Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Alice's Review: The Cherry Valley Chronicles

The Cherry Valley ChroniclesSummary:  Erin is living the fabulous life but when the death of a loved one occurs, it turns her world upside down. She goes to the last place on earth for support. In her search for healing a family secret begins to unravel and sends her life into a tailspin. Now Erin is forced to choose between her destiny with a man she doesn't love or break tradition to be with her soul mate.

Review:  When I first read the summary for this novel, I was excited and couldn’t wait to dive in. It sounded like a classic boy meets girl novel with a family secret twist. After my last two reads of typical romance I was looking forward to the drama of family secrets. I will admit, when I got the novel, the author included a note saying to be kind, she didn't have the best editor. I was a little scared, wondering what I got myself into. Turns out I didn't have a lot to worry about.

The first part of the novel reads a lot like a conversation. I really felt that I was sitting on a nice comfy couch with a cup of coffee and across from me was Erin telling me about her life. I loved hearing about her friendship with Chloe and the girls. I loved A.C. and the fact that he didn’t talk. At all. I loved how Erin had a nice normal life.

There were a few things I didn't expect in this novel. The fantasy aspect was one. Although there are not officially two parts to the novel, I felt that the there is a clear divide between worlds. The first part was set in this world, the second takes place in an alternate world. (You’ll have to forgive my lack of proper terminology, I don’t normally read fantasy- type books.)

The other thing I didn’t expect was that overall I think this was a good story. My biggest critique is that it reads more like a first draft. I think Acire was right, her editor didn't do her and her story justice. With a decent editor, I think this novel could have been improved.

What irked me about the story itself is I couldn't understand why Erin wasn't prepared for what was to come. It seemed that everyone knew about Valley Cherry, knew the role Erin was to play. As the reader, I knew Erin was loved. She had great life-long friends, the boyfriend of her dreams and protective parents. She was smart and popular. If everyone cared about her this much, especially her parents, why wasn’t she told about Valley Cherry and her family’s secret? Especially since it impacted her so much. It definitely left me shaking my head.

My favorite part of the novel came at the very end. Erin’s decision totally surprised me. I love that in a novel. I love when the character does something you don’t expect, when she forsakes all sense and stays true to herself.

Overall as a first novel, this was a good effort. I think it’s worth a read but be warned, you will come across grammatical and punctuation errors. Don’t let that deter you, the ending is worth it.

Final Take: 3/5

Please check back with tomorrow, when we'll have a special guest post with Acire.



Alice January 18, 2011 at 4:58 PM  

There is something I forgot write in my review. You all know how I love those little kernels of greatness in a book. Acire had a couple.

The first is when Erin was visiting with her grandmother, she asked her about the family secret and her granny got this look in her eye. Erin knew Granny was about to tell her a good story, "so good that we needed popcorn." That made me laugh out loud because we've all heard stories like that.

The second is when Erin's soul mate tells her "without you there's no me." Man, I love that kind of stuff.

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