Random House mini-reviewsThe Genie in the Bottle by Bob Erw Wen
This is a very well-executed story that I enjoyed reading very much. The themes of alcoholic parents and sibling relationships are not new ones, but you have pulled them together in such a way, with such emotion, that it is totally compelling - congratulations.
The exchanges between Stuart and Stacy are beautifully done and feel very realistic. I would maybe suggest making the titular theme run through the story maybe a little more clearly – just one more reference to the genie would do it, I’m sure.
Stuart’s voice is strong and also extremely realistic. I did wonder if it was always consistent. Of course he has to be more worldly wise than most other sixteen year olds, but in places I think we lost some of the teenage naivety that makes his voice so readable. Having said that, this in no way detracted from my enjoyment of this lovely piece of writing. The Devil-Faced Girl by Laurinda Luffman
I found this a very intriguing extract, with some strong characters and, on reading your synopsis, a great plot. I liked the very immediate opening, but subsequently found myself wondering if we should know that Orla is writing her story from the outset as this then felt a little inconsistent in places. I also felt Orla could be softened a little in places as especially in her banter with Linda she felt a little too harsh, too bitchy.
Because you have so many strong elements to the novel I think you could afford to slow things down and allow us more time to get to know Orla and Danny separately and then as their relationship develops. I wondered even if you might consider adding in the occasional chapter from Danny’s perspective as his back story’s so intriguing.
The plot really does sound very exciting and I wish you the very best of luck with it.Wearing the Cape by Marion G Harmon
I enjoyed this very much – it’s a great, commercial premise with some interesting characters. As this has such a point of difference from standard superhero stories – the real-life teenage girl behind the cape – I really think you could make slightly more of it. When Hope is with the doctor going through her new-found skills for the first time, for example, you keep us distanced from it. I think that would be a great scene to show rather than tell.
In general, though I like Hope’s voice I think it would be nice to let your readers into her head a little more. She has such an interesting back story it might be nice t see her resisting her superhero status for longer and struggling to come to terms with it.
I think there are some lovely touches and details in your writing – including the chapter openers – which go to make this a vibrant, imaginative world and I wish you the best of luck with it.
This post was last edited by ProfessionalCritique, 12 Mar 2011, 09:49