I've got a paperback book that is sitting in my car right now. I keep a book there at all times for waiting around in doctor/dentist offices and waiting in line at school for pick up.
Anyway, this book has a great plot, but if I hadn't spent eight bucks on it, I'd have thrown the damn thing in the trash even if it does. I'd never read this author before and liked the title, so I took a chance and picked it up. I won't take another chance like that. No more buying without having read the author before.
Unless, of course, I get a really good recommendation.
I mentioned this book a couple of days ago on the Avoid Writers Hell group
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/avoid_writers_hell in regard to head hopping. I was only three chaps into the book then, but now I am over half way. This author has taken head hopping to new and dizzying heights. She doesn't just hop from hero head to heroine head and back again. This author hops through the heads of several characters--all within a couple of paragraphs. I swear to God, one scene that took place during a Thanksgiving dinner party had to be read four times to figure out what the hell was going on.
With that said, the passivity of it is just as bad. It's glaring. Truly glaring. I have gotten to the point that I am only reading the book so I can edit the damn thing as I read and reassure myself there is hope that some day I'll hit the NYTBS LIST.
Because if this author can make it, I damn sure can. Worst editing and writing job I've ever seen. I am so in awe of just how bad it is that I googled the author and discovered she is quite old and has written a slew of books. I had never heard of her. I am hoping that since this is the most recent book, the problems have something to do with her advanced years. However, I can't excuse her editor or her publisher. The punctuation and grammar are fine, but head hopping and passive voice ruined this book for me.
I'm one of those readers who can handle an occasional pov change from one character to another as long as I think it works (easily understandable) and as long as the author doesn't hop back to the other character, but in this book there was absolutely no restraint. As a result, the book has been difficult to read and understand. In the end this book does have one redeeming quality. It's a classic example of why we have editors and so many rules within the mechanics of writing.