Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Sara Habein’s #CBR4 Review #46: Alison Wonderland by Helen Smith

Alison Wonderland
by Helen Smith

I do not pick up books I think I will dislike. Unlike some more traditional reviewing positions, I am not “assigned” books, and there are more out there that I want to read than I ever will be able, so every book I decide to read has promise. Something about it struck me as interesting, and in the case of Alison Wonderland, it was probably the London location mixed with a bit of mystery that made me open the cover. Unfortunately, this book turned out to be a hot mess. If it had been any longer than its 189 pages, I don’t think I would have finished. And while of course no author wants to hear that — and there are readers out there who think that unfavorable reviews of small press books are bad form — I think that Helen Smith is capable of a better book. I know she has others (I have not read them) and that this is an early book of hers, but Alison Wonderland suffers from a lack of focus both in character and plot. The writing itself is not bad, nothing extraordinary, but not overly cringe-worthy and cliché-filled either. Still, somewhere along the line, someone needed to say, “What, exactly, are you trying to accomplish here?”

(The rest of my review can be found on Glorified Love Letters.)

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