Monthly Archives: November 2014

Reviews: Seven Seeds of Summer by Chantal Gadoury

For a very long time I resisted the idea of video reviews.  As it turns out, most of my reason for resisting them was my fear of being seen and heard on camera.  Since I was a kid I’ve hated the sound of my own voice on tape.  A few days ago I started to do a video review but stopped because it just made me stupidly nervous.  In the past couple days I’ve realized that the nervousness that I felt was an indication that this was something I NEEDED to do to expand myself as a person.  Today I bit the bullet and just DID it.  It might be silly.  It might be filled with disfluencies (um, uh, er, ah) but it’s my first and I’m confident that it won’t be the last.

As is often the case I received this book free in exchange for a review. Despite that kindness I am absolutely honest about it below.

This is a twisted love story drawn strongly from classic Greek mythology. Man loves woman, woman secretly loves man but doesn’t really quite know it yet or even realize that he does, in fact exist. What happens next is left as an exercise to the reader but does engage the reader’s interest quite strongly and has the feel of all those Greek myths that we either payed a lot of attention to in High School or totally ignored.

To the positive side, the story is enthralling and pulls you along from page to page quite nicely. The character development of our protagonist is profound and quite a Bildungsroman. Summer is entirely and utterly changed by the end and has lept from naive college girl to a grown woman in the period of a few months. The action in the novel is at times passionate without being trashy and leaves plenty to the imagination.

To the negative, the technical aspects of this novel are rather horrifying and not just from the typographic mistakes. The author at times slips into a mode of writing that would make one believe that English is not their first language. Idioms are completely misused, words are entirely misplaced and the text just needs to be thoroughly proofread and corrected. Our favorite example of clumsy writing is from page 270: “I watched him disappear behind his black door and heard it silently close.” Unfortunately no matter how strong the story may be, issues like this constitute an interruption of narrative flow that detract heavily from the impact of the novel. Lastly, the behavior of the characters is very erratic, more erratic than can be situationally explained. Summer’s development by the end of the novel is keenly evident but during that transition her emotions are insanely volatile. Her love interest too bounces maniacally from caring to monster in the span of a few sentences. While some of this is to be expected in the stress of such a complicated relationship, the portrayal in this novel is just too much to ever believe they’d end up in anything approaching a happy ending.

In summary, this is a strong idea for a novel but the detailed execution of it fails terribly. The whole text needs a sound editing to even out some of the fractured characterization and dialog as well as to resolve some of the author’s creative misuse of English Grammar.

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