My review of: We Are We Young? - written by @Booksbeneaththebed
Ahh, romance. Not only is it a hugely popular genre on its own, but it also features in almost every story ever made, regardless of the medium in which it is told. However, creating a believable romantic relationship, is never easy. I know I’ve always struggled doing them. But does @Booksbeneaththebed manage to do it well? Let’s find out.
Before I begin I would like to point out that this may not be an accurate depiction or review of the finished product at the time you read it. And these are my personal opinions, all of which I am entitled to.
So without further ado, let’s dig in.
One of the main problems I have noticed in the romance genre in general, is that there is a tendency to forget about conflict and tension. These are the elements that keep the story going and hook me, the reader. Now in “Why Are We Young?” There is some what I call, Person vs Self conflict. This is done to a reasonable degree as we see Clifford struggle with his inner desire to isolate himself, but I would still like to see some bigger conflict going forward, and I sense that the author is building towards it.
I will also mention here, that at the time of writing, there is only one chapter available. So my knowledge of the full extent of the plot is limited. But what is in that chapter, is good, if not a bit cliche. Meaning that so far there isn’t a lot that makes it stand out amongst the wealth of romance stories. I won’t go into to much detail, because if I did it would spoil the only chapter there is. But needless to say it solid.
The story description sounds intriguing, however I can’t judge on what has not yet been published yet.
6/10 - Solid foundation for the beginning of a romance novel, but a bigger conflict would be greatly appreciated.
Another problem I have with a lot of stories, but they seem to pop up more often than not in romantic stories, is stereotypical characters. You all no what I am talking about. Characters that are as flat as the paper with which they were created on. The easy way to get around this however is that each character needs to be created individually. If you cannot make authentic or believable characters, you cannot make an authentic or believable relationship between them. They can’t be just cookie cutter characters.
And for the most part @Booksbeneaththebed does this well. The protagonist, Clifford, is given some time to live before being introduced to love interest. We understand some of his motivations and reasonings. Others currently remain a mystery (like why does he really want leave this town?) But I feel these will be revealed in time. Likewise his sister, Rosa, and co-worker, Siena, are all given a personality in such a small sample size.
For the most part, I found their relationships with the protagonist believable. Although there are a few oddities in their dialogue, as in I feel like that if these characters had spent any time with the main character they wouldn’t say the things they do. But these are minor gripes.
My only major concern is with the love interest, Jude, at least I think that he will be. As it is still early days it is difficult to say how this relationship will develop, but I feel the author should be very cautious with how he/she handles it. Specifically, be wary of writing 'love at first sight’. Yes, instant attraction is fine, but this could be leading down a very stereotypical path.
There’s no faster way to make, me, the reader, roll me eyes than two characters falling instantly in love without any real interaction or meaningful connection. Additionally the love interest, and the main character for that matter, need to have flaws and should never ever be perfect. So I hope that there is some more development of Jude. But at the moment he is just a really attractive, dark haired, flannel wearing, hunk that I can drool over in my imagination, (perhaps TMI???) but as it stands I can’t view him as anything more than a prop, not until there is some character development done for him.
7/10 - Most of these characters have a good amount of personality. But as the story progresses I would like to some more character development, especially from the main love interest.
The World Building
As this isn’t an epic sci-fi or fantasy, I wasn’t expecting to learn about the wars that shaped the lands or the politics that started a war, nor did I get it, however some information about the world would be good, like where they live, what is it like there, what was school like…etc.
Author’s Style Score:
2/10 - Although there is no need to cover hundreds of years of lore, some basic information about the world/place in which they live, would be greatly appreciated.
The Author’s Style
@Booksbeneaththebed has an easy to read and understand writing style. The dialogue for the most part, is well crafted and fits each character.
Where a problem lies is in the descriptions. Romance is very susceptible to the use of cliched language and descriptions and “Why Are We Young” does not avoid this. Earlier I mentioned that Jude, is really attractive. That is how he described in the story. Attractive, really attractive. For me, that is unsatisfactory. As they say: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I find that it reveals something about the main character if you just touch on what it is they find attractive.
The Author’s Style score:
5/10 - Although I found the author’s Style easy to read, I was not a huge fan of the basic descriptions that lean heavily to the cliche side of things.
Because of how easy it is to read, I did enjoy reading it. I really liked a lot of the dialogue used as well. At points I also felt sorry for the characters because of the predicament they were placed in, that job sounds like a living hell.
The Affect score:
7/10 - Easy to relate to.
- Did I like the story?
- What was my favorite part of the story?
- Clifford’s view of his job. Loved it and could really relate.
- Do I have a least favorite part of the story?
- Yes, the introduction of Jude. I just found it cheesy and cliche.
- If I could change something, what would it be?
- This one is a tough one for me. I don’t know what changes I would make. However, I’d need to see more before suggesting any story changes.
- Would I recommend this story to another person?
- What type of person would like this story?
- Someone looking for an LGBT romance.
27/50 - Falls just this side of memorable… at the moment.