Not long ago I had dinner at a friend’s house. She placed before me the strangest plate of food I’d ever seen. It was both unappetizing and unappealing. I wanted nothing more than to say, “No. Thank you…But…NO!” However, my mother didn’t raise me to act that way. So, with a forced smile and a stiff spine, I took a bite. I didn’t like it. Yet, …I liked it. Sort of. I know, that makes NO sense. This dish was revolting. I kept telling myself to put down the fork and push the plate away and yet…I kept eating…and not just from politeness. I couldn’t stop myself. Even as I gagged and my stomach lurched, I just couldn’t stop.
I feel very similarly about Lights of Love.
The story itself is entertaining. Main character Tessra El De LeRay is a magical being shunned by her village for one-too-many transgressions and deprived of her memories; transplanted with new ones that lead her to believe she’s an ordinary orphaned human being, transplanted to a small Vermont village, she must make a new life for herself. The problem is, the memories of her magical life begin to seep into her human one WHILE she’s falling in love with a veteran with PTSD and a tragic past of his own. To even further complicate the story, there is a serial government-contracted killer stalking them both.
It’s a bit convoluted and a whole lot of implausible…and yet…I couldn’t stop reading. I kept telling myself to, but I just couldn’t stop.
Even as caught up in the story as I became, as a lover of the written word, I must be honest and say this story was not very well written. There were dozens and dozens of run-on sentences. There were more that were cut into pieces and made into two (or more) half-sentences which made no sense and were so INCREDIBLY grammatically incorrect it was criminal. The book was also filled with so many misspellings it was distracting. Some appeared over and over and over like, pleasked, and ceasked. (The author must have a subconscious obsession with the letter “k”.) And sadly, some portions of the story-line were glossed-over and ignored (I felt the whole “Lights of Love” angle was neglected) while others were so rushed and unexplained that it left me wondering, “what the heck?” and “where did that come from?”.
The whole book screamed, “FIRST TIME AUTHOR”! I don’t know if that’s true or not… Even if it is, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Have you ever read Stephen King’s first book? Not Good! But, look how he turned out. The problem with a book that screams “FIRST TIME AUTHOR” is that what it’s truly saying is “DIDN’T USE AN EDITOR!” I would like to gently suggest to the author that she hire an editor and re-release when the book is polished and made to be a little more…appetizing.
In the meantime, I’d also like to say to the author “don’t be discouraged”. There is something there—within your story—that kept me at the table, so to speak. I could not stop myself from reading. Your story has some really good meat to it. What it needs is a little spice and a little flavor in some places and fat-cutting in others. I can tell you have talent. All you need is a little time in the “kitchen” to make this a great dish!