Monday, June 11, 2012

THE LITTLE WOODS by McCormick Templeman

The Little Woods
McCormick Templeman

Rating: F
Release Date: 07/10/12
Synopsis from
Are the woods behind St. Bede's Academy really haunted, or does bad stuff just happen there? When Calista Wood, a new student, arrives midway through her junior year, St. Bede's feels like a normal school . . . until she discovers that a girl had disappeared a couple of months earlier. Some kids think she ran away, others think she was murdered, but it's only when Cally starts digging around that she finds the startling truth.

Watch as Cally enters a world of privilege, weekend-long parties, high school romances, and . . . well-kept secrets. This page-turner will appeal to teens looking for a fast-paced thriller. Written in a voice at once gripping and crystal clear, debut novelist, McCormick Templeman, will take readers on a twisting and turning journey as only a "new girl" can experience.

My thoughts on the book:
I was not blown away by this mystery. For starters, it was not very mysterious. I figured out who did it pretty early on. Also, someone needs to burn the author's thesaurus. The characters were bland and one dimensional, and I don't think I liked any of them. The romance is just out of place, and the pacing is off. I doubt I'll be reading anything else by this author. 

Templeman's use of the thesaurus made me want to gouge my eyes out. Seriously, she replaced words that did not need to be replaced. It's a common rule of writing (which is taught in introductory creative writing courses) that you never replace the word said because it blends into the background, and the reader doesn't even notice it. That way it doesn't get annoying and repetitive during the dialogue. When you replace "said" with a word like "expactorated," I want to throw a show. It should not be done. Furthermore, the ways Cally thought and talked were ridiculous. No teenager thinks or talks like that. Even intelligent teenagers don't use the words that Templeman tried to convince us Cally uses. It was pointless fluff. 

I figured out who the guilty person was and who was being set up very early on, and that took away any suspense I may have felt. Of course, I didn't give a crap about Cally or any of the other cliched characters, so I didn't really care who died. I was kind of hoping they all would. Templeman tries to make her characters interesting and unique by having a girl who chews tobacco, and other ridiculous things like that, but it didn't make the character stand out. I can't even remember her name. I just remember thinking it was stupid (and disgusting) to have a supposed "rebellious" girl chew tobacco. 

I'm not even going to talk about the romance because it irritated me more than the rest of the book. It didn't fit, and it felt like it was added to try to add some spice to the novel. God knows the novel needed spice, but the romance was just as awkward as the writing and the characters. It just seems like Templeman tries too hard and has no instincts at all when it comes to writing a story. She tries to fit puzzle pieces together that don't go together, and it comes out awkward, forced, and flat. 

Overall, I'd avoid this novel. The writing is awful, the plot is terrible, and the characters are detestable. Templeman tries to make her characters and writing stand out, but all she does is annoy with her overuse of the thesaurus and her character's ridiculous traits. This is not a book I'd recommend to anyone.

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