Self publishing was one of those fuzzy areas for me — until recently. I’d never heard good things about self published books and I’d never read any good examples. The few I’d stumbled across on Amazon seemed rough and badly worded.
Sure, there are bad self-published books out there. Maybe those books just weren’t ready to be published or maybe, to be bluntly honest, the authors weren’t good writers.
But there are also some amazingly good self published books out there! And I found one of them.
Unfortunately, an evil monster swallowed my reading time (seriously, happens too much), so I will not be reviewing a full book. Just a partial. Hold onto your lacrosse sticks!
St. Mallory’s Forever! is an English boarding-school mystery. Three narrators — Helen, Abby and Xuan — spin the story through a series of blog post.
The book opens with Helen anticipating a stuffy year at the posh boarding school, St. Mallory’s, with a bunch of snobby rich girls. Abby, one of the said “snobby rich girls”, is gearing up for anther year with her clique. And Xuan (pronounced “Shin”), from China, will be boarding while her father does business in England. A mix up (probably on account of English being her 5th language) lands Xuan “learning English” through baby books, though she could run rings around Shakespeare himself. As the books unwind, the girls collide, and a wild ride ensues.
Things I’m Loving So Far
– The voices! Each narrator has a quirky voice that’s really modern, fun, and easy to relate to.
– The chapters are short and punchy. Which should actually be a bad thing, because I end up reading five or six when I meant to read just two. It’s addictive! It’s so easy just to “slip in another chapter” you end up gobbling page after page.
– All the blogging references! I understand! And also, there are musical references, which I love and click with. Abby can’t tell a violin from a double bass, but Helen and Xuan are very knowledgeable which makes me smile and feel like I know them.
– The writing! It’s very crisp and tight. I’ve found one typo, and I’m about one-third of the way through, but I could name you more then a dozen traditionally-published books that I’ve found serious typos in.
Things I’m Dubious About
– As with all books so prominently set in a “particular age”, I think in a few years St. Mallory’s Forever! will feel very out-dated. Also, if you’re not English, you might find some of the references a little hard to understand.
– In some parts, with all 3 girls sharing their experiences through blog-posts, I feel like I’m rereading a lot of stuff. Sometimes it takes 3 or so chapters to get past a certain event.
– Xuan’s name is pronounced “shin”. Yes. After the first three times, I remembered. Unfortunately, I’m reminded about every second chapter thereafter anyway. It was funny and quirky at first (like Abby and Helen couldn’t really “get over” the fact that her name wasn’t Zoo-Anne like it looks), but it’s worn thin for me now.
I’m thoroughly enjoying reading St. Mallory’s Forever!, and NO, this is not a biased opinion. I may just happen to know one of the authors (hey, Charley, how’s it going?), but I’m choosing to give my honest opinion here. For me, being critical of self-published books is my natural inclination, so when I’m reading one that is awesome, I won’t hide if I love it!
I think it’s fair and needful to give self-published authors a fair chance when deciding whether or not to read their work. I don’t judge avocados on the fact that I’ve had a few bad ones so they should all be bad, right? (And no, I’m not saying St. Mallory’s Forever! is like an avocado.)
Okay! Time to jump over and visit the other participants of the blog chain. Oh, but before you go, check out St. Mallory’s Forever! on Amazon (the price is amazing!) and here on goodreads. And because I’m fabulous and have connections, you can also check out this post where I interview one of the authors.
And don’t forget to enter our frabjous giveaway. There are 3 prizes up for grabs (you totally don’t want to miss this chance)!!