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4. Averly by Lanette


Cover 

The cover looks good and it portrays both the character (Averly) and the book itself in a wonderful but awful way. It’s simple which isn’t a terrible thing, but I feel like more can be done to make the cover unique (that’s just personal opinion). I love the cover art.  Obviously, it relates to how the main character is always mentioning the fact that she is broken. This cover art just gives the story a bigger grim look. It’s like her broken self is staring down at her own self out of disappointment or envy. Either way it actually gives you some insight on the character’s personality beforehand.

Plot

I’ve seen this kind of plot before so I knew exactly what I was getting into. Realism just so happens to be my favorite genre, so that by itself was enough motivation to get through this in one sitting. The plot is very strong, and easy at making you relate to the character and her struggles. I found myself getting angry with her halfway through the book when she was being a brat about going with her biological father. Though I quickly became able to see why exactly she might have felt the way that she did. She just has a really upsetting life in general.

I did find certain parts of the plot to fill the cliché mark. I don’t know if that was what you were going for to get a point across but I wasn’t really a huge fan of it. A big reference to this was Mrs. Gregory’s personality. It seemed copied and pasted from many other stories and her first line of dialogue: “There you are honey, you brought her here just in time for dinner.” Caused my eyebrow to raise. I instantly thought grandmas in every book EVER. I’d recommend going back and giving Mrs. Gregory a bit more depth in personality. Even if she’s only a simple character, you should treat her like she is complex for storytelling reasons. Makes things more believable.

This brings me to Averly. Averly as a whole is a teenager who is just down on her luck, and that has to have an effect on her personality and viewpoint in some way. But like with Mrs. Gregory I just feel like I’ve seen a character like Averly before. In fact, I’ve seen her countless times. While I can relate with her on an emotional level, her constant running away and shouting is what I would expect from someone in her situation. Which means her personality isn’t a bad thing, it’s the way it was delivered. Try to change the way she reacts to move away from the norm. For instance, don’t have her immediately go into a state of panic and shouting, as earlier in the book she’s been shown to be able to bite her tongue and explode afterwards (with Jake). Use that piece of information to further examine what she would do in future situations because the Averly you gave me in the beginning of the book and the middle of the book was two different Averlys.

However, the personality change could have been because of her mother’s death, if so I feel you should touch on that more in one of your chapters.

Structure

So, there are a lot of mistakes with this piece, which isn’t a bad thing, remember. However, there is so many similar mistakes that I’m not going to take the time to name them all. I’ll name a few then you can go back and proof read your book on your own (because that’s the best part of writing a book, right?).

In the very first chapter Averly’s thoughts are: “-my Mother behind with her arms outstretched on either side-” I need a bit more clarity here. Using the word either in this context is bad for imagery.

In the third paragraph of the first chapter Averly’s thoughts are: “Deep down I wanted to tear that man apart but I was just a scrawny twelve year old girl he’d snap me in half if I tired.” This is primary known as a run-on sentence. Readers LOATHE this. I would recommend adding a comma in front of girl to help this sentence’s case. Also, when expressing someone’s age in word format, remember to add hyphens to show that they are related to each other. For instance, you could change “twelve year old girl” to “twelve-year-old girl’ to produce more clarity in your writing.

The run-on sentences are a huge problem in this piece, as it seems like you’re afraid to use commas throughout the book. Don’t worry about commas, the more the merrier. Commas are there to increase the flow of your book so don’t ever feel like you can’t rely on them. Commas are much easier to remove than add.

I’d advise you to proofread your own work. Listen for sentences that seem run-on or redundant. Remember that the reader should have a moment of breath if the sentence is overly long.

Another word of advice: I noticed that you tend to keep dialogue between two separate characters in the same paragraph. It can be done if worded correctly, but in this case, it wasn’t. The rule for dialogue is that a new paragraph must begin every time a new character begins speaking. Otherwise you get another character invading someone else’s spotlight. And that’s just rude.

Those are the obvious mistakes in your book! If you want you can send a PDF or Word Doc to my email and I can mark all your mistakes in red, cause I’m that nice. Otherwise you did a great job with grammar considering how much you’ve typed over the course of four chapters. I typically many more mistakes than that. I could go into the word choice portion but again, that would take too much time. However, if you’d like some advice I’d be happy to tell you!

Conclusion

This story is wonderful. Aside from the run-on sentences and the lack of commas and clarity, I had a fantastic time reading this. The character is relatable and for some reason I feel like I’ve grown to love her though this book. I can feel her pain, her horror, all of it. If you just so happen to be reading this out of sheer curiosity for the book or my reviews, feel free to go check out Averly. You won’t be disappointed. Just remember that I didn't touch on everything in the book for spoiler reasons, so you still got that surprise factor.

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