< >As I sit here, taking a break from writing my book, listening to Faith Hill, my mind wanders to a book I finished last night. I have read this author many, many times, and still, she does not impress me. Yes, she can write and finish writing a book - which is an accomplishment in its own right - and she can spell, but still, her writing does not impress me; it never has.

< >I do not want to wag any fingers (or name this author) since I want to be a part of the literary world and don't want anyone shouting things at me for an opinion I have about an author who many like. This author has written over fifty novels and has won numerous awards, but I do not think she deserves as much credit as she gets.

< >First of all, she has this tedious habit of using the weirdest names. She's not even a science-fiction writer where you usually have weird names; she's a young adult author who writes about kids aging from twelve to nineteen, usually. These names are the strangest things and they annoy me, frankly. Yeah, I use weird names in my stories and you wouldn't meet people named this on the street all the time, but what she does is actually make it known that she uses weird names in her own "subtle" - you might say - way. In one book she actually has a teacher musing about all the weird names of kids "nowadays."

< >I think it gets ridiculous after a while; a lot of these names that this author uses are things that I have sometimes never heard or, or they seem shortened of other, real names. When they're shortened, too, it's like she (the author) said them to a toddler and the toddler said it back as best it could. It also gets boring because every book has about five people in it with strange, annoying names.

< >Second, this author likes to do this weird thing in her book that I find hysterical in one point, and absolutely degrading in the other. She puts one sentence that has something to do with sex in it, and then leaves it behind right after that. And it never fails. It is always there; I swear it. In one of her latest novels, it basically says "she thought momentarily of sex." Excuse me? Thinking of sex in the middle of a disaster in her backyard (I hope no one realizes what book I'm talking about . . .) and then the subject is never picked up again. It's just there.

< >Now, going back to her latest book (at least one of them; there's another I have but haven't read yet), it says the word "sex" once, and I almost thought she would continue on about this person's feelings about sex, but she didn't. It's almost as if the author has this one goal to mention the word "sex" in a sexual intercourse sense and then leave it behind as soon as she's done it.

< >Thirdly, all of her female characters. She does mostly teenage girl narrators and has a few other female characters in every story which is always good, but they are all absolute idiots. Even her main characters are weak little characters who need support every waking second or they crumble; only in this last one that I've read has the main female character come close to being actually not an idiot - and that was slightly what I was thinking until I got near and to the ending.

< >It's both, like I said about the last thing, hysterical and degrading. And this is a woman author writing girl characters left and right who are all brainless idiots in one way or another, no matter how she stresses the reader through the books that these girls are smart, because look - they have good grades! Anyone can get good grades. How she portrays women is utterly disgusting. None of them can fully take care of themselves, most are greedy, all are selfish, all follow guys around like puppy dogs want attention . . . I mean, it is absolutely sickening! I don't even know why I read it anymore! Maybe I have a slight hope of actually having a book come from this woman that has a strong woman character, who does not have to sink to the level of anyone else, to become "popular," or something like that.

< >Fourthly, this author likes to show bits of her angst - it seems - about high school. She'll say something like "oh, those people are always like that and always" (and it comes out of nowhere), then go sprinting off in another direction, just like she does with the sex junk. It is so odd to read - and it also comes up a lot more often than sex does.

< >Fifthly, I don't like her books. Why? Basically, because of all the already mentioned, but also because I feel there are no plots or real stories. It just seems as if she got bored one day, saw something, and said, "Oh! Since I know I'm the best author in the world, I can write a bunch of crud and no one would be the wiser, because they all love me anyway!"

< >The book I just finished was about a girl who was just so perfect "except she had a bad streak." For about ten pages, that's all the book talked about - her bad streak and her wanting to always steal stuff, but she never did because she was a "good girl." The character's bad streak was something that she had never let out in all sixteen years of her life. Then, that seemed to vanish, and it only reinstated itself near the end of the book. I mean, cripes, the whole book was pointless, because it was seemingly ending all right (a first, in my mind) until we got to the real ending where the girl was considering stealing again.

< >What a great example. Give the goods back, then steal again. Wow, Johnny, tell her what's she's won! A complementary "Get out of jail free card - whoops, in the real world, that doesn't work!" Eh, I'm calm . . . slightly . . .

< >Authors all have different styles. This is the main kind that I don't like. Sexist, pointless, and well, just, to be frank, stupid. The author I am talking about today is very critically acclaimed and I still haven't figured out why. Her characters are all idiots, her plots are twisted in many place, she had weird things that she never fails to edge into her books, and the endings are all ridiculous. A semi-good book of hers can turn horribly bad (and usually does) by the end.

< >Now, since I've finally gotten that out of my system, I'm going back to writing my own novel that I hope isn't at all like style this author uses. I can only hope and hammer down all the loose nails that it isn't.

< >And for those of you who want to know who the heck I'm talking about, because I am fed up with all this secrecy, the author is Caroline B. Cooney. Don't buy her books.

< >The Harry Potter books and other trademarks are by Ms. Joanne Kathleen Rowling, Little Literacy Agency, Scholastic, Bloomsbury, Arthur A. Levine, & Warner Brothers. All rights reserved.
< >This website and all work is 1999-2002 Chako'Lanna Inc. and its designer, Gypsy Silverleaf. All character art is 2001-2002 Meg Kerin unless otherwise stated. Use of information and/or art is strictly prohibited unless written permission has been given.

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