Jean Blasiar, 2010. It’s challenging to review these books from small presses. I want to encourage indie publishing (NOT self-publishing!) and give tiny presses and new authors a chance, but it’s really difficult to overlook poor copyediting and, well, poor editing. This isn’t the author’s fault, though, so should I look at each book as a finished package, including its editing, cover art, etc., or should I treat it as content only, the art of a writer? I guess since, as a librarian, I think it’s important for books to be as appealing as possible so people will actually pick them up, I have to go with choice number one.
Given that? Well, Poor Rich is pretty bad. It suffers from a problem common among new writers: it seems to be at least partly autobiographical, but a life itself is not a novel. A novel needs strong and memorable characters (fewer than the number of people you encounter in real life so that the reader can tell them apart); a problem; a solution; and an interesting way of arriving at that solution. This book has none of those things. This is especially unfortunate because the writer seems to be talented. She needs writing classes, a great reading list, a good critique group, and an editor who will tell her what’s wrong and help her fix it.
I could step in to fill that last role by writing an excoriating and detailed review, but I won’t. I don’t hate Jean Blasiar; I just want her to realize her potential, and until she does, her books are unreadable.