Alas But for the Editing

The Emerald City - J.A. Beard

I really wanted this to be good. I loved the idea of a new take on the Wizard of Oz. Unfortunately, the author's ability was not up to the task. We're dealing with a lot of the usual tropes here. New school/boarding school, absent parents, tragic pasts, mean girls, special girls, pretty girls, magic powers, hot boys, etc., and not enough effort was made to put a new spin on any of it. There was a refreshing lack of insta-love, at least, and I rather liked the author's take on the Scarecrow and the Tin Man. I could take or leave the Cowardly Lion. I could also take or leave the MC, Gail. She was just too lack-luster as a narrator. She was kind of feisty, which was good, but too many times the feisty fell flat. I was left with the overall feeling that this book didn't need to be in first person and probably would have been better in third. Add to that frequent typos, sudden shifts in verb tense, awkward syntax, and poor pacing, and you get a product that (in my opinion) was not quite ready for publishing. I won't be bothering with the rest of the trilogy.