A Little Less Girl

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Amy is dead The police and town folks have decided it was suicide She was after all hurt by words spoken by her love crush Jake She had weight issues dead parent issues and was a loner and when

Amy is dead. The police and town folks have decided it was suicide. She was after all hurt by words spoken by her love crush, Jake. She had weight issues, dead parent issues and was a loner, and when she heard Jake her dream boy say those horrid words she went into a deep place and never came out.Dani and her mom have had a long difficult life. They inherited the house Amy lived in, it belonged to their grandmother. Amy and Dani were cousins, close till Dani's mother moved away. When Dani moved in her number one gaol was to make Jake pay for his causing the death of her best friend and cousin. Jake, the all American boy top of the pack at school the boy most likely to win has slipped in his status since last year when Amy died. The town whispers behind his back, some of his teachers treat him like he's dangerous. He will never forgive himself for his words so he doesn't expect others to.Dani reads her cousins diary and finds herself drawn to the very boy she wants to destroy. She is drawn to him, and his friends, for better of for worse she must find out the truth because Amy's diary doesn't sound like she committed suicide to her.Friendship, trust, sexual predators, food obsession, drugs and abuse, this little books touches so many off center subjects. The mystery was very well done, I was mislead, and loved that. This is a YA book with a grip that held me to the very end. I had to know what happened to Amy.A viral A Little Less Girl By Tess Oliver am Ebook Everything has always come easy to Jake West But when Amy, the girl obsessed with him, commits suicide, the entire town of Raynesville is quick to blame Jake Now Amy s cousin, Dani, has moved into town And suddenly Jake has an obsession of his own.Dani Spencer has always dreamed of a home and normal life When her beloved cousin and grandmother die, her wild, impetuousEverything has always come easy to Jake West But when Amy, the girl obsessed with him, commits suicide, the entire town of Raynesville is quick to blame Jake Now Amy s cousin, Dani, has moved into town And suddenly Jake has an obsession of his own.Dani Spencer has always dreamed of a home and normal life When her beloved cousin and grandmother die, her wild, impetuous mother inherits their house in Raynesville With Amy s diary in hand, Dani intends on finding out what happened to her cousin And there s an obvious place to start Jake West, the guy who broke Amy s heart.. Tess Oliver is a teacher and writer who lives in California with her husband, kids and a small pack of pampered dogs She loves horses, chocolate and Jane Austen books.. Popular Kindle A Little Less Girl My first thoughts on this book? I was probably 15% in when I thought, the author must be a teenager.Then I got on Goodreads and checked, and oh my....Tess Oliver is a teacher.I'm not going to be mean here, though. I know that's what some people might expect from one of my two star reviews, but really, I thought this book had potential. Unfortunately for Ms. Oliver, potential isn't enough to make me see past the many obvious problems with this story. First of all, the reason I suspected a teen wrote this was because the writing is exceptionally simplistic. The dialogue is...well, sometimes it's fine, other times it's awkward and/or nonsensical. Jake and Dani say things to each other that made me screw up my face in confusion and wonder, "Why would he/she say that to him/her?" A few of the utterances were completely out of place, and it gave me an overall feeling of being disconnected from the story. Sentences are short and plain. While this might be fine considering it's intended for YA audiences, I would like to think that any teen who is capable of/likes to read would be able to handle writing that was a bit more complex. So here we have an area where I'm not sure if Ms. Oliver was trying to make it simple for a younger audience or if she just plain can't craft sentences any more intricate than, "I got up and brushed my teeth. Then I got something to eat. Jake came to the door."Descriptors are few and far between, and when they do occur, they're pretty basic. If I recall correctly, sunset was described as "Pink, gray swirls." The reader is informed of the most basic of details (i.e. the house was blue, there were frilled pillows on the bed, etc.). In other words, if you're looking for a book that successfully sets a compelling atmosphere, you should probably look elsewhere. One of my biggest issues with this book (and indeed with far too many of the books I've read of late) was the frequent and glaring grammatical mistakes. I was willing to mostly overlook this when I thought Ms. Oliver a teen because even my own grammatical knowledge as a teen was far inferior to that of now. But when I discovered that not only is Ms. Oliver an adult, but a teacher to boot? To say I was disgusted would be a tragic understatement. I'm gonna be brutally honest and say Ms. Oliver is terrible with commas. I know a lot of people are tripped up by commas, but it really doesn't take a lot of practice to get them under control. I've been helping a friend of mine with her college papers, and while she was terrible with comma use before, she is now markedly better, and that is only with a couple months' practice. So I know it can be done. Ms. Oliver, being a teacher, endured her fair share of academia, and yet she doesn't seem to grasp even the simplest of concepts in regards to the comma. Take this sentence, for instance; "That is the stupidest, damn thing I've ever heard." When I first read it, I thought to myself, OK, it might just be a typo. However, the same thing happens again just a few sentences later. So then I thought, it's a teenager, these things are bound to happen. If she keeps writing, she'll learn and grow with it. Well, this isn't the first time I've been wrong, and I highly doubt it will be the last. If you're going to go to the trouble of writing a story for self publication, knowing full well it won't pass under the eyes of an editor, it would be prudent of you to proofread your completed manuscript. While I understand certain things will obviously be overlooked, obvious things like using italics to emphasize and alter tone should be relatively easy to keep an eye on. As Dani reads through Amy's diary, the text of said diary is italicized. I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with that being done, it's how you differentiate from the diary and the narrator. However, when the diary entries are interrupted by occasional thoughts from the narrator, you should probably make sure the text is changed back. Several areas throughout the book suffered from this little faux pas, and I found myself confused, trying to determine if I was reading Amy's diary entry or Dani's thoughts. Along those same lines, there was absolutely no distinction used whenever someone referred to quotes from another person, words written on a sign/water tower/whatever, or internal thoughts of their own. Example; "This morning the words save me a place in hell had been scrawled in black paint along the water tank's perimeter."Emphasis, Ms. Oliver, emphasis. Something should be done to distinguish "save me a place in hell" from the rest of the sentence. Has the practice of using hyphenated words gone out of practice and no one's informed me?What about correctly using apostrophes? Is that no longer "hip"? Mr. Higgins is Jake's championship-driven swimming coach. Yet, whenever his name is turned into a possessive, it changes to "Mr. Higgin"! When creating the possessive form of words ending in "s", if the word ends in a "z" sound (like Higgins), the correct form would be "Higgins's"....not "Higgin's". Even the metaphors in this book are sloppy. On the second page, Jake's description of the monotony of his town goes like this: "The monotony of the place could choke you like one of those stupid ties you have to wear to a wedding or funeral. But no matter how hard you tugged at your collar, the place sucked the breath out of you."First of all, that's just poorly executed. Take out a few words and you could turn it into a single compound sentence. Secondly, I fail to understand how tugging at your collar would keep a town from sucking the breath out of you...I'm not totally heartless, I know what Ms. Oliver was going for with that sentence. I get that town = tie = breath, but the whole thing is so clumsily pieced together that it just doesn't have any sense of flow. As the author, one of Ms. Oliver's responsibilities is making sure her writing is clear and concise. On these points, she failed. All of these things bothered me a great deal (especially when I learned she's a teacher...a teacher, for crying out loud!), but I think my absolute favorite grammar mishap was the use of the word "stench" in a fairly inappropriate place: "Jake tucked the sweatshirt bound hand under his arm to stench the bleeding."I believe the word Ms. Oliver was looking for was stanch. I really was amused for a time, though, thinking about all the ways someone might attempt to make their blood smell even worse. (Also note that "sweatshirt-bound" should be hyphenated. *Sigh*)Well, you know my thoughts on the general grammar (mess) of this book, but what about the story? Like I said, it had potential. I actually paid the $2.99 for this after reading the first couple of chapters in the sample because the sample made it seem all right. In this sense, it suffered the same fate as a lot of self-published works; it began to fall apart somewhere in the middle and never recovered. As Dani and Jake get closer, the romance takes a nausea-inducing turn for the worst, with Jake constantly mooning over Dani. The frequent references to Jake's heart doing somersaults (really, I don't know how the boy survived, what with his heart skipping beats and flipping around every five seconds), and the far-too-often occurrence of Dani using "those brown eyes of hers" on Jake, conspired to make me sufficiently queasy before I was even finished with the book. There's a time and a place for mushy sentiment, I know, but too much and too often surely spells disaster. The premise is okay, I will give it that, although some of it is just a wee bit melodramatic and unrealistic. An entire town blaming a girl's suicide on a boy because of a single mean comment? Doubtful. The characters were completely flat. Every single one of them, flat, and the serious issues which the book seems to want to take on in the beginning are completely glossed over. Drug addict mother with a decades-long track record of irresponsible, selfish behavior is suddenly transformed into Susie freaking Homemaker? Overbearing, emotionally abusive father suddenly sees the light and stops treating his kid like crap? We're never given a reason, he just starts being nice one day during dinner....? Absent father of another boy emails picture of new family and gets a rude response and that's the last we hear about that. Hell, even Dani's attempts at coping with the suicide of her cousin are shallow and white-washed. She seems to feel nothing more than a passing sadness at the horror of what happened, and the scope of her "deep" emotional trauma is nothing more than her crying occasionally when she reads Amy's diary. The emotional depth of this literary masterpiece is roughly on par with a neglected kiddie pool. Which I could forgive were it not for the fact that it's hyped as an emotionally charged missive on loss, suicide, and second chances.Should we talk about unresolved plot points? What, exactly, happened to Amy during "the Game"? Was she attacked? Was this "affair" of hers actually consensual, or was she unduly coerced? Who, exactly, was depicted in the disturbing painting? None of these questions are ever definitively answered. And what the hell was the point of the Cody/Chuck storyline? I think the answer to that one is the author needed a reason for Jake to come to Dani's aid (again).Oh, and let's not forget the obviously insane villain that no one manages to spot until it's nearly too late. Seriously, I was about 30% through when I figured out who the villain was. It's that predictable. This book might win a prize from me for one thing; most abrupt ending ever. After chapter upon chapter of Dani trying to figure out what really happened to Amy, the entire thing is wrapped up in about six pages. It was like watching a crime show where they do nothing but collect clues for the first 59 minutes, and then BAM! the killer is identified and apprehended, and they've cut to the credits while you stare incredulously, wondering whether or not you just wasted an hour of your life you'll never get back. CSI: Scooby Doo. Yeah, that's what is was like. Well, crap. This always happens to me. I start reviewing a mediocre story only to realize I may be wrong about the fact that it's even good enough to be mediocre. I will leave the two star rating, however, as I have read worse in my time. I want to put something snarky here about the obvious failings of public education, but I'm not sure I even need to. I don't know what subject Ms. Oliver teaches, but I pray to everything holy it's not English.

About Author

  • Tess Oliver Post author

    Tess Oliver is a teacher and writer who lives in California with her husband, kids and a small pack of pampered dogs She loves horses, chocolate and Jane Austen books.

One thought on “A Little Less Girl

  • My first thoughts on this book I was probably 15% in when I thought, the author must be a teenager.Then I got on and checked, and oh my.Tess Oliver is a teacher.I m not going to be mean here, though I know that s what some people might expect from one of my two star reviews, but really, I thought this book had potential Unfortunately for Ms Oliver, potential isn t enough to make me see past the many obvious problems with this story First of all, the reason I suspected a teen wrote this was becau [...]

  • Amy is dead The police and town folks have decided it was suicide She was after all hurt by words spoken by her love crush, Jake She had weight issues, dead parent issues and was a loner, and when she heard Jake her dream boy say those horrid words she went into a deep place and never came out.Dani and her mom have had a long difficult life They inherited the house Amy lived in, it belonged to their grandmother Amy and Dani were cousins, close till Dani s mother moved away When Dani moved in her [...]

  • This was a sweet little investigation romance ya novel Amy is an artist She is an invisible She has 3 obsessions Jake West, romance novels and food Jake West was a small town hero Everyone loved him Captain of the swim team Most popular guy in the schoolUntil he uttered 5 words that changed Amy s life She overhears him saying that he prefers a little less girl She then goes on a drastic diet and sheds all her weight, she s no longer invisible, invited to all the right party s etc, but then surpr [...]

  • MC Dani and her mom have moved from California to a small town in the midwest , and Dani hopes to leave her mom s sketchy past and even sketchier boyfriends behind them for a normal life The move is tinged with sadness, though, because they ve inherited their new home from Amy s grandmother Grammie died shortly after Dani s cousin Amy committed suicide when Jake West, the boy Amy obsessively crushed on, made some hurtful remarks about her Dani wants to hate Jake, but begins to realize things wer [...]

  • A quick read which starts off quite little less mysterious but ends a lot satisfied Told in both Jake and Dani s POV, I enjoyed A Little Less Girl while it lasted This is not a dark complicated story that I thought it would be but pulled out a different track on solving whodunit After the sudden death of her cousin Amy and followed by her Grammie three month later, Dani and her Mom moved in to live the now residence free home in the town of Raynesville They settled in where Dani finds Amy diary [...]

  • The premise of the story was intriguing, and although the cover was a little shabbily made imo, it was a good book I think I would ve liked the story better if Amy was alive I know, I know, then the story wouldn t be the way it was if she was alive But even if she had passed away, her entire character was just so like able I found myself liking her even than Dani, even though Dani was pretty cool too.This book is about a girl who had supposedly committed suicide because her crush, Jake West why [...]

  • This story was told in the alternating POV of Danielle Dani and Jake I m crazy about this method of story telling because you get to hear the feelings of the characters in relation to one another yes, I want to know that his heart is stuttering when she looks up at him with her big brown eyes, or that he can t take his eyes off her long, smooth legs Dani and her mom are moving to Raynesville, after her cousin Amy committed suicide They ve inherited the house Amy and her grandmother lived in, bec [...]

  • This is my first Tess Oliver book and I must say she did not steer me wrong A Little Less Girl is about Dani and her recovering drug addict mom who come to Raynesville after her Grammie passes away 3 months after her cousin Amy commits suicide at 17 After being left the home, she settles in a block away from Jake West, the object of Amy s obsession, and supposedly the cause of her supposed suicide Little does the town know, Amy has left a diary to Dani full equipped with daily journal excerpts a [...]

  • I really enjoyed the writing and mystery in this book but I wished it would have expanded a little bit on the romance element and paced the ending a little bit The book was told in both Dani and Jake s POV alternating chapters and that worked really well for this book because they each had a different view on Amy s death Jake lives next to where Amy lived prior to her death and Dani is her cousin and best friend but hadn t spent a lot of time with her leading up to her death During many of the e [...]

  • Loved, loved, loved this book A Little Less Girl is a a wonderful tale of how easy it is to misjudge people at a glance Dani Spencer and her mom have lived a rough life moving from town to town in an attempt to outrun the bad decisions and relationships of Dani s mom s past Mommie dearest certainly will not top the list of the Best Mom of the year due to her former drug habit and bad taste in men but, let s give her credit, she is attempting to make a change.After Dani s grandmother passes three [...]

  • A Little Less Girl was pretty great I really liked it When I decided to read this book, I thought, If it was not good enough, I would stop reading and find another book to read However, after I picked it up, I couldn t put it down.The story was pretty amazing, a little investigation combined with a romantic plot I loved every chapters of A Little Less Girl because the story was building step by step until it hit it own climax which was wonderful Secretly, I tried to figured out who responded to [...]

  • CLICK HERE TO READ MORE REVIEWS AT READING, EATING AND DREAMING I WAS BLAIR WALDORFA Little Less Girl by Tess Oliver was a suspenseful and romantic novel that covered some serious young adult issues in an entertaining way The storyline was unique and intriguing The bad guy was pretty obvious, in my opinion, but that didn t stop me from enjoying the story There were some emotional and heartbreaking events that happened in the course of this novel, but I wouldn t classify this novel as a depressin [...]

  • Sweet is the best way to describe A Little Less Girl MC Dani was a breath of fresh air Sure she lived a hard life she even has the scars to prove it but it hasn t hardened her to the point that she s bitter or scared to let people in She s completely likable and it s obvious why the whole male student body is interested in her Her love interest Jake is all kinds of yummy The schools most popular, most dreamed about boy had a major sensitive side to him that kept a perma smile on my face Loved th [...]

  • A Little Less Girl by Tess Oliver tackles some pretty tough subject matters such as teen suicide and weight issues Unfortunately the main characters were a little too perfect to be truly believable Dani is gorgeous and can even make the angry neighbour smile Jake is the typical gorgeous bad boy who every girl swoons over The most interesting character is Amy who is Dani s cousin who everyone believes committed suicide due to a broken heart At least her battles with weight and her diary entries w [...]

  • I just have one thing to say about this book what s with this fascination by authors to make their female protagonists the best thing since chocolate New girl who hits it off with everyone, including the grouchy old man next door who everyone is afraid of and the grumpy teacher who seems to hate every student She s the hottest s on the block, the one who gets along famously with all except the jealous girls, the bravest girl who ll do things the locals haven t dared to do, and everyone is fallin [...]

  • This was quite good But it could have been better A girl, Dani, moves with her mom to her recently dead grandma s house after her cousin, Amy, commits suicide because of a guy named Jake Of course, Dani refuse to believe her cousin really killed herself so she starts reading Amy s diary in order to find clues about her death In the mean time, Dani meets Jake and he s totally the opposite of what she thought Instead of the classic jerk and popular guy, Jake seems to be the perfect gentleman hands [...]

  • i would have rated it 4 or even 5 because in the beginning i really really liked the story line but the ending just ruined it all u know like my expectations just flushed down the toilet there are so many things i was not happy about in the book i was expecting a suspense full story, u know it could have been interesting but no it wasnt at all,when the person holding the board with the murderer written on it was there all along okay, i let it slip thinking maybe it was supposed to be a romantic [...]

  • This was an amazing story Loved having Jake and Dani s POVs Amy s thoughts and feelings were explained in her journal and that is what help make it a unique and interesting read I felt horrible for Jake Gossip, by the townspeople, basically destroyed his life Dani helps him become the charming person he once was There is a bit of mystery thrown, as well It ranked this book as one of my favorites because I am still thinking about the characters They were all basically good, sweet, caring and funn [...]

  • I was very disappointed reading this book There were so many spelling mistakes and the book was just horrible I thought it was for adults but it talked about high school I really don t know if I would even want my daughter to read this Drugs and how great they are, getting drunk,getting a tattoo all like its no big deal If it was said once it was said a million times about Dani s long legs I m really tired of hearing about her legs I will not be reading another book by this author I feel like I [...]

  • I loved this novel The writing is precisely descriptive without being overly so The events of the plot are unpredictable, rich with variety and engaging And the details are quite credible, which I find is rare in YA fiction I could relate to each one of the characters, or could at least easily imagine them being part of my world This book is going on my must read list of recommended books for my students.

  • I just finished this book and it was amazing Usually there s something about a book that I think could have been better like if the ending was a little different or if the book just went a little further but I loved this book all the way through I would recommend to anyone

  • Loved this book It has a little bit of mystery with romance my two favorite genre s Loved reading the diary entries literally lol on some occasions which had my husband looking at me funny but definitely a good read

  • I found this enjoyable I liked learning about her cousin through her diary and what lead to her death as well as the relationship development between the main two It was nice that they were all average teens not super rich or amazing

  • This book is than what I expected for a free book that I found online It could ve gone into detail, or explain about Blister s dad, but still, my time wasn t COMPLETELY wasted.

  • A story filled with lies, obsession, guilt, betrayal, forgiveness, and love This story is told alternating between the two leading characters, Jake and Dani As well as Amy Dani s cousin who has committed suicide through her diary entries I didn t think I would like all the alternating but, it was actually what made the book all that greater To get the POV s of BOTH leading characters about what was going on helped a lot And, having Amy s journal entries, as a ways of getting to know her, even th [...]

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