This is a book review for Beyond All Boundaries by Lea Jerancic, available here:
I gave this book 1* of 5* – did not finish, scenes stolen from television.
I started reading this book with high hopes – it had two glowing reviews. Sadly, I got to 44% in and gave up for a number of reasons.
Although the beginning started out promising, the writing style quickly descended into an immature style, full of telling. She did this, she did that, he did this, he did that…it’s so mechanical and after a while it gets very irritating. I was also a bit gobsmacked that when it came to the first talent show audition, the author COPIED and PASTED the entire section from the practice earlier in the book. It was absolutely verbatim, not one change. I went back and checked. It’s both lazy and disrespectful to the reader, assuming that they wouldn’t notice.
The second thing that made me angry was the fact that this is almost entirely a rip from Ukraine’s Got Talent from last year when a pole dancer won it. I checked this morning and this author has taken not only the music and the costumes, but also the set, the dance moves and descriptions of the judges. The entire talent show set up is exactly the same as UGT too – public audition, semi-final and a final with 12 contestants. If you don’t believe me, the videos are all on YouTube. You can go and check.
The author probably didn’t think anyone reading it would have seen the television show, given that it’s Ukrainian, but unfortunately I had and I wasn’t impressed by her stealing these scenes without any credit to the actual dancer. I looked at the copyright section at the beginning and it states: “Names, characters, places and events are the product of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to events, locations or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.” Really? It’s exactly the same music, costumes, dance, set and descriptions and it’s not a coincidence? For two dances in a row?
I won’t be reading anything else by this author. While I have absolutely no issue with fanfiction at all, it should state that’s what it is, rather than claiming someone else’s work as her own.