Sorry, but it’s not working out. I’m leaving you half-read. You’re not the book I thought you were when we met — but it’s not you, it’s me.
Your jacket is stylish, Book, but looks aren’t everything. I need more than a handsome face-out cover. I fell in love with your opening paragraphs, but it was only a temporary infatuation. You used some smooth pick-up lines in Chapter One but you descended into slogans, and seemed to be speaking not to me but to a crowd. You’re anybody’s, Book, but I want faithfulness, intimacy. I used to think we were on the same page, meaning I was on your page, but now it’s but a page of language that repels. So I (like you, according to your prose) am taking “a deep dive into unpacking what this looks like going forward” . . . and I’m leaving.
I’m looking for someone with grammatical flair, Book, someone who knows the backstory of culture—real culture, not resentment culture. You’ve forgotten where you came from, that your mother was scholarship, your father poetry, and your grandparents hailed from the literacy tribe. You seem a stranger, and not in the “tall, dark, and handsome” way but in a flimsy empty way, speaking a degraded tongue of “referencing” and CAPITAL LETTERS.
I’m not mercenary, but I don’t want to be destitute in old age and one can’t live on buzzwords alone. Musical prose is the food of book-love, but you provide no food for thought. Your menu is “correct.” Where’s your individuality?
You seemed so different when I first opened you, but the feeling’s gone and I just can’t get it back. Sorry, Book. Some relationships don’t last. But don’t worry, you’ll find somebody else.
Reviewer bio: S. B. Julian writes fiction, nonfiction, plays and humorous satire from the west coast of Canada. Her blog is at www.overleafbooks.blogspot.com.