1 out of 4 stars
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A Random Act of Kindness by Mike Coy is an inspirational short story about two boys named Gabe and Jake. Gabe was the stereotypical “nerdy kid” who was deemed a genius at a young age, but still made to go through the public school system by his parents who wanted him to be “normal.” Jake was the star football player who was said to have a lot of potential, and was expected to shine in both high school and college sports. When Gabe starts the seventh grade in a new school, he is instantly targeted and bullied by the other kids. Jake randomly decides to befriend him, and they both use their gifts to help each other through life.
This book was far shorter than I expected it to be, as it only took me 15 to 20 minutes to read. This was not a good thing, because it felt that the entire story had been rushed. The story could have been expanded to speak more about Jake and Gabe, their families, their lives after high school, and their lives before they met each other. So much more story could have been included in this novel, especially since it is being sold and advertised as a full-length book. Even some expansion of the author’s story at the beginning could have been used to give the story a deeper meaning by showing how it affected the author’s life.
There was plenty of character development, but little to no description of the character’s surroundings, or building of the world that they walked through. The story mostly just focused on the lives of the two boys and no one else around them. This didn’t quite disappoint me, but I felt that developing the other characters as well couldn’t hurt.
The outside cover of the book is a picture, and I was not expecting the novel to have any other illustrations inside. To my surprise, there were a few cartoon caricatures scattered throughout its pages. The images were always related to the happenings of the chapter, but they still surprised me. It did not take me out of the reading experience that much, but I felt that maybe the book should have stuck with photos since it was meant to be an inspirational and realistic story rather than being a cartoon.
The biggest issue that this book had was the lack of professional editing. I can’t mention every single incident where there were errors, simply because there were so many. Some sentences started with capital letters, whereas many others did not. Some sentences had three periods at the end, others had a period at the beginning. Some sentences were fragments. Some paragraphs just seemed to be filled with a bunch of jumbled information. I could still understand the story, but I wasn’t able to focus on the message as well when I kept getting drawn out by the poor writing.
Unfortunately, I have to rate this book 1 out of 4 stars. I loved the message of the story, even though the overall book took me about 15 minutes to finish. The main plot of the story nearly made me give it 2 stars, but the sheer amount of editing errors makes it nearly unreadable. Only near the end of the novel did I even see writing that looked as if it had been edited at all. I would recommend this novel to readers once it has been re-edited and re-worked in some ways, but in its current state, I would not be able to recommend it to anyone.
A Random Act Of Kindness
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