Oddily (Oddily, #1)- Linda Pohring
Let me preface this by saying how much I abhor writing negative book reviews. It kills me inside because I am a book lover and have so much respect for authors and their creativity, probably because I hope to be a published author one of these days. I hate potential that is marred by lack of editing or beta reading. It sucks, I feel bad, and it’s an injustice to the story. Grammar and syntax errors are likely the bane of every author’s existence.
Plot: Oddily is a tiny, timid girl with a mop of red hair, and an army of tormentors. Since the mysterious death of her parents-Oddily was found in a nasty car accident injured, alone, and left without a trace of her family-she has been from orphanage to foster home. Adopted by a politician only to gain the vote, Oddily is ignored and regarded as a burden, especially to her foster sister Starla. Starla is beautiful, popular, and Oddily’s most vicious antagonist. The first time Oddily met Starla, Starla forced her to stand in front of a floor length mirror and pointed out all of her flaws. Since then Oddily has a complex and thinks of herself as ugly and worthless. Everyday is a new day of taunting and harassment for Oddily and no one dares to stand up to the popular kids to help ease her suffering. On one of these days, Starla tells Oddily that if she sneaks into this haunted estate and takes a picture of the house, they will give her a chance in their group. Oddily is terrified but she will try anything to get them off her back. She climbs through the gate, roams the property, and in her terror, stumbles down a cliff. Oddily is rescued by Maxim and Nexa, two otherworldly, gorgeous twins, and residents of the estate. Maxim and Nexa come from the future, where blonde hair and blue eyes have died out (even though they have them, this is an surprise plot element), and technology is well beyond Oddily’s time period. Maxim and Nexa were warned by their father Nero, that if they were discovered they’d become lab rats, so they hide themselves away from society. Maxim has the ability to erase minds and when Oddily wakes up wipes her memory. However, Oddily stole a pair of technologically advanced virtual reality glasses. Oddily escapes into the virtual world and soon can’t decipher reality from fantasy. Maxim retrieves the glasses but Oddily becomes reckless because she thinks she can’t die. Maxim and Nexa are on a mission to save Oddily from bullying, to protect their secret, and Maxim begins to question his emotions for the meek girl who has threatened their world.
- Maxim and Nexa’s story was really interesting. The shady nature of their father, the creative use of technology, and the growth of their humanity throughout was inventive and I was eager to know more.
- There were an overwhelming number of grammatical and syntax errors. Unclosed parentheses, wrong use of possessives, plural vs. possessive, your vs. you’re, missing prepositions, swapping of tenses, use of ownership -her own self vs. herself, absence of punctuation sometimes, partial italics, and some strange word choice that didn’t make sense.
- Disturbing focus on erections. I don’t know what is most creepy about this, that so much attention is paid to Maxim’s ahem, “arousal” or that the lewd remarks almost always spur from Maxim’s sister Nexa. There’s some bizarre Freudian twin connection that is a step up from incestuous.
- A lot of the word choice and descriptions are repetitive.
- Feminism. Oddily’s assertion that she can’t stand up to her bullies and “grow some balls” as suggested by the only two strong, independent women in the book Pepper and Carrie, because she is female and not a boy is really damaging to her character.
- I find it hard to believe that not a single teacher or staff member of that school notices Oddily’s abuse. Especially a girl being lifted and thrown into a garbage can in a busy cafeteria.
- Oddily is underdeveloped, she likes shoes and bad pop music. The plot became more about Maxim and Nexa than Oddily.