Review by Lunastella -- Melissa & Kasho

This forum is for volunteer reviews by members of our review team. These reviews are done voluntarily by the reviewers and are published in this forum, separate from the official professional reviews. These reviews are kept separate primarily because the same book may be reviewed by many different reviewers.
User avatar
Lunastella
Posts: 1187
Joined: 27 Apr 2018, 16:22
2019 Reading Goal: 100
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 11
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 12
Currently Reading: Without a Trace
Bookshelf Size: 1189
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-lunastella.html
Latest Review: The Legacy of Job's Wife by Cynthia Koelker

Review by Lunastella -- Melissa & Kasho

Post by Lunastella » 06 Jun 2019, 11:11

[Following is a volunteer review of "Melissa & Kasho" by Camilla Chance.]
Book Cover
2 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


I was very excited about reading a YA novel because I've been devoted almost entirely to domestic noir thrillers lately. Unfortunately, Melissa & Kasho is not a novel I enjoyed.

The premise of the plot is promising and original: Melissa, an Australian teenager who is living in an Italian finishing school, tries to escape society's expectations and boundaries through a transdimensional love and an unexpected friendship. However, the execution left much to be desired.

Character development is extremely important, in my opinion, especially in personal narratives, such as coming of age stories. If an author doesn't manage to create realistic characters, the reader won't get involved in the story, won't root for the characters and, ultimately, won't care. The characters in this novel are flat and in black and white. They're either saints or demons. Melissa, the main character, is "oh-so-nice" and naïve she can come across as annoying and not quite believable. I can't think of a single teenager that would be able to relate to flawless Melissa, and that's a huge problem when your target audience are teens. Most male characters in the novel are self-centered and sex-driven inconveniences or menaces. Melissa's parents are so evil that they could easily be the villains in a fairy tale. Adding nuances and dimensions to the characters would enrich the novel very much.

The pacing of the plot was uneven, and it was hard to keep me interested in turning the pages. The main problem, that young Melissa feels horribly dissatisfied with what her family and society expects of her, gets solved in the last few pages without almost any previous development whatsoever. The rest of the book consists either of spiritual experiences, philosophical dissertations or episodes that end up being meaningless to the plot buildup. Some incidents that could've been exciting, which I won't mention to avoid spoilers, are left underdeveloped. The author neither builds previous tension that leads to the situation nor elaborates on the consequences or the aftermath of these events. I would've liked to see a deeper evolution of the romantic aspect of the novel. There are also poems, songs, and a play interspersed throughout the book, which could be enjoyable for some readers.

Melissa & Kasho is set in the 1950s, but even for the time, I found the dialogues to be forced and with a much more elevated vocabulary than teenagers would use. There are words and phrases in Italian and a few in French. Although most of the meanings can be inferred by the context or with a basic knowledge of Romance languages, I would've liked to have a footnote translation or maybe a glossary.

The salvageable aspect of this novel is the positive life message. I have to recognize that the author tried very hard to get the point across of the importance of kindness, authenticity, and peace between humans, and that's commendable.

The execution of this novel was especially disappointing because I think the premise is very relatable for young adults. Teen years are often about exploring what you really want and questioning society's expectations. Unfortunately, the book failed to exploit this aspect.

The book seems to be professionally edited, albeit not perfectly. Most of the mistakes are misplaced commas and don't interfere with the reading comprehension. When converted to read on the Kindle app, there are problems with the hyphenation of some words and the italicization of thoughts and poetry extracts. These mistakes don't appear in the PDF version. It's something minor and probably easy to fix, but worth noticing.

I recommend this novel for readers who enjoy philosophical dissertations about human nature, readers who like exploring spiritual concepts or who are interested in the idea of soulmates. Readers who enjoy page-turners, traditional romances or YA novels in the Rainbow Rowell or John Green style, for example, won't enjoy this book. Although they're not graphic, the book does have mentions of sexual violence, so people who are especially sensitive to this topic might want to avoid the novel.

I rate Melissa & Kasho by Camilla Chance with 2 out of 4 stars because of the positive message and original plot premise. I subtracted two stars because of the lack of character depth, uneven pacing, unbelievable dialogues, and shortcomings in the plot development.

******
Melissa & Kasho
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon

Like Lunastella's review? Post a comment saying so!

User avatar
Sarah Tariq
Posts: 1809
Joined: 17 Mar 2017, 02:17
2019 Reading Goal: 25
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 32
2018 Reading Goal: 25
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 96
2017 Reading Goal: 15
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 46
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 143
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-sarah-tariq.html
Latest Review: Winning the War on Cancer by Sylvie Beljanski
Reading Device: PDF

Post by Sarah Tariq » 07 Jun 2019, 00:37

I think the author needs to do more work on the plot and characters to make them interesting and real for the readers. Thanks for this honest review!
Make your ideals high enough to inspire you and low enough to encourage you.

📕📖📰📓📕

User avatar
ParadoxicalWoman
Posts: 762
Joined: 25 Oct 2017, 06:42
2019 Reading Goal: 50
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 12
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 76
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 427
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-paradoxicalwoman.html
Latest Review: Heartaches 3 by H.M. Irwing

Post by ParadoxicalWoman » 08 Jun 2019, 00:21

When the characters are so unrealistic, it's difficult for me to enjoy the stories because we humans are with flaws. Its easier for us to relate with flawed characters than with black and white kind of characters. Thank you for a detailed yet unbiased review. I hope the author will benefit greatly from your review.
"Read in order to live." ~Gustave Flaubert
"Fiction reveals truths that reality obscures." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

User avatar
Shrabastee
Posts: 1198
Joined: 23 Mar 2018, 00:38
2019 Reading Goal: 30
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 113
2018 Reading Goal: 20
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 185
2017 Reading Goal: 0
Favorite Book: The Warramunga's War
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 451
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-shrabastee.html
Latest Review: The Dark Web Murders by Brian O'Hare

Post by Shrabastee » 08 Jun 2019, 03:16

What a bold review, Andrea! I agree that character development should be the major concern in the personal narratives. If you don't relate with the characters,you will never enjoy the book,no matter how intriguing or significant the premises are. It is sad that the book is not up to your expectations,in spite of holding much promises. Thanks for the review!

User avatar
Lunastella
Posts: 1187
Joined: 27 Apr 2018, 16:22
2019 Reading Goal: 100
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 11
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 12
Currently Reading: Without a Trace
Bookshelf Size: 1189
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-lunastella.html
Latest Review: The Legacy of Job's Wife by Cynthia Koelker

Post by Lunastella » 08 Jun 2019, 06:52

Sarah Tariq wrote:
07 Jun 2019, 00:37
I think the author needs to do more work on the plot and characters to make them interesting and real for the readers. Thanks for this honest review!
Definitely. Thanks for stopping by! :)

User avatar
Lunastella
Posts: 1187
Joined: 27 Apr 2018, 16:22
2019 Reading Goal: 100
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 11
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 12
Currently Reading: Without a Trace
Bookshelf Size: 1189
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-lunastella.html
Latest Review: The Legacy of Job's Wife by Cynthia Koelker

Post by Lunastella » 08 Jun 2019, 06:55

ParadoxicalWoman wrote:
08 Jun 2019, 00:21
When the characters are so unrealistic, it's difficult for me to enjoy the stories because we humans are with flaws. Its easier for us to relate with flawed characters than with black and white kind of characters. Thank you for a detailed yet unbiased review. I hope the author will benefit greatly from your review.
The same thing happens to me. I can't relate to black and white characters and, most of the times, I stop caring about the story.
Thank you very much for your comment!

User avatar
Lunastella
Posts: 1187
Joined: 27 Apr 2018, 16:22
2019 Reading Goal: 100
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 11
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 12
Currently Reading: Without a Trace
Bookshelf Size: 1189
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-lunastella.html
Latest Review: The Legacy of Job's Wife by Cynthia Koelker

Post by Lunastella » 08 Jun 2019, 06:58

Shrabastee wrote:
08 Jun 2019, 03:16
What a bold review, Andrea! I agree that character development should be the major concern in the personal narratives. If you don't relate with the characters,you will never enjoy the book,no matter how intriguing or significant the premises are. It is sad that the book is not up to your expectations,in spite of holding much promises. Thanks for the review!
I was hesitant about being so bold and critical, but it's my honest opinion. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! :)

User avatar
Kelyn
Posts: 790
Joined: 09 May 2018, 07:34
2019 Reading Goal: 35
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 160
Currently Reading: Advent of Darkness
Bookshelf Size: 173
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kelyn.html
Latest Review: The Chauvinist's Guide to Modern Romance by Morris Rollins
Reading Device: B018QAYM7C

Post by Kelyn » 08 Jun 2019, 14:34

I've considered this book for review but from what you've told us, it really sounds more like one to avoid. Character development is something I treasure in books I read so I don't think this doesn't sound like something I would enjoy. Thanks for the honest review!
It's not hoarding if its books! :techie-studyingbrown:

User avatar
nooregano
Posts: 409
Joined: 15 Dec 2018, 22:52
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 63
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-nooregano.html
Latest Review: Human Nature The Sterling The Fallacious The Hideous by Salvador DeLaRosa

Post by nooregano » 08 Jun 2019, 22:33

It's seriously unfortunate that a coming of age YA novel would have flat, unidimensional characters. It seems quite irresponsible actually, because picture-perfect characters are alienating and do the exact opposite of what this kind of fiction is supposed to do (providing companionship, solace, and relief through being relatable). Thanks for this review, Andrea. It was very well written! :D
"I speak only one language, and it is not my own." - Jacques Derrida

User avatar
allbooked+
Posts: 327
Joined: 08 Mar 2019, 13:07
2019 Reading Goal: 40
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 52
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 23
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-allbooked.html
Latest Review: Arsenic and Old Men by Glenn Ickler

Post by allbooked+ » 08 Jun 2019, 23:19

I read this book and thought the characters were under developed as well. I enjoyed reading your review!

User avatar
Lunastella
Posts: 1187
Joined: 27 Apr 2018, 16:22
2019 Reading Goal: 100
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 11
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 12
Currently Reading: Without a Trace
Bookshelf Size: 1189
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-lunastella.html
Latest Review: The Legacy of Job's Wife by Cynthia Koelker

Post by Lunastella » 09 Jun 2019, 06:31

Kelyn wrote:
08 Jun 2019, 14:34
I've considered this book for review but from what you've told us, it really sounds more like one to avoid. Character development is something I treasure in books I read so I don't think this doesn't sound like something I would enjoy. Thanks for the honest review!
I share the same idea on the importance of character development, and it's not this book's strong suit. I'm glad you found the review helpful. Thank you so much for your comment!

User avatar
Lunastella
Posts: 1187
Joined: 27 Apr 2018, 16:22
2019 Reading Goal: 100
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 11
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 12
Currently Reading: Without a Trace
Bookshelf Size: 1189
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-lunastella.html
Latest Review: The Legacy of Job's Wife by Cynthia Koelker

Post by Lunastella » 09 Jun 2019, 06:33

allbooked+ wrote:
08 Jun 2019, 23:19
I read this book and thought the characters were under developed as well. I enjoyed reading your review!
I'd love to read your perspective. If you wrote a review, feel free to drop the link so I can check it out. Thanks for stopping by!

User avatar
Lunastella
Posts: 1187
Joined: 27 Apr 2018, 16:22
2019 Reading Goal: 100
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 11
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 12
Currently Reading: Without a Trace
Bookshelf Size: 1189
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-lunastella.html
Latest Review: The Legacy of Job's Wife by Cynthia Koelker

Post by Lunastella » 09 Jun 2019, 06:41

nooregano wrote:
08 Jun 2019, 22:33
It's seriously unfortunate that a coming of age YA novel would have flat, unidimensional characters. It seems quite irresponsible actually, because picture-perfect characters are alienating and do the exact opposite of what this kind of fiction is supposed to do (providing companionship, solace, and relief through being relatable). Thanks for this review, Andrea. It was very well written! :D
You're right. Presenting teenagers with a flawless role model for comparison could make them feel insecure, and the way most males are represented in the novel is very misleading.
Thank you for such an insightful comment!

User avatar
Ma Cheryll
Posts: 316
Joined: 24 Nov 2017, 00:58
2019 Reading Goal: 8
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 25
2018 Reading Goal: 8
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 100
Currently Reading: Beyond the Fire
Bookshelf Size: 95
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-ma-cheryll.html
Latest Review: Happy Healing by Dominique Bourlet

Post by Ma Cheryll » 10 Jun 2019, 14:07

:tiphat: Thank you for your very detailed analysis of this book @Lunastella♥️I appreciate your honesty in saying that you didn’t get to enjoy it, at least, you’ve given us a clear view of what to expect, at the same time, you gave the author a chance to repair the parts that can still be salvaged🙏More blessings to you and all your future reviews🤓👍

User avatar
Lunastella
Posts: 1187
Joined: 27 Apr 2018, 16:22
2019 Reading Goal: 100
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 11
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 12
Currently Reading: Without a Trace
Bookshelf Size: 1189
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-lunastella.html
Latest Review: The Legacy of Job's Wife by Cynthia Koelker

Post by Lunastella » 10 Jun 2019, 17:54

Ma Cheryll wrote:
10 Jun 2019, 14:07
:tiphat: Thank you for your very detailed analysis of this book @Lunastella♥️I appreciate your honesty in saying that you didn’t get to enjoy it, at least, you’ve given us a clear view of what to expect, at the same time, you gave the author a chance to repair the parts that can still be salvaged🙏More blessings to you and all your future reviews🤓👍
I hope the author takes comments like mine into account. I hesitated about being so blunt and, perhaps, if her target audience was different, this kind of book could've worked.
Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. Many blessing to you, Ma Cheryll.

Post Reply

Return to “Volunteer Reviews”