This is going to be a very short review, as I did not enjoy this book.
I received Melody’s Key for review from Dallas Coryell, and was under the impression it wasn’t going to be your typical romance.
I want to make one thing very clear–I do not like genre romance (please keep that in mind while you read my review). So for that reason alone, I feel it was a mistake to send this book to me.
The meat of the story is this: famous guy meets and falls in love with a shy country girl.
The biggest issue with the book for me was there was way too much description, and the story’s pacing suffered greatly because of it. I found myself skimming through twenty pages, only reading the dialogue, and not missing a single thing.
If he had removed fifty pages from this book, it might have been a bit more tolerable. That’s where a good editor comes in. Sometimes you simply don’t need every thought. You don’t need every room to be described in GREAT detail. You don’t need every outfit and facial expression. You’re better off without all of that if its constantly ripping your reader out of the story.
When a writer is too attached to their book, they pour over their words as if each one is necessary when a lot of them simply aren’t. Every sentence doesn’t need to be this grand, prophetic thing. Kill your darlings.
The dialogue was robotic for the most part. Simply because most people don’t speak to each other like this:
“Amazing,” he said, shaking his head. “How in the world do you do that? You move both hands simultaneously with two completely different rhythms and patterns. They look like two magical spiders spinning a web of musical deliciousness.”
He tried to make it quirky. And that is something I can appreciate. But it just didn’t work for me.
Aside from that, there was so much telling. So so much telling. So many places where he took away the simple pleasure of allowing the reader to make up her mind for herself. And, as the majority of the story existed inside of Tegan’s head, I felt like he plainly pointed out the obvious on so many occasions, I was almost offended. Don’t tell me who she is, show me through her behavior.
I need to be allowed to have thoughts of my own. Even when Tegan’s reading the letters, she already has her mind completely made up about them, so I didn’t feel I had the opportunity to react freely.
As the letters dated back to the early 1900s, I felt the language was extremely forced. They were, however, well researched, and I did really like the idea of ending them with a simple “Lost without you.” That was my favorite part of the story.
I also liked the sister, she was perhaps the only person in the book that didn’t feel totally cheesy and unrealistic.
I struggled to look past all the grammatical errors. To readers who aren’t writers, they may not be as bothered. But to a reader who is mostly a writer… the lack of commas, misplaced commas, etc. felt like a complete burden.
I just didn’t connect with this novel at all. I tried. But being a professional songwriter made me especially critical of what was supposed to make it unique–the music. Both characters have a special bond with music, and end up writing it together. The songs were cheesy and obvious to me, and I struggled to visualize them in my head.
Again, I really feel the author shouldn’t have sent me this book. However disappointed I am, I wish him the best in the future, as this is his first published work. I could see little moments of his talent poking through by way of pretty lines, but they got too lost in the enormity of everything else.