Sunday, May 25, 2014

eBook Review: It's Complicated by L.A. Witt

It's Complicated (Tucker Springs, #7)It's Complicated by L.A. Witt
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Okay, so I had the hardest time rating this eBook. I thought 2.5 stars for the plot. It's annoying--basically. Passive aggressive relationship stories drive me bonkers. I thought we'd see more of them working through their problems, not have new ones dumped on top that ramped up the angst factor to "Seriously?" factors for me. Which this did. I don't want to spoil the story... but read the story blurb and it's pretty much already done for me. The marketing basically gives you the ENTIRE plot. The only thing you don't get to see is the ending. For me, that makes it even more annoying because it feels like every surprise we're suppose to learn along with the characters is info bombed before we even get there. It lessens the impact of the emotional climaxes along the plot arc, which divorced me from the characters in a BIG way.

Oh, we love each and want to make it work so we're starting over--Boom! Already know that. Great sex still works--Boom! Already know that. Ex that still works with main character gets pregnant--Boom! Already know that. Ex wants to bail from the business and the city, omg, what will he do--Boom! Already know that.

The only things we don't get to see beforehand are the way Brad's job contributes to the resolution (though it was obvious as soon as I figured out what he did) and the actual decisions made at the end on how to make things work. Which again, isn't any big thing--it becomes pretty much obvious.

This eBook went up to 3 stars because I did feel L.A. Witt's basic writing ability to craft sentences and flow is good. I also got a tad teary eyed during the climax emotional scene before the resolution and ending. Pulling me into the story to feel even that much for the characters when I felt divorced from the plot because I already knew it took some skill. Overall, though this type of plot isn't my favorite, I'd have enjoyed it--if it didn't feel like I'd already read the CliffsNotes version.

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  1. Great review, Alicia! It's great to see the potential in a story, but always a little disappointing to see it fall short. What do you think could have made the story better?

  2. A story should be driven by two basic elements: characters and plot. I liked the characters enough to identify and empathize with them during the ending, but their basic problem was miscommunication. I hate that. All adults should learn to how to talk with other adults. Communication is key to any relationship, and it drives me absolutely mad when the main relationship conflict is the inability for the main characters to 'man up' and really be honest with each other.

    The second major factor, the plot, was nearly completely given away by the story blurb. This is a marketing tool that has to be used carefully. We should get a sense of the story--not be told all the major plot elements aside from the resolution. We learn 2 men are trying to work out their on again off again relationship because they love each other, so they decide to start over with dating. We learn one of the male leads owns a business with his ex-wife, who gets pregnant with his kid during the main couple's last off again break. We learn she doesn't want to stay in Tucker Springs, but wants to go home. So what will happen?

    1. They move the business and both move to the city Jeff's ex-wife wants to live and get back together and Jeff and Brad split up.

    2. Same scenario as before, but they don't get together and Brad and Jeff still split due to distance.

    3. Does the Jeff split with his ex, buy the business and stay in Tucker Springs, and try to do weekend visitation, furthering taking up his time, then lose Brad because their main fighting and not communicating point was that Jeff works too much and he'd be doing the job of two people.

    4. Does Jeff buy out ex, keep the business in Tucker Springs, Brad (who is experienced in retail sales) goes to work with Jeff so they can spend time together, and they set up weekend visitation with his ex.

    That's literally the ONLY thing left unsaid in the blurb. We say 95% of the story, and every single one of those major plot points and conflicts, written to garner interest and engage the reader, failed. The blurb should be edited to remove the details of the conflict with his ex-wife, the baby, and the need to either move the business and his home, or buy her out and stay and deal with split custody. Having a conflict with her that could sound a death knell for Jeff's reawakening relationship with Brad should be mentioned, of course, but the details would be better left unsaid.


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