Let me begin my discussion of Keep the Ends Loose by Molly D. Campbell by saying that this is far from the worst book I’ve ever read in my life. The premise for the story was definitely an interesting one and the execution wasn’t poor it was just not to my particular tastes. Campbell’s characters were quirky and interesting and the descriptions were lovely.
I think that the major issue I had with this book was the narrator. She continually referred to herself as mature but was anything but. I feel as the book continued on that this may have been intentional but for me it wasn’t until the very end that I could read with any sort of decent pace.
Miranda Heath rambled, used words such as “hurty,” her cinematic asides added nothing nor did anything she put in parentheses. She starts the story off with far too many paragraphs me what she thinks her family is like rather than showing me how she perceives them to be. It’s true that as the story progresses her views change, but even then rather than just letting me see how her perspective changes by how she talks to and about them she tells me every time it shifts just a little. I feel like the narrator points out several times “Oh my god, my brother is human and has feelings.” Once would have been enough, unless she forgot that she had already made this discovery before. I also didn’t need to know how gorgeous her best friend was every time she walked into a room or exactly what she was wearing. Saying it once and then having all the men follow her around the room with their eyes would have been enough.
Also, things happened around our main character. She was neither the initiator or really the one affected. She had feelings on the things happening around her but not interesting or deep ones. She changed her mind often and it was a little like flipping on the light switches in the house rather than the sun rising over the horizon. I would have appreciated her revelations more if there were any kind of gradual build up.
The cinematic asides were written beautifully but ultimately drew me out of the story because for the most part they only described things that had already been described. I just wished she had either used them earlier and gotten rid of the normal prose where she described what was happening in the scene or had gotten rid of them and added some of the descriptions to the normal prose. One or the other would have been great, both was a bit tedious.
I will say that when it got to the emotional scenes the writing was superb. I cried at a certain point that I can’t say without spoiling a major part of the book. I am seriously considering posting a second review with spoilers. So if you’ve read the book and would like me to post a second review with spoilers, let me know in the comments below. I’d love to have a more open discussion on the book, the characters, and the plot development.
All in all my rating is 3 out of 5 quills.