Friday, August 26, 2016

A Saint for Life by Nicole Heck



I remember the day I was 'forced' to watch A Walk to Remember.  Let me tell you how the movies goes.

1.  Opening sequence.
2.  Over an hour of me screaming "Would you please just hurry up and die already?!  Please?  Come on, man!  Die!"

Now, Mandy Moore, you're awesome.  I adore you.  Let's do lunch.  But this type of movie is definitely NOT up my alley.  It gets my blood pressure up.  It's sweet on top of sweet and then begs you to feel sorrow.  Yeah.  No.  The Nutty Professor...that makes me cry.  Every single time.  A Walk to Remember just really annoys me.  It tries too hard.  "Hey!  Let's make a movie that'll make everybody cry!  Yeah!  That'll be fun!'  Well it works about as well on me as slapstick comedy!  There's something wrong with my brain and I apologize.

Now I'm sure that you're aware that there is a huuuuge audience for this sort of thing.  It just doesn't include me.  If it is your sort of thing, this is definitely a book you'll want to pick up.  I've heard a lot of flack about how a reviewer can only review a book that's in their preferred genre, and that's simply not true.  Read on, dear readers!  Read on!  Actually, grab some caffeine first!  Then read on!

This is the first book by Heck.  In a first novel, there are a lot of things to worry about.  Has it been edited?  Does the author have basic story-telling skills?  Is there a plot?  Are the characters set up well enough that you care who they are?

 Normally, my biggest complaint is the lack of editing.  Most new authors feel like they know what they're doing and just don't understand the need.  Heck did her homework and understood the need for editing and I give her great credit for it.  There are a few small items where the editor could have tweaked it a bit, but over all...great job here!

Now, though the characters and story are definitely not my thing, it is really well done.  The characters are well-formed.  Though I don't like them, they're incredibly realistic.  We have average teenagers, albeit late teens, who are living in unusual circumstances.  Heck does a great job of veering us into their psyche so we can see all of their vulnerabilities and strengths.

Heck also has a pretty natural story flow.  The beginning is a little rough, but once you get a few chapters in, you have all of the characters and timeline straight and you can just sit back for the ride.

Like I said, this is definitely not my thing.  It'll go put up in the library until someone else wants to read it.  BUT!  For the type of story it is, especially considering that it's the author's first novel, it's really well done.  If you enjoy sappy love stories with the potential to go horribly wrong, you should really pick this one up.

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