Original Books

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Kenzie's Story by Melody Carlson

Kenzie, Ryun, and Sierra were not out to preform any illegal or unethical acts. They were just three friends in a moving vehicle. Having a heated argument about potential secret romances going on between the three of them. Everything changed when Sierra did the unthinkable and landed the three of them in the hospital. Ryun and Kenzie got off easy, but Sierra suffered a seemingly eternal coma. But no one knew but Ryun and Kenzie what had happened in the car. They let the authorities believe what they wanted them to believe. Little did they know that this game could not last forever. Their betrayal would surface and the truth would come out-easily or painfully, depending on their choices.

I like the idea behind the Degrees of Betrayal series as I liked the idea behind the Degrees of Guilt series. But a series is only as good as its weakest book, and that weakest book is usually created by an author out of their element. Melody Carlson's writing style is not in the genre she tried to put herself into with this particular book.

The characters are straightforward and lifeless. I believe I've used the term cardboard cutouts before. This is true with this pathetic cast of characters. There are no distinctive qualities about any of the characters. I don't know what any of these people would do in a certain situation. Melody has done much better than this in the past, especially in this department.

The plot is straightforward and shallow. It's like reading a police report on what happened. It skips through time at a breakneck speed. In every other chapter, the next holiday is being celebrated. Things happened at expected times. There is no break in the time warping and no unexpected elements to surprise the reader. One would be hard-pressed to find a more amateurish writing style on the market.

The foundational idea behind the book is good because it shows the effects of wrong choices and sets up imperfect characters. But the idea is not packaged correctly. Perhaps the other two authors have done a better job with this great idea than Melody has. She needs to stick to more complex and abnormal plots.

1.5 stars

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