When you decide to accept the offer to review another writer’s work, you’re taking a big risk – especially if you agree to do a review as part of a big promotional kick-off for the book in question. And, when you decide to review a book by an author whose work you’ve already found a bit lacking in the past, you run an even bigger risk.
But, when the call came out on Facebook looking for reviews for Melissa Turner Lee‘s new book, THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NIGHT AND DAY, I answered it…mostly because I really loved the book’s cover. Which just goes to show that you really can’t judge a book by its cover, right? Well, maybe… Let me give you a more detailed account of how the book struck me.
This book is a unique blending of two very different genres – Christian fiction and paranormal romance. Honestly, I had a hard time finishing it. I stopped and started it a lot, mainly because:
1) The beginning dragged on and on and on…I mean, I know that Nathaniel and Lilly were two very strange individuals, but their conversations were just a little TOO strange. They just didn’t seem natural to me at all. And it was distracting enough to me that I had a hard time relating to either one of the characters and had difficulty getting past that to immerse myself in the story.
2) The misuse of the word “lead”. One of the characters (usually Lilly, I think) was frequently being led somewhere, except the author always used the wrong spelling for that word – lead. As a professional editor, this just drove me nuts! “Lead” is a metal. “Led” is the past tense of the verb “to lead”. I thought I could just gloss over it and ignore it, but I was wrong. It was a major detractor.
3) The cheeseburger analogy? Didn’t work for me (although I know other Amazon reviewers loved it). I thought it was corny and a bit “over the top”, but I guess that’s just me.
Here are the things I did like about the book:
1) It was a very clean romance. The characters fell in love, but they didn’t automatically hop into bed on the first night. In fact, they waited until after they got married (although it did seem like they were kind of rushing the wedding just to get to the sex, but they DID love each other).
2) It was a good story, once the story finally got going. I know at least one of the reviewers (one of the author’s friends) mentioned that she couldn’t believe this was the author’s first book. Well, I can. As I said, I think the story dragged at the beginning a little more than it should have, and this is a common new novelist mistake. Not anything particularly terrible or horrifying. It’s just the way it is. Knowing the right place to start your story is something you have to learn, and you get better at it the more you practice it. I’m sure this author will get there.
3) I love the fact that so many of the characters had a strong faith in God (even Nathaniel, whether he knew it or not). That’s something that’s sorely missing in most fiction (and in real life) these days.
Overall, I’d say this book is refreshingly different from most other books. If you’re looking for a blatantly Christian alternative to all the other vampire romances that are out now, then this will be your cup of tea. It just wasn’t mine (although I have to reiterate that I think the cover is fabulous!).
Reading this book can’t be considered a complete waste of either time or money, especially at the Kindle price of 99 cents. Take a look and see for yourself. I’ve included the cover image below, and you can click on that to buy the book.