Friday, January 13, 2012

Book Review: Dreadful Sorry

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{She followed like forever ago, but it was new news when I actually wrote this post...}

Dreadful Sorry
Author: Katherine Reiss
Stars: 2
Less-Than-500-Word Review in Short: Follow Molly Teague and her 2-dimensional cast members as they unravel the mystery to her visions in this eerie suspense novel.
Back-of-the-Book: {there is no back-of-the-book summary}

I Say:
“Dreadful Sorry” is a story set in the early 1990s about a girl named Molly who has disturbing dreams that begin to blend with reality. Her sleep is haunted by visions of a strange house and people and feelings of guilt. When she meets her friend’s cousin, Jared, things just go downhill. He triggers the strange feelings in her. Her nightmares start morphing into reality and she gets caught up in a bewildering and frightening mystery.

I read the first few pages of “Dreadful Sorry” at the library. It seemed centered around unusual dream occurrences, so of course I added it to my armload.

After the initial interest I felt at the library, my impressions of the book were negative. At first I thought it was just the 90s writing style, which I’m not a huge fan of, but that’s not it. The writing was weak and colorless and the descriptions were terrible. The dialogue fell flat; it just wasn’t believable. I don’t say this often, out of courtesy, but I could have written this story better. None of the characters had real personalities. They were all the 2-dimensional stereotypes we call Mary Sues.

The practical, logical mother who doesn’t believe in nonsense.
The silly, pixie-like young stepmother who tries to be affectionate and relatable.
The honest, understanding father who wanted a little joy out of life.
The Typical Girl who’s caught in the middle and doesn’t know what to make of her situation.

It’s all there, laid out in the open with no deviation from the usual cast. Molly’s friends don’t even merit memory-commitment. They’re more paper-thin than her family and only show up in one scene.

Then you have the plot. I admit, Reiss did a good job of making the story unnerving and creepy and I didn’t sleep well after reading “Dreadful Sorry” late. Who could sleep well with “My Darlin’ Clementine” wavering eerily through their mind? But I think part of the uneasiness was due to the poor quality of the story.

The plot construction itself was not well done. The order in which events take place and mysteries are unraveled could have been better. I would have had Molly’s visions occur before certain research was done, et cetera. I think it would have made the mystery greater and the sense of realization more satisfying.

In the end, I did not like the answer to the mystery, which will definitely ruin a good thriller for you. I’m sure not everyone would feel the way I did about the explanation, but I sure as heck did not find it gratifying.

I Liked:
- The effect of “My Darlin’ Clementine” was brilliant and effective.

I Didn’t Like:
- Awful characterization
- Poor writing
- Not the best construction

Audience: Anyone could read “Dreadful Sorry,” so long as they’re old enough not to be freaked out. I’d probably rate it PG if it were a movie.

Because of the poor writing, Mary Sues and silly plot payoff, I won’t be reading “Dreadful Sorry” again, but it’s a relatively quick read if you want to see for yourself.


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