Title: All for Love
Chapters: 5 posted, 5 read
All for Love is a larger-than-life contemporary romance about Ivy, who moves to China with her brother, Justin, and the trials and tribulations of doing so.
I'll start off by saying that I really liked Ivy as a protagonist. She's a very feisty character, with a big personality and a good relationship with her younger brother, Justin. This is all integrated really well into the text.
However, as good as Ivy is as a character, none of the other characters stood out any because their entire personalities were told to us by the author. Max is our suave and rich business who Ivy falls in love with immediately after meeting. Justin is the energetic younger brother, and kudos there cause he actually does come off as a realistic twelve-year-old. Then there's Wang, Michelle, Michelle's friend whose name I can't remember, and a whole host of characters who don't really contribute much to the overall story.
Let's talk writing--you have a way around dialogue that sounds very natural. I truly believe that actual humans would talk like how your characters talk. However, your descriptions are incredibly sparse for the first three chapters, consisting mostly of dialogue. Which meant that a lot of the time, I had no idea where I was within the story. And, especially in the first chapter, your writing was incredibly choppy, with forced dialogue and explanations. ""Max, I got the information already"", has to be the worst line of the bunch. It's clunky, it doesn't actually have a purpose within the story (meaning you could have just had Mason slap down the file and go from there), and it doesn't sound like something an actual human would say.
The first chapter gets a whole paragraph now. I want to dissect the file scene for a bit, and why I have problems with it. First off, it's a huge info dump. Let's list everything we're told about Ivy in the first chapter: her name, her age, what she majored in, that she has a younger brother and five best friends, and she works at Max's bar, Flamingo. That's my next problem: why does half this information matter? I honestly don't care what she majored in, or that she has five best friends. It doesn't affect the story any, and it takes away from the actual, useful information: her name, her age, her brother. And this isn't taking into account that all this information could have been related through the actual narrative.
Okay, so now that I've dissected the first chapter, I want to dissect the fourth. Because there's a lot of good stuff there. First off, you did a great job describing the apartment. We go from room to room as Ivy and Justin do, and honestly it flows very nicely. It's nothing special, but it gets the job done and it's effective for what you're trying to do. And, most importantly, I know where I am! Next, I love the interaction Justin and Ivy have about their rooms. It's cute and funny and it shows a great banter between the two of them. It does a lot to flesh out their characters, which previously hadn't been done with anyone but Ivy.
So, I want to talk about Max. I don't like him. Not only is his character incredibly shallow, but I'm not exactly sure on his motivations. Like, okay, there's this scholarship program that Ivy's a part of now, and Ivy and Max met like once and they like each other. But why. Why does he give her an apartment? Why does he give her a bodyguard? Why does he fix Ivy's job interviews? This may have been addressed in the narrative, but if it was, then I didn't catch it, and it made the story that much more unbelievable and confusing.
I hate to end on a negative note, but the last thing I want to bring up is the restaurant scene towards the beginning. Because it's where, if I wasn't reading for a review, I would have quit. So, in this scene, Ivy goes to work at a restaurant, and actually spills something on a patron. Whatever, that happens. Except the patron then goes on to a) slap Ivy b) slap her again c) pour champagne on her head d) threaten to sue the restaurant for ruining her shift. Now, I get drama but this was just so absurd that I had to roll my eyes. It would never happen in real life and it took me completely out of the story. You can't slap an employee and not at least get the police called on you.
So, overall, I think you have good bones here. You just need to flesh out some of the more technical and character elements.