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Can't Buy Forever Paperback – May 17, 2015
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Top customer reviews
1. The supposedly 1950s setting is almost non existent except for a few mentions of a date or important event here and there. As a historical fiction fan I felt a bit disappointed by this, especially since the setting is especifically mentioned in the blurb. If you leave out those few time references, this story could have easily been set in the present as well… Such a shame, because a well developed historical setting would have added credibility and dept to the story.
2. I had a lot of problems with the main characters in general. I wasn’t able to connect to them and this made following the story a lot harder. Furthermore, Odessa acts a lot younger than the 18-year-old she is supposed to be… She cries all the time and her feelings for Nicholas are cheesy, not credible and it almost feels as if I were watching a ten-year-old having her first crush on a senior quarterback.
3. The crying. Seriously, how many times do Odessa and the other characters cry during this story?! Once it started to annoy me I just kept seeing those crocodile tears mentioned, and it really started to get on my nerves. It also made their feelings less credible and more cartoonish.
4. It has a love triangle. Or in fact various love triangles if I am more specific. And you all know now much I despise those… I can tolerate them if they are done right, but these examples were quite cringeworthy and the feelings just felt unnatural.
5. I don’t feel there really is a plot and the events themselves don’t really seem credible or make sense. I mean, Roark is supposed to get away with all he does?? And Odessa just accepts all what happens? And we as a reader just have to accept everything that happens as well without a proper explanation? The lack of plot or at least a proper idea of what is going on also made it a lot harder to follow; it just didn’t feel like a coherent story at all and almost like a delusional ramble of one of the main characters on their deathbed.
6. I wasn’t able to connect to the writing style at all. I don’t see the lack of grammar and mistakes mentiones in many reviews I saw on Goodreads, but the sentences don’t flow and it was really hard to keep track of the story and read more than a few pages at a time. The writing style was one of the reasons I considered a DNF various times during this story… And I’m still wondering if that would have been a better choice.
Enough of the negative… There were some interesting aspects about this story, especifically Nicholas’ history and the gypsy references. I can’t go into details without revealing too much, but a focus on those and further development of those elements would probably have improved the story considerably. Without a proper explanation, the credibility of it all was simply lost. I really wanted to like this story, but as you might have guessed of this rather lenghty (for me) list, unfortunately I just couldn’t.
Other strengths of the story are the likeable and interesting characters, who keep us enthralled and connected throughout, and plenty of action interspersed with introspection.
However, there are problems.
To say that the plot wanders is an understatement. A common complaint about poorly structured novels is that they start too early and end too late. This one comes to a reasonable conclusion twice, but each time is forced onwards, trying to tie up loose plot threads. The author should have had the courage to end it the first time, heart-wrenching though that may have been.
The emotion of the story is enhanced by coming intensely from the point of view of the main character, Odessa, a needy teenager in love with someone who seems to care, but keeps her at arm’s length. Our connection with her increases throughout the story but is broken suddenly when, for the sole purpose of giving us plot information, the POV switches to that of another character. Then we are expected to jump back into Dessa’s emotions again. This happens few enough times that each one is a shock to our connection with the story.
Another problem is a plot that requires introducing random characters at the very end who suddenly play crucial roles in the story. This sounds like an author who doesn’t have control of her material. Not to mention the grammar mistakes, mixed–up sentences and misused words.
Recommended for fans of mild paranormal romances. Recommended for the author: an editor. This could so easily be a 5-star book.
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Can’t Buy Forever is a young-adult romance novel by Susan Laffoon.Read more