How do you feel about the present tense in the book?

Use this forum to discuss the February 2018 Book of the Month, "The Reel Sisters" by Michelle Cummings.
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Re: How do you feel about the present tense in the book?

Post by Ghada TG »

The present tense is usually more thrilling and addictive if used properly, since it engages the reader to put him_herself in the shoe of the characters, other than feeling the event from a mere reflection of a distant past, one feels more entanglement, as if the events would resonate more properly if it was felt here and now , thus felt more profoundly instantly and consequently more lasting than past experiences.
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Post by Mely918 »

Reading a book in the present tense would probably deter me, at least in the beginning, from really getting into the book. It would probably take me some time to get used to it.

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Post by Chanti Stargirl »

I enjoy books written in present tense, I like the sense of 'now'. I do, however, feel that if the storyline is good and the grammar is correct, the tense does not matter as much. You would only notice, if it caused a problem and disrupted the flow of the story.

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Post by khusnick »

I don't really like present tense at all with reading. I like the feeling that past tense reading gives, like it's coming from somewhere, not just going. I couldn't get into this book, and I feel like that might have been why.

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Post by vwalter93 »

I am personally a huge fan of stream of consciousness narration so the present tense didn't bother me. Reading a book that utilizes this style always makes me feel like I'm on an adventure with the protagonist and it's some sort of inner dialogue that only I am privy to.

For those who aren't a fan of the present tense being used in novels, this is such a page turner that I don't think they'll notice after they've gotten into it.
pilvi wrote:
16 Feb 2018, 15:10
The book is written in present tense. Do you feel this unusual choice was a good one from the author? Does it bring the story out in the best possible way? Would it have been a different story if written in past tense?

For me, it took time to get into the story. The present tense felt weird in the beginning and I noticed I was resisting somehow. But when I got sucked into the story, I mostly forgot to pay attention to the tense, as it was consistent and well done.

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Post by Wesley Liu »

I usually feel a little awkward with present tense in books. It makes it feel like the character is speaking directly to me, and it is more of a diary or a long interview instead of a story. Meanwhile, third person makes the writing seem more like a story, in my opinion, because it feels like the book has plot instead of someone speaking to you directly. Of course, in this book, the first person technique is written well enough that it becomes unnoticed later.

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Post by ValBookReviews »

I some what agree! In as much as I was intrigued and enjoyed just how the story reads from the voice of the characters, in the present tense, however, liken unto being captivated by my most watched and thrilling TV show as it transitions from one scene to the next, I did not like the constant pauses in between each chapter: quotes and passages taken from various resources and sources, as I interpret as annoying commercials, wherefore, I wish I was able to read the story from cover to cover without consistent interruptions, etc. There's nothing like sitting on the edge of your seat and then..."we'll be right back after this commercial break"...and based upon your thoughts...U g h! Feel free to check out my published review at -> viewtopic.php?f=2&t=71123.
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Post by TaaraLynn »

I know I would like it, because when I was in high school, our one teacher had us write in present tense when we did short stories. So, present tense doesn't bother me in the least.
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Post by Kareka88 »

I liked the present tense. I think It gave a more realistic feel to the book as each character narrated their own story.
I could relate to the characters better because of it.
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Post by holsam_87 »

The use of present tense made the story work much easier than if it was told in past tense. Showing the development of friendship works better in the present than the past.
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Post by sonya01 »

I must say, I struggle with reading in the present tense; it never seems to flow in my mind as well and have, in the past, stopped reading a book because it seems to take just too much effort! Perhaps it is because stories, by definition, are narratives of events in the past. I'm sure I just need to persevere a bit and I'll get used to it!

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Post by Scrawling Pen »

I honestly did not notice the tense when I began reading it. I think either past or present would have been fine, but perhaps the present helps keeps things more action based and engaging. I enjoy the present tense internal narration from each of the women as well.

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Post by rumik »

I'm currently reading this and definitely enjoying the present tense. I think I actually prefer present tense to past tense in literature, it makes it all feel so much more 'real' to me.

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Post by Nkoo »

The use of the present tense in the book did not take away from my reading and having fun with the book. Initially, I found the book boring but with time, I started having fun with it. I think the use of first-person narrative style helped the book's overall delivery.

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Post by Y0landa »

I quite enjoyed reading this book in the present tense. It made me feel like I was living the story with them. Living their situations and hearing their thoughts in the first person helped me experience their feelings and get to know the characters better. I believe it could have been written in the past tense but I don't think it would be quiet as engaging. In my opinion, the author made the perfect choice.

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