We are in the middle of The Tail of Emily Windsnap and it is driving me crazy. I have to start this off by saying that Bird and Mare love this book. They can’t wait to read a chapter each night and, in fact, their enthusiasm seems to match mine for Harry Potter. I’m going to chalk this up to youth, because this book is so not in the same league.
There are parts that I like. The story is original and the characters well developed and true. The foreshadowing is a little obvious (why exactly does Emily believe Mr. Beezus – he is obviously nefarious or, at the very least, lying) and makes the story predictable, but then again, I’m a seasoned reader. Our discussions after each chapter have revealed it is not so obvious to Bird and Mare.
My problem, though, is in Kessler’s descriptive style. I would like to email her this quote:
Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.
— William Strunk Jr., in Elements of Style