Becoming Review

Becoming - Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi, Glenn Rolfe, Jason Lynch

Glenn Rolfe is a good dude. He has his fans and I'm sure they will feel the need to stick up for him. No one likes to see a nice guy shit on. This is not a personal attack but a critique of the contents of this one book. I wish Glenn all the best and truly hope he finds some patience and stops rushing books out to the public. Then again, as long as people continue to buy his unedited material and praising it as the best thing since KY Jelly and bath salts, I suppose there's no reason to provide the cleanest work possible. Keep doing you, dude.

This is my second attempt at reading this book. The first attempt ended when I noticed there were several errors on the very first page: "back hair" instead of "black hair"; the lack of a possessive apostrophe on "anyones". I contacted the author, who's an acquaintance of mine on Facebook, to inform him of the errors and he thanked me. He said he fixed the errors and asked me if I wanted to give it another shot. I said yes. And here we are.

There are still errors on the first page. The ones I brought to Glenn's attention are fixed, but there are still errors, unless the old man really does weigh in "at about eight-nine pounds." I'm guessing Glenn meant "eighty-nine pounds." If you can't even be bothered to make sure your first page is free of errors, well... I'm not sure there's any use in me pointing anything else out.

One of the problems I had with the first book I read of Rolfe's, Things We Fear, was the lack of detail. The writing was serviceable and I thought I saw potential. I rated that book two stars (I think) and Glenn contacted me to thank me for my review. He said he was still learning and appreciated my honesty. I'm disappointed to say that all the potential I saw in that book is missing here, and somehow there is even less detail than there was in THINGS WE FEAR. I can only guess that what I saw in that first book was what Glenn was capable of when working with a decent editor.

Now here we are with Becoming, a book that Glenn admits was rushed to publication. I expressed my concerns about an author willingly admitting that he didn't give the book enough attention and Glenn told me that he hopes people can look beyond the errors and have fun with the story. I'm not that kind of reader. Glenn knew this and still wanted me to read it.

Luckily I received a free copy of this book for review. Had I paid money for it, I'd be fucking livid. The errors are numerous and the writing is well below average. I made it to 7% and there is no sign of the writing getting any better. In fact, page by page, it seems to be getting substantially worse. Whether or not you will be able to enjoy this book depends on whether or not you find anything wrong with the following paragraph, because I think it sums up Glenn's writing perfectly.

Her parents didn’t agree on much, but of course the one thing they did was her not having her own cell. Something about predators and creeps, and the fact that just because every other kid at school had one, didn’t mean she had to also.

If you can ignore errors and substandard writing and just enjoy the ride, good for you. I can't. Reading this was like riding through a parking lot dotted with holes and covered in speed bumps inside a car with zero shock absorbers and spikes on the ceiling. I was impaling myself at least twice a page. I'm simply not wired to ignore such a bumpy ride. No need for me to torture myself further.

In summation: Glenn is a great guy but his writing is obviously not for me. Thanks for the review copy.

Final Judgment: Mistakes were made and made and made and then made some more.