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To Stand Beside Her

To Stand Beside Her - B. Kristin McMichael I have been hesitating for a while now, not being sure on how I wanted this review to go. But I did receive a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a review, and even though there won't be any goshing or any happy dancing going on (guessing the rating gave that much away), I still feel that there should be a review. So here we go. (Brutally honest I'm afraid.)The plot itself had potential. The execution ...The omniscient narrator confused me. A lot. The POV changed all the time. At times it was like it would change in the middle of a sentence? More than once I had to go back in order to understand what was happening and who was saying/thinking what. Often I wasn't sure how much each character knew about the other. And I didn't see how that was to add to the story or my experience. Again I did not believe that it was deliberate on the writers part.The writing to me left something to be desired. I would have liked it if it had some more flow to it. Fx the almost constant use of the characters names in every line. Instead the use of pronouns could have maybe added a bit of variation. Alteration between longer and shorter sentences might also have had a positive effect. At least I found the language/writing came across some what simple, because most lines where short/cut off. It gives it kind of an staccato feel. And in this context I didn't see how it added anything (good). Maybe because I didn't believe it was deliberate on the writers part.The story also had a lot of dialogue. Maybe too much for my liking. There were several parts of it that I didn't find believable.Parts were skipped where I thought it would have been obvious with more explanation or description; parts where unnecessarily (overly) described where it slowed the pace. An example of the first: the development of the love between Nalick and Leila - It just happened? She hated him, then she saw something, and on the next page she loved him?On top of that there were quite a few repetition (like how Leila "doubting her decision", and mentioning of what Erich ones meant to her). A couple of inconsistencies.And lastly I will mention something that proved a big distraction for me. The grammatical errors (typos, incorrect usage of tenses, "her" instead of "here", ect.); and not just a couple of them. Those were errors that could have easily been caught in an extra proofreading, and they were very distracting to me. Oh, very, very.For me it comes down to this: Had it been 1 or maybe two of these things that urked me, the positives could have outweighed those negative points. But that just wasn't the case with this.I was never captured by the story. And through the end, I am sorry to say, I actually felt it a struggle to finish the book.It felt like it lacked some effort. This sounds harsh, I know. And it might not be the case. Never the less, I as a reader was left with the feeling, that the book could have benefited from ... some more effort (more structure, clearer narration, cutting characters/scenes that aren't essential, more character development) and a good proofreading. And in the end, what the reader takes away from the book is what matters, right? Of course I am only one reader!I have seen other reviews on this novel, and at first a had quite a bit of trouble trying to figure out the reasoning behind the number of stars given. So many stars. But upon reading the actual reviews I saw some of the same critique points that have caught my attention as well. Therefore I have drawn the conclusion, that those other reviewers are just ... more generous with their stars. I really wish that I could give this book at least two stars, but I can't do that while also being honest in my rating. So: 1 star. Had I felt the execution of it to be better, it could very well have been at least two stars.