Keep by Rachel Van Dyken

26195167.jpgMy name’s shouted on rooftops.
It’s written on bras, bathroom stalls, hell my name is everywhere. To say my name is to experience an orgasm without ever leaving your house.
My name?
Zane “Saint” Andrews.
I’m sex.
I’m a rock god.
I’m also a virgin.
What they don’t know won’t kill them right? Give the people what they want. And what they want is the idea of me; the pleasure they gain at listening to my song and knowing without a doubt I’m talking about them and only them.
It worked for a while.
Until a nerdy girl with glasses falls at my feet, literally, and suddenly I don’t want to be Saint anymore, what I want? What I really need?
Is to be kept.
By her.

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My Review:
3.5 stars — So I seem to have a love/hate relationship with Ms. Van Dyken.  I have books of hers I’ve rated 2 stars.  I have other books I’ve rated 4.5 stars.  And this book alone had me both loving and hating.  I actually haven’t read any of the rest of this series, or the related Seaside series, though I just discovered that I actually have the box set of the first series, so I may give it a try to see Alexi and Demetri’s stories…cause I was intrigued by their characters.  So I wasn’t one of the fans waiting on this book, I just noticed it on a new release list, noticed it was on sale and had released early, read the blurb and thought “that sounds intriguing!”

I will say one thing: I’m not normally one to deride a book for bad editing, b/c I tend to have a high tolerance for mistakes…I think it comes from reading a lot of Indie published books, and a lot of times those authors just can’t afford fantastic editors, so as long as it doesn’t get in the way of a really great story, I will let it slide.  But I know this author is a fairly prolific writer, so this is not one of her first forays into publishing…so I guess I held her to a higher standard.  And I must say the editing was just not well done.  I think she should have waited until the original release day, and given the book another once over (or maybe a few more passes actually).  It wasn’t just typos, though there were lots of those.  It was timeline issues (first it’s the next day, then supposedly a week of family dinners has passed, then it’s the next day again), and character inconsistencies (changing hair colour and more), and frankly just nonsensical dialogue (well, not just dialogue).  Now that last one may just be the style of writing of Ms. Van Dyken, but I found it extremely hard to read many passages, and I kept wondering if I’d missed something and so I’d read it again and I still couldn’t figure out where the flow had gone so wrong.  I’m not sure if she just ignored things her editor was telling her, or if her editor just didn’t do a thorough job, but it really was not great stuff.

So how did I end up with 3.5 stars still?  Well when the story was good, it was really good!  There was a lot of emotional impact in this story, Zane’s background in particular was heartbreaking!  I loved the dynamic between Zane and Fallon — when I wasn’t getting confused and lost in their dialogue, I found the banter to be really fun and zany!  I found myself smiling and laughing at a lot of their antics.  Their chemistry was pretty solid too — not out of this world for me, but I felt it.  And I really enjoyed the celebrity secondary characters (which is what’s making me want to try reading the Seaside series since I already own the box set…).

Honestly these factors alone would have probably given it a solid 4 stars instead of a 3.5 stars rounded down to 3, even with the bad editing (because that’s just the way I review).  But I really didn’t get Fallon’s parents.  They didn’t always fit for me and were a bit too crazy and out there (the father in particular).  Not that he didn’t have his sweet moments, but it was a bit too over the top at times for me not to roll my eyes.  And then there was the twist about 3/4 of the way into the book.  That just felt unnecessary, and there were even a few twists that followed that, and I just felt like it wasn’t necessary to the book.

So yeah.  See what I mean about conflicting?  It’s weird to both love and hate a book.  It’s weird to both like and dislike an author.  I really really want the author to give it another editing pass on this one…I seriously feel like the book is being gypped by not giving it the polish it deserves.  It’s strange to feel so passionately about something like that.


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