A Review of ALASKA by Bella Johnson

A review of yet another wattpad-to-published novel that just doesn't meet the mark.

I went into this again with high hopes. You think I'd learn. And once again I came out disappointed and glad I didn't spend the ridiculous amount of 14£ being charged for the paperback. Here's what I thought those few months ago when I read and typed this up:

Alaska by Bella Johnson

 

The novel ‘Alaska’ by Bella Johnson starts off with a similar idea to twilight with the premises of girl moves away from mother to live with cop-father. In new, rural town finds out that the people are more than what they seem, proceed falling in love with mysterious supernatural high-school boy. This applies perfectly to both Alaska and Twilight, and whether you hate Twilight or not you have to admit it’s at least written to a certain standard. Alaska by Bella Johnson did not meet this standard.

                I first picked up this book when it was being written on Wattpad a good many years ago. I loved the book. I waited patiently for updates and I could remember it being a novel I went back to. I fangirled so hard when the author followed me back on the site. Of course you must remember though that wattpad standard isn’t publishing standard, and I automatically assumed when I saw Alaska on Amazon that it had been edited to meet that. Spoiler: It hadn’t.

                I don’t claim to be an expert in grammar, spelling, or anything of those sorts. The way I write and the way I read are completely separate and that’s why I’m allowing myself to criticise. I’m usually great at overlooking errors and mistakes, heck I can barely batch them in my own writing – but not in Alaska. I’m only glad now that I paid the $2 odd for ebook as opposed to 14$ for paperback – oh how mad I would have been if I had.

                The cover of this novel was well done, it’s only a shame though that there was no investment in any other editing. The mistakes that appeared weren’t ones you’d find with a Microsoft word spellcheck but more, words missing, words jumbled in a sentence as if they’ve stopped and started in between edits, character name inconsistencies (Cherry Vs Sherry), overuse of certain character expressions, sentences stopping and starting in weird places, wrong speech tags, and an overuse of commas throughout. I really do believe the extent of editing that took place with this novel was purely a whiz through with Microsoft word. In summary, not worth the price I paid. Alaska, in my opinion, should have remained on wattpad for free.

                The story as a whole has the potential to be great – and it was clearly something I enjoyed reading first time around. Typical YA/New Adult and was an easy read. I did feel the push-and-pull between characters was sometimes excessive, queue inner reader screaming at the characters to just give it up. Even ¾ of the way through, they were still at it with arguments and purposefully avoiding each other. Otherwise, I had no problem with the plot.

                The characters in this novel weren’t anything special, but at least they weren’t irritating. Chloe at first had the potential to go full-bitch but she didn’t, and that kept her likable and pleasant, but not too meek and uncomfortable like typical YA characters. The author had clearly made ‘cringe’ her permanent facial expression though, because at least every second page her reaction to something was described as such. Someone’s dead? Cringe. Boyfriend kissing? Cringe. Argument? Cringe. Something smells bad? Cringe.

                Grayson also wasn’t bad – however he had his downs with his temper that is attributed to his wolf-ness but I’m not buying it. Came across very ‘shouty’ and controlling, but not quite as bad as other characters out there. Grayson did come around near the end though and became less loud and demanding.

                In the end, I wouldn’t recommend /buying/ this novel. Why should we invest money into something the author hasn’t bothered to invest in herself? Yeah, sure, read it for free if you get the opportunity as it’s an enjoyable read once you look past the pasted-straight-out-of-wattpad chapters. Bella Johnson has potential, just not on her own like even the best of authors and she should have realised this.

                It really is a shame because I have no doubt if she went the traditional publishing route she would have been picked up and the editing would have done Alaska justice. I can confidently say I won’t be reading, even for free, the sequels to Alaska. The following Bella Johnson had on Wattpad isn’t reflected on Amazon and I feel that is largely because most readers will agree. Errors were there from the onset, available to preview in the sample chapters.

​I plan to post a review next on Ghost Bride by Anchee Min and then hopefully after To The Sky Kingdom by Tang Qi.

​Thanks for reading!

 

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