12 February 2013

Book Review: "Chop, Chop" by L. N. Cronk

Author: L. N. Cronk
Publisher: Rivulet Publishing
Originally Published: July 12, 2008
Synopsis: Ever since Laci was a little girl she's been growing out her pretty, brown hair and chopping it off to send to Locks of Love. When Greg moves into town and finds out what she's doing, he thinks it's a great idea...so he starts doing it too! It's just one of the things that reserved, young David must tolerate as their friendship grows throughout the years. As they near adulthood, they grow not only closer to each other, but closer to God as well. David finds himself content in every way, but when tragedy occurs David must struggle to find his way back to God.
(Taken from Amazon.com's page for this book)

Story: 3/5
The story is a good one; kids growing up together in a small town, discovering God, the opposite gender, and heartbreak, both romantic and otherwise.  Though it's nothing really original, it still works.

Writing: 0.5/5
Oh, my goodness; where do I start? First off, the book moves too fast; in less than 200 "pages"--of large print and with plenty of blank space, mind you--we're taken through the characters' childhoods, teenage years, and the beginning of their adult life.  It felt like I was watching a DVD on a player with the fast forward button stuck.  Not only that, but most of the characters and places were vaguely described.  If they decided to make Chop, Chop into a movie--please don't, Hollywood!--it would be pretty much up to the producers as to the ethnicity, eye color, hair color, height, style of dress, etc., of the characters, because they get little mention.  From what I hear, Victor Hugo's writings--which I haven't read! I know; what kind of avid reader am I?--are notorious for their long, detailed descriptions; well, this is the polar opposite of that.  Seriously, this book is written like a elongated summary, a poor movie or TV novelization, or a middle schooler's account of what he or she did this past summer.

Content: 2.5/5
If this weren't a Christian novel, it would be higher.  Still, usage of profane phrases or words such as, "Oh, my G--!," "Good L---!," and "C--p!" were just too much.  True, some of those usages are vilified...but not all of them.  Talk about "think[ing] we're gay" muddles things ever further.  Also of note: The "tragedy" mentioned in the synopsis involves violence that may hit too close to home for many readers, in light of recent events.

Conclusion: The self-publishing business may be good for some, but Chop, Chop is one of the biggest literary disappointments I have ever experienced.  The end matter says that there are eight books in the series; seriously, how can this mess go on for even two or three novels? If you're looking for a well-written Christian drama, go find something by Karen Kingsbury; seriously, her novels are great, especially when compared to this garbage.  I'm glad this one was free for the Kindle; I may have wasted my time and iPad battery power reading it, but at least I didn't pay for the book itself.

Score: 1/5

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