|Digital List Price:||$0.99|
|Print List Price:||$10.97|
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Crispens Point: A Christian Novel (The Blackberry County Chronicles Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 284 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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When I first started reading the book, I couldn't put it down. I thought the descriptions were rich, and the character development was adequately strong. I did find quite a few typos that a good spell checker might have caught, and there were some formatting issues. What was disappointing is that the storyline lacked flow - too many unnecessary diversions that did not tie into the main plot or theme of the book. The hidden secret of the main character was not even hinted at until almost at the end of the book, and by this time it is a surprise that adds little to the story, or the character. However, the author manages to provide a good read in spite of these inconsistencies.
(Though reviews are inherently subjective, I prefer to provide some organization to my opinions through the use of a personal rubric. The following notes may contain spoilers.)
Plot and Setting: 4.5 -- Plot has many unique elements and no major holes. Surprises and sweet scenes. My favorite is probably the tornado. Setting is believable and consistent, but it bothered me to never know exactly where "Blackberry County" is.
Characters: 5 -- Relatable, realistic, interesting, dynamic characters. Even minor characters have depth. A good cast of interesting characters, all with unique and enjoyable personalities. Truly well done.
Writing and Mechanics: 4 -- Few, if any, typos or word errors. Decent use of alternating POV, with a few head-hopping errors. Generally skillful writing.
Redeeming Value: 5 -- Well-developed, central, uplifting themes. Love can come from unexpected places; our assumptions aren't always correct, and our lives don't have to match others'. Hiding from God's plan doesn't work; peace comes from doing as God directs. Sex, alcohol, violence, etc, are not glorified at all--though they were part of several teenagers' bad choices, they are clearly not encouraged, and their consequences are clear.
Personal Enjoyment: 5 -- I loved it. It made me feel in all the best ways, and leaves me content and satisfied. New favorite.
Disappointed in the lack of depth and relatability of the characters. It was too much, too soon to expect me to believe that two fully-grown, well employed and apparently comfortably single adults would act how the two main characters acted. After seeing each other across a room one time, both find their lives in tumult. The protagonist blushes furiously at the mention of his name, and everyone presumably correctly assume that she, a 30-yr.-old, well established, mature Christian woman, has fallen hard for a man she's never spoken to.
Beyond how far-fetched the basic storyline was, I found characters incredibly stilted and unrealistic in basic, daily conversations. When a tough question comes up in Bible study, the pastor feels triumphant that Charlotte doesn't have the answer, and when she finally does answer it, the WHOLE GROUP responds with stupidly simplistic comments to the effect of, "Wow! I've never thought of it that way before!"
And finally, there were serious timeline mistakes and it was immediately obvious that someone had edited the order of events, or she had added a chapter without changing the surrounding chapters appropriately. So: Sunday morning, Charlotte and Gordon have their lives turned upside down by the discovery of each others' existence. Sunday afternoon, Mrs. Donahue invites them both to dinner this upcoming Friday. The FOLLOWING Sunday, no mention is made of anything, and Charlotte makes friends with a family from church. That Wednesday, she decides to try the Bible study and confounds the pastor with her amazing intellect and Biblical knowledge; THEN Friday happens and they attend a dinner party together.
The concept of the novel was interesting, but it was far too poorly executed to finish, and I couldn't "willingly suspend my disbelief."
The female author created the male leading-man's psyche much more accurately than most. She must be married to one of us or something.
Character development, story line and flow make Crispens Point an interesting read.