Before we begin, I want you to know this is a fair review because my jealousy disappeared after chapter one once I fell into the story. Here is my honest review of 'The Name on Your Wrist'. I have to say I'm proud of myself for manning up and reading it.
A Spoiler Free Bit About the Book
'The Name on Your Wrist' follows Corin who lives in a society where your soul mate's name is written on your wrist and you are expected to search for them and start your life with them. Corin, however, doesn't want to search, but more than that. She doesn't want to be found.
I'll start of with my biggest problem with the book. It was arty-farty and pretentious. The sentences sometimes just went on and on. There were far many words, a lot of them unnecessary. Sometimes what was trying to be said could've been done so in a couple of words. I was almost tired reading these long sentences, having to stop sometimes and wonder what I was meant to have taken from a sentence. I don't know about you, but I thought it was too much effort to read sometimes. I felt like I had to think way too much and I was concerned on numerous occasions that I'd misunderstood. It was the kind of style that publishers love and readers do not.
The style may have added to why I found it difficult to like Corin at first. Her sarcasm, cynicism and disregard for other's feelings made it difficult for me to sympathise for her. It also felt as though the character was telling me how superior she was to me. It was also tiring. I don't want a character to be sassy and arrogant the entire way through the novel. It's exhausting.
As well as disliking Corin at the beginning, because I must say I grew to like her, although I never loved her. I'm not sure I even cared how she was going to turn out. But I also disliked her sister, Jacinta, who also had a large part to play in the novel. Jacinta I found whiny and impossible to relate to. My reaction to Jacinta was the opposite to Corin. I think I disliked Jacinta more and more as the novel progressed.
Here we go again, prepare yourself. There were too many adverbs in 'The Name on Your Wrist'. I can't say anything new about adverbs and my hatred of them so I'll just repeat myself. They add nothing and only take away from a novel.
A little thing that also annoyed me - although it could've been because of the format I was reading it on as I was reading it on my laptop instead of a Sony E-Reader as I don't have one. It could be a technology fault, I know that. But every time italics were used they were underlined. I've never seen the underline tool used in a novel before and it looked wrong and clumsy.
Another little style choice was the use of brackets. Brackets are fine but I think unnecessary. 'The Name on Your Wrist' uses them a lot and with the complex sentences made even more complex, it was way too much to handle. This was not an easy book to read.
After all that, though, I enjoyed the main bulk of the novel. I loved the idea of your soul mate being on your wrist and that Corin questioned it. Although the soul mate thing is over done, the idea of being as against it as Corin is during the novel I don't think is. It was a breath of fresh air in this type of genre. It was a very thought-provoking and intelligent novel.
I thought the pace was very good. The secrets and the reveal of them was just right. I always wanted to know more and I never had too much new information to process at once. I was always asking where the plot was going and wanted to know about the society Corin lived in.
I also have to say that Helen Hiorns has captured human nature perfectly in 'The Name on Your Wrist'. There were some brilliant observations of human features and behaviours that I'd never noticed or thought of before. It helped you get a grasp on the characters better and it was an effective method of showing and not telling the reader.
My favourite line in the whole novel is: "In short, I was a damn genius." I had to share it with you because I thought it was brilliant. There were a few occasions where a line would stop me reading because I liked it so much and had to share it with whoever was around me.
However, I was so disappointed with the ending. I was expecting so much more. There was all this build up and I felt like it turned into nothing. I felt as though there was no conclusion and I was left hanging but not in that cliff-hanger exciting kind of way. I was left feeling irritated and cheated.
Plot Idea - 8/10 - I liked the take on soul mates and that the novel wasn't clichéd.
Way Plot Was Pursued - 6/10 - I didn't like the inclusion of many parts taking place in high school and the dynamics of high school - but I don't like that in novels anyway.
Characters - 4/10 - I found it difficult at first to like the main character and I also didn't like her sister who was vital to the plot.
Style - 2/10 - too many adverbs. Pretentious sentence construction.
Pace - 8/10 - good reveal of information throughout. I perhaps would've liked more action and confrontation though.
Would I recommend it? - Yes, if you liked soul mate stories and were looking for a new one. Not if you said "What should I read?".
Would I look up the author? - No. I didn't like her style of writing or the characters enough to want more.
'The Name on Your Wrist' was a quick but not an easy read.
Have you read 'The Name on Your Wrist' or any other soul mate stories? I'd love to know.
Author / Wrimo / Editor / Reviewer / Writing Coach / ZA ready
Contact me about writing, reading, zombies, vampires, werewolves and the like here: molly.looby