Last Updated on: July 15th, 2017
Rapunzel, by Molly Greene,was not on my list of books to read until I read the review of fellow freelancer, Jeri Walker-Bickett. She indicated that it had elements found in Fifty Shades Of Grey, which she also has critiqued, didn’t like, but which I actually loved. (Sue me, all you FSOG haters!)
However, it seems that Jeri and I have completely different personal preferences! I will admit that I did not read her review of Fifty Shades of Grey until after reading Rapunzel. If I had, I would have learned that the two of us definitely don’t like the same types of books!
I read Molly’s book on the Kobo my sister gave me and enjoyed reading on this reader. It’s much easier than holding a novel, as it’s not as heavy and is more portable. It fits into my purse more easily than a bulky novel does! However, I like making notes as I go (yes, I often deface my books – they’re MINE) and like flipping back to certain pages, so e-readers have their disadvantages, too. 🙁
But I’m not here to debate the use of e-readers; I’m here to offer up my book review of Rapunzel.
My book review of Rapunzel
Rapunzel has its good and bad points. Overlooking the edits that need to be made (I can never turn off my inner editor, regardless of what I do), I have to say that I only moderately enjoyed the story, and have rated it as a 2-star book (out of 5) on Goodreads, with this review:
This novel has some good points,but more negative ones exist. I was very disappointed with the lack of resolution at the end, and I would not recommend wasting time reading this novel when so many other great books are out there to be read! I’ll be providing a more in-depth critique on Wording Well (my new website) and will be re-thinking my offers of “trading a book for a review” in the future. However, authors can be assured that they will get the truth from me, even if it hurts. 🙁
The two main characters of Rapunzel are women. One is a lawyer-turned-investigator whose speech mannerisms do not reflect that of a former lawyer, and the other is a freelancer who is portrayed as a bit ditzy at times. The two characters, respectively, are Gen/Genny/Genevieve and Cambria/Bree. Gen’s three names are used within the first few pages of the book, and I should have taken this “red flag” as an indicator that this book was in need of some improvement. Alas, I plowed through until the end, where numerous plot twists were left unresolved.
Once I was finished reading this book, I asked myself if perhaps the reason I was disappointed in this book was because of my new experience of reading it on the Kobo. Unfortunately, the way in which I read it has absolutely nothing to do with the plot, the writing, or the negative feelings that plagued me afterward.
I think my biggest problem is that I’ve never had to write a negative review before! I’m the type of person who doesn’t like hurting others’ feelings, and I really didn’t want to hurt Molly Greene’s. I then considered the feelings of all of the people who follow my reviews and the people who read my blog posts. In staying true to myself and keeping with my ability to report the facts, I would have to say that I wouldn’t recommend this book, even though it had a few good points.
The negative stuff:
- Gen/Genny/Genevieve > we are introduced to the same character using three different names within the first few pages. A bit much! I don’t even recall what she looks like, but I recall this!
- For a lawyer-turned-investigator, Gen uses simple language. Lawyers speak in their own argot, but this is not reflected in her speech. At all.
- Cambria/Bree > The subplot of her flirtiness should be refined. Taylor and Eric each have interactions with her, but Eric’s is not believable.
- Many contradictions and discrepancies occur. At one point in the book, in Chapter 7, the characters are discussing a diner called Sam’s. The characters mention that “their view of the water was worth the price of the meal” and to me, this indicates a swanky place, but then when they entered Sam’s, the busboy’s actions and words indicate that Sam’s is a bit of a dive. This also contradicts what one would expect from a neighbourhood in which real estate is worth millions, as a plain, less-than-stellar eatery like Sam’s doesn’t really fit with the scenario.
- There are way too many unanswered questions at the end, and the author even goes so far as to state this. What’s more is that the final climactic scene abruptly ends, further compounding this issue. With two officers and an investigator as some of the major players in this book, I expected more “solving” done. The final scenes end with Bree and Garcia together in a relationship, with no mention of how they started dating. The huge jump in time to get from being practically strangers to lovers is simply not believable.
- It is not believable that Gen handled her break-up with such ease. Where are the hysterics? Gen seems to have few thoughts and feelings regarding this event.
- General edits need to be made. Sometimes words were missing, which made particular sentences difficult to read.
The positive points:
- Patience is the name of one of the characters, and the author uses the play on words to her advantage. I liked seeing the misunderstanding of patience/Patience.
- I liked the mystery and how it unfolded, even though the author copied Fifty Shades of Grey author, Ms. James, for Bree’s discovery.
- More descriptions of the characters are needed to solidify their images in my head, but I enjoyed the interplay between Mack and Gen. If any two characters should get together, it’s these two. I was disappointed when they didn’t, I have to admit.
With some work, Rapunzel could be improved and made into an enjoyable book. I firmly believe that.
UPDATE: Since the publication of this article, Molly Greene has re-published this book under a different name. I hope she edited it beforehand.
Have you ever read a book and then given it a bad review? How did you feel about it? Did you struggle with it (like I did)? Please share your experiences in the comments – if you dare!
Molly Greene is an author, novelist, and blogger who writes about life and the world of self-publishing on her blog. Her nonfiction titles include Blog It! The author’s guide to building a successful online brand, and an upcoming book of essays, Buy Your Own Roses (2014). Molly is currently working on her third novel, Paint Me Gone; her first two, Rapunzel and Mark of the Loon, are available as ebooks on Amazon (Loon is available at other major online retailers). You can find her on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, and Google+.