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1 July 2014

Pebbles on a Beach by Jennifer Button

Usually I'm a sucker for a good saga and I had high hopes for this book. It's very much a character-driven novel and that’s something I normally enjoy. But in this case I didn't find the characters too believable and I struggled to find anything that really endeared them to me.

Initially the dialogue grated. Overuse of exclamation marks jarred as I felt I was listening to hyper-adolescents, not enthusiastic students. Eventually that settled down, but a little editing would have eased the plot along.

The author has clearly worked hard to develop those characters, but that work has been weakened by the high number of errors on too many pages.

Toni (female) became Tony – for a moment. But I was perplexed as, later, there actually was a (male) character named Tony. The choice of names is something authors obviously have within their power – but it’s too easy to trip up when wielding that power.

Punctuation and spacing errors should have been removed. A flick through the pages would have spotted the disaster of a line of text crashing the left margin. There were few pages that didn’t contain at least one error. Turned punctuation is a pet hate of mine – where an apostrophe has turned because Word hasn’t the intelligence to know what the author means.

No matter how hard an author works, presentation will always affect a reader's enjoyment and opinion. Perhaps my opinion has been clouded – but all readers place their hope for pleasure in the hands of an author and demand the complete package.