of the book, Clay sleeps over almost every night, even if they grew up together and no matter how much you trust that guy, your daughter's best friend, you as a parent, you still send the guy home. You don't let him sleep over no matter what especially since Riley's mom "can see how much Clay is in love with her daughter." As for Clay's parents, it seems like they were more of the absentee parents and the book only mentions them when Clay had to ask for permission to go to Vegas, when Clay and Riley announced that they got married in Vegas, when Clay's parents & Riley's mom came over to the apartment to help decorate and at the hospital. There's really no depth to these two sets of parents. David, probably has a little bit more depth than any of the parents. I couldn't really picture the rest of them.
As for Clay being overprotective of Riley, I can understand that but how he just goes ballistic and violent just by the mere mention of Blake's name, that actually seems a little bit bi-polar and unrealistic to me. True that heroes should have a little bit of a flaw to them but it should be realistic. I don't see the motivation for Clay having this reaction to Blake all the time given their past when Blake was still part of the football team and Blake dating Clay's girl of the week back then.
Finally, to conclude this lengthy review of Always You by Kirsty Moseley, for the characters in this book, they need to be fleshed out more where you can clearly see and understand the driving force of their actions. Right now, they're all a little bit flat and annoying. I also suggest she hire a professional proof reader and a professional editor before self-publishing any more books (this is assuming her first and third book currently out now have tons of grammatical errors and too many pages) because as a writer, I think she really has the potential to be better if she would invest enough time and effort into proof reading, editing and revising in order to produce a clean, crisp and concise book with pages filled with quality writing that doesn't go on forever.
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