Welcome to the Short Story Saturday review slot and the twelfth review in this series. This week’s review is of ‘Heart over Head over Heels’ by James Eddy.
I’m a big fan of titles and I like this one. It’s simple but effective, as is reflected in the writing’s pace and description.
One of my favourite lines is ‘Whispers, sighs and screams sitting next to pretty sounds ripped from a battered black guitar”. I don’t know if James writes poetry but it’s certainly poetic.
As if often the case with short stories (this comes in at just over 1,500 words) the story covers just a few minutes in real time and we’re right there with her. Most of us have been to a concert and this is accurately depicted, from the ‘shrill cheer’ and surging crowd.
Rebecca is very personable and relatable, and I found Scott trying to hide his East Anglia accent endearing.
As the piece is mainly from Rebecca’s point of view, there isn’t much dialogue but where there is, it’s authentic. It’s all too tempting to accentise (sorry, I can’t help making up words) dialogue but James has resisted here by simply stating that the security guard’s reply came in a ‘distinctive cockney twang and barely a glance in her direction’.
The vulnerability of both leading characters is charming and a story works well where we can feel empathy for our protagonists.
If I was to be critical, this is a review after all, there was a bit too much of Rebecca’s reflective thoughts in comparison to action but each reader is different so that’s just my preference. Also the surnames (Drake, Blake and Cale) were a little too similar, although this is balanced by their first names: Scott, Rebecca and Louis.
Quite a few of the sentences begin ‘She’, ‘There’ or ‘Her’ but I only noticed it because I’m as guilty as anyone as starting with a pronoun so it’s something to watch out for.
The Smashwords synopsis reads:
“How exactly do you get over someone who’s everywhere? That’s what Rebecca Blake has wrestled with for five years. But not this night. This is the night she will see Scott play his songs and this is the night when her hope will be reborn.
And I say, “play on”.
Thank you James for inviting me read and review your story.
Heart over Head over Heels is available free at Smashwords.com.
James Eddy was born in Braintree, Essex in April 1980. After moving first to Colchester, Essex, the family settled in South Norfolk and James was able to enjoy the wide open spaces and quiet of the area which fed his imagination. Following an undistinguished University career, he began writing scripts for films and acting out the cliche of the drunken writer. He diversified by moving into prose and eventually focussed enough to write a collection of Short Stories called ‘Diamonds’ along with several other short stories a novel and novella. He released ‘Bewilder’, the first story from ‘Diamonds’ in April 2012, followed by ‘Heart over Head over Heels’ in May. James’ website is http://youngbloodbooks.webplus.net. Founded in 2012, Youngblood Books is owned and operated by James Eddy. Youngblood Books publishes a diverse range of genres, including Comedy, Drama, Children’s Stories, Romance, Fantasy, Literary Fiction and Comics.
If you’d like to submit your story (up to 2,500 words) for review take a look here.
The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with biographer and fiction author Alma Bond – the four hundred and seventy-third of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.
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Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have this feature, ‘Short Story Saturdays’, where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1,500 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.