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.