Monday, December 10, 2018

Review - Astrid

by J. T. Lawrence
Date: 2018
Publisher: Fire Finch Press
Reading level: A
Book type: short story
Pages: 30
Format: e-book
Source: Kobo

A mother becomes suspicious of her daughter’s pre-school teacher.

Is Teacher Dalton who she appears to be, or is something more sinister afoot?

'Astrid' is part of the 'Sticky Fingers 2' short story collection: diverse, dark-humored, and deliciously bite-sized. Fans of Roald Dahl and Gillian Flynn will love these unsettling stories with a twist in the tale.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

Well, that was awful.

Yes, there's a twist (which I figured out at the 63% mark, so the last 1/3 of the story was really boring). A lot of what I thought was contradiction in the first part of the story turned out to be simply the result of an unreliable narrator. However, because the quality of the writing is so bad, I assumed that the seeming contradictions were unintentional.

The story's tenses are all over the place, even switching in the middle of a scene. There's the dreaded (for me, anyway) silent dialogue tag (you can't nod your speech; you can nod while speaking, though, and it's so simple to just write it that way that I can't give this issue a pass). There are other things, too, like the reference to both "pajamas" and "pyjamas"; both are correct, but you only need to pick one.

The dialogue is so stilted, and the twist reminds me of those corny horror stories that kids tell each other to try to scare themselves. It makes the story seem really juvenile, even though the subject matter is clearly for adults.

This is a quick read, and it was free, so I'm not too upset about wasting a bit of time. But I'm certainly not going to go seeking any of the author's other works, if Astrid is an example of her writing skills.

Plot: 2/5
Characters: 1/5
Pace: 2/5
Writing & Editing: 1/5
Originality: 2/5

Enjoyment: 0/5

Overall Rating: 1.14 out of 5 ladybugs

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