on July 12, 2013 :
**Spoiler alert - This review contains spoilers**
I felt that this story rather lacked conflict... It was a pleasant read, but wasn't a page-turner that I found hard to put down.
Dori is wary of the school bully? That's okay, she has a friend who'll protect her. Dori fancies Bryson? Well, luckily he fancies her too. Dori gets involved in a bad car accident? No problem, she escapes without serious injury.
And all this anxiety Dori has about revealing her genius - the only thing that seems to be stopping her is she's worried that she'll lose her best friend, and yet at the same time we're repeatedly told (and shown) that her best friend will stick by her through thick and thin, so what's the problem?
I can believe a 15-year-old girl successfully keeping her true level of intelligence under wraps, but not a younger one. How and why did Dori's genius stay a secret when she was aged 5, 7, 10? And these books she's supposed to have written, have they not been published, did she write them under a different name, or what? Because writing a book might be a slight giveaway that the child is pretty intelligent...
So, plot-wise this was a bit light and stretched credibility a little. The only thing Dori actually DOES in this story is become a cheerleader, and that's just to get her mom off her back, otherwise good things just keep happening to her. I'd have liked her have to work just a little bit harder to achieve her success, you know, for a bit of actual drama?
Okay, that's the criticism out of the way. On the plus side, this was well-written: very clearly defined and believable characters, entertaining dialogue and narrative, faultless punctuation, spelling and grammar, and refreshing use of similes (a skill too often neglected in the Smashwords stories I read). Descriptions of what people looked like were lacking somewhat but otherwise the character dynamics were very good. It was interesting (and convincing) that a genius (Dori) and a very self-confident girl (Becca) were both very insecure when it came to boys. As a counterpoint to this, it might have been good to have the supposedly-inferior Carson totally at ease and successful with the opposite sex.
All in all, I don't think this story managed to convince me that genius was a curse to Dori, but in most respects it was very very good.
(review of free book)