The Advice Girl by L.A. Shaw

Kira and Sophia have been best friends since they were five years old. They share an apartment together, and tell each other everything.
Everyone loves Sophia, and she is often called the advice girl by people who know her. Kira believes she knows her friend better than anyone. But in a mysterious accident, Sophia loses her life.
Kira is mourning the devastating loss when she finds a note addressed to her from beyond the grave. Kira realizes she doesn't know her friend as well as she thought, as she starts to uncover the truth. She falls into a deep depression, confused and lost, until a visit from a strange man puts her in the middle of a war between two secret societies. Kira soon understands that she is in danger, and doesn't know who to trust. She has to fight for her own life now

Book 1 of the Dalara series.

It's a promising and interesting plot, but the execution and writing lacks. Shaw would have benefited from a professional editor to tighten up the general writing, fix the often very rough dialogue and catch the occasional typo and grammatical error. While reading, it often felt like the story was trying too hard to be something it's not. Especially the chapters concerning the mysterious brotherhood fell flat as they try very hard to be very grand but aren't.

Despite it being such a short story I got the feeling that too much had been written - too much is explained and elaborated - basic banalities that could easily have been left out, whereas the actual interesting stuff is barely explained. The same can be said about the characters. Disappointingly, they don't come off as very real, particularly Sophia was just a bit too stereotypically perfect-yet-flawed and her constant mood swings between giggly and depressed got tiring real quick. I think the character interaction in general could do with an overhaul, particularly the very generic romance. The narrative often got mixed up and wonky; Kira insists on being a first person perspective, never mind if she's asleep when people enter the room or not even present - she'll tell you things exactly as she sees them or.. wait, what?

I will say though that Shaw's definitely got talent and I think with the help of at least a few good Beta-Readers and time, she could produce a good book. This one though needs a lot of work and I must admit that only the last 10-20 pages where stuff finally actually happened saved me from giving it only one star. Overall what takes place in the book just feels like something you've seen before countless of times. All in all, it's an okay read, but could have been so much better.

106 pages / published in 2011
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2011

Many thanks to the author for supplying me with a copy of the book.


  1. You just solved a dilemma I have on a current book. I've been wondering about. I've not been sure of how i'd phrase the bit that needs professional editing because this book is gripping but some areas are overdone and others just lose. You've just educated me with you review style. Thanks.....pity with the book. The plot sounds interesting.

  2. @Wendy - my pleasure :) am glad to have been of service.
    It's a real shame, it could have been really good (and I hate giving harsh reviews)


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