Paper Targets by Steve S. Saroff is a book I finished reading a few months ago, and still have not stopped talking about it. But not necessarily for good reasons. Before I go too much further, I will say I did not finish this book, but I did read about halfway through it, and skimmed through the rest to make sure I got a full idea of what the book was about, and how it ended.
When I started reading this book, the writing style and wording felt almost like the author was trying to tie together fiction and non-fiction with a neat little bow. And while the writing itself was mostly decent, I am not a huge fan of trying to mix together the fact and fiction, especially when the plot itself has nothing to do with non-fiction. When I read a bit further, I started to find the writing very dry, and it didn’t always make sense.
In addition to being a bit dry to read, many of the sentences were short and choppy and reading it started to become a chore. Then, when you would set it down so you could continue it later, you would need to re-skim what you had previously read to remember where you were in the plot.
There is one thing in this book that stands out as probably the worst thing of the entire book, and it is on page 57 of the paperback, and it is a sex scene between our main character Enzi, and his love interest Kaori. You ever read something in a book that you have to reread multiple times because it doesn’t quite make sense? Because that is this scene for me. A scene that is maybe three paragraphs I spent hours thinking about. I actually ended up having to try to act it out (not like that you twisted people) just to see if I could figure it out. And yes, I did record it, and yes, you can watch it here.
Now, there was a lot of negative about this book, and it might just be because this book is not for me. I did read a lot of reviews for this book on Amazon that are rating it as five stars, but many of those read almost as though they are paid reviews, so I am not entirely sure how trustworthy that is. But there is some positive about this book as well. As I said I did not fully read this book, but I did skim it so I was sure of the entire plot and the way Steve meshes the puzzle pieces of the overall plot together is quite interesting and not what I thought it would be.
The other thing Steve does incredibly well is the portrayal of Kaori. She is not a native English speaker and if I remember correctly isn’t native to the United States. The way he portrays her broken English, while still having her be incredibly intelligent was well done. Often times people mistake broken English as stupidity, and I hate when that happens.
Overall – I was not a fan of this book, but it did have some redeeming moments. There are obviously positive reviews for this book, so there might be something I was missing overall, but I could not in good conscious recommend this book as a good read. However, if you read it and love it, I would love to hear what you love about it.
Plot – 5/10
Characters – 5/10
Originality – 5/10
General Joy of Reading – 1/10
Overall Score – 16/40
Paper Target: Art Can Be Murder – Steve S Saroff
Cost* – eBook is $5.99. Paperback is $9.25. Hardcover is $14.25. This book is included on Kindle Unlimited
*Cost is based upon what the book cost when book review is published