Hello there and welcome to The Turndog Review: the books I read, reviewed.
I aren’t a professional critic, instead all I offer is my honest opinion into everything I read. However, I do this with a difference, as I don’t only offer my personal views on the Writing, Plot, and Story, but also the Book Cover, Book Marketing, and Author Website.
We live in a modern world where being a writer is different to years gone by, and I feel the whole experience of the book matters. This covers everything from the initial find, the actual read, and everything that follows. Therefore I hope this review not only offers a great insight into the book and author, but also into my own mind and what makes me tick.
So without further ado let’s begin, and today I focus on Isn’t It Pretty To Think So by Nick Miller
Read: October 2012
Discovered: Came across it randomly one day
My oh my, what can I say about Isn’t It Pretty To Think So? It’s a coming of age contemporary story with so much to offer, but at the same time, lacking a little something.
And boy does it get you down. A happy go lucky story this is not. However, this is no bad thing. There are too many stories out there where a happy ending occurs. It’s good to see someone stand tall from time to time.
It follows Jake Reed on a year of freedom and confusion. He inherits some money, is very very lost, and therefore embarks on a journey to find himself. In doing so, he meets a lot of interesting folk, puts his body through a great deal, and sees more heartache than you would wish on your enemy.
This was a tough book to sum up. As I say, it offers so much, but at times, frustratingly, falls a tad short.
Jake Reed meets several key characters in the book, and for the most part, I fell in love with them all. I loved Parker, I loved Tatiana, and I loved loved loved Henry. The author clearly thought about the characters a great deal and the research he put in is evident.
The other real positive is the overall journey Jake takes. I’m not saying it’s entirely realistic, but it is believable. The issues he goes through are real, and the anguish is what a young twenty something is prone to experiencing. It was damn cool journey, let me tell you.
My main gripe is the writing I’m afraid. It’s so poetic, in parts, but I feel it could have been 10,000 – 15,000 words shorter (and much better for it).
The endless chatter about what Jake is and isn’t doing is, for the most part, pointless. I found myself glossing over it and moving to the next part of dialogue or action. Maybe this is what the author was going for, but it seemed largely redundant.
Oh no no no, this is not the best cover, especially for an ebook. The drawings are charming, but the text is way too small. It’s rather chic, which I do like, but it doesn’t exactly catch the eye.
However, saying that, I feel it makes a good paperback cover. I can imagine coming across this in a cool second hand shop and taking a few seconds to twist it in my hands.
The less said about this the better. There isn’t any. There’s no info about the author or publisher or links to anywhere. Hmmmm…
Author Website & Engagement:
Nick Miller does some damn good things online, and I can imagine he does well offline, too. His Blog (via Tumblr) is sweet, and his Twitter activity is good.
His readers are very engaging, and I love that Kickstarter was utilised to get this book launched. It not only helped raise some funds, but it clearly created a community. All in all, Nick is doing gooooood.
Overall, Nick Miller has created a very solid debut novel. It’s clear to see that he’s a very talented writer. His words are poetic and the way he crafts his story is superb.
But it is flawed. The endless descriptions make this novel longer than it has to. As I say, it could be much shorter and better for it. I’m excited to see where his career goes, though. Future accolades and awards? I could see it!
As for the score, well, let’s give it:
3 Turndogs out of 5
Thanks for reading this version of The Turndog Review. I review every book I read, not only for the writing, but the marketing, website, and general communication from the author.
Turndog Millionaire – @turndog_million