Significance by Shelly Crane

Significance - Shelly Crane
I thought about that and it made since.


I bet it did, because it certainly doesn't make sense.

Right now I'm having a hard time deciding what part of this book was worst: the writing, the plot, our MC (Maggie), or the premise itself. Therefore I'll just divide it into parts.

The Plot
Significance is the story of Maggie and Caleb. It's the story of how they imprint each other. What imprinting means is that you meet your soulmate, and well, imprint each other and live happily ever after while you get abilities such as mind reading, growing things, moving objects and whatmore. Also, everything that happens in this book is told already in the blurb, so I'm not spoiling anything here now. Maggie and Caleb bump into each other, and imprint. 80% of the book is learning what imprinting is, the abilities, and the Charmed (Caleb's kind). The rest is about Caleb's enemies (a rival family) not being happy with Maggie and Caleb's imprinting (because apparently it's rare that people imprint).

It could've been okay. I mean, I can enjoy reading about people learning to use their abilities and such. However, the abilities take time to grow, so for the first 70% or so they're just talking about them, never doing a thing. So they talk, and talk, and talk, and talk about the whole deal with Caleb's supernatural family. I'm almost glad they did, because nothing of it makes sense. There's not a single explanation to what Caleb's family are, or where they come from or anything like that. Neither does it explain how Maggie gets her abilities since she's human. Nothing is explained. There's just random fact to fit the story, no structure to it at all. Maybe I'm picky again, but I require more than just a "because that's how it is" kind of explanation to my fantasy.

Now this will be a little spoilery, but I'll give you a simplified version of the plot and introduce you to Maggie.

Maggie: Run into hot guy. Holy crap! He's prefect. Must have, must have.

Caleb: Oh, you're my significant. That means we're meant to be. You're my soulmate. I'm a supernatural creature and you'll get abilities and you'll live with me forever. Come, let's meet my family, because they're your family too.

Maggie: Ok.

Caleb: We'll teach you all about these abilities. They can be really cool. You'll get the hang of it later. Until we get them, we need to be as close to each other as possible, because otherwise we'll be in pain and get sick until we touch again. So come here, let me touch you. And it's probably best if I sleep in the same bed as you as well.

Maggie: Ok.

Caleb: There's also this rivalry family that will want to hurt you. Don't worry, I'll keep you safe. They just want to kind of hurt you and kidnap you and murder you. But it's all because we have a bad history with them. Really, it's fine. They just hate you already.

Maggie: Ok.

Caleb: So to save you I'll burn you up on an altar as a sacrifice and then let wolves eat you as barbecue. I'll take your bones and bury them beneath our house as protection from this other clan.

Maggie: Ok.

Okay, the sacrifice part isn't in the book. But if it had been, Maggie would still just answer with ok. 

Maggie
Too stupid to live. She's constantly making bad decisions, not reacting to being thrown into this (if you didn't caught that before), and says whatever comes to mind (it seems). Her reaction to everything is ok, let's move on. I mean, anyone would react stronger to being thrown into this plot with people after her, soulmates, and supernatural creatures. No one is that stable and only goes along with it. She's like a worse Bella Swan (at least Bella was worried for her father's safety when bad guys started to come after her, unlike Maggie). Maggie is so naïve she even trusts the words of a man trying to kill her. Maggie's so self-centered and self-absorbed as well. One quick example from the beginning: Her old boyfriend dumped her so it'd be easier to go away to a college that granted him a scholarship. And Maggie think he's the worst, meaning that he could've tried to compromise by going to a college closer to her. Hello, he got a scholarship. Did it ever occur to her that it was his only choice? Also, when things goes down with the rivalry clan, she talks to everyone about it, even people not knowing about the whole supernatural deal, but not once does she or anyone else bother to call the police. Sorry, not sorry, but Maggie was just plain dumb. End of story.

The Writing
The first thing you'll notice with Significance is the constant use of adverbs and abuse of adjectives. They are everywhere, even going so far to describe "pretty yellow popcorn". Maybe I'm picky, but the usage of these two types of words could be reduced to make the writing tighter. Because this is a long story and by cutting away several of these words it could be that much better writing. I'd like to quote Stephen King here.

“The road to hell is paved with adverbs.”


I'm not saying I expected perfect writing when I started this book, just making the point that I share King's opinion in this matter.

The second thing one notice when reading this is the lack of editing. I'm curious to if this was edited at all before thrown onto the shelves for buyers. There are spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, wrong use of punctuation, shifting verbe tenses within sentences, and etc. The first quote should tell you as much. It's not that it's a few mistakes, because I can overlook it, but this is about on every single page. I'll just give two examples to make my point clear.

I needed to get home if we were going to appease me father.

 

I made my way to the stop light and waited for it to turn red so I can cross.


It's not just the grammar that's wrong with this writing. Many times things don't add up, and the similes/metaphors are terrible, and the prose just doesn't work. Much of this could've been fixed with editing as well, or just a beta reader. For example:

He can name any capitol of any city in the world.


Just no. 

Not like a girly wow-he’s-touching-me jolt. I mean an actual jolt. Like it felt as if fire was racing through my veins and I was standing in water with a blow dryer. My breaths ceased to exist and my blood felt cold in my hot skin. My eyes fluttered automatically at the pleasure pain of it.


First off, if she's standing in water with a blow dryer, nothing's going to happen. However, if she drops the blow dryer in the water, something might happen, and that would hurt. And even if the author meant it the second way, that kind of shock hurts. Like, really bad. Second, breaths don't just cease to exist. Third, her blood can't feel cold in her hot skin. You don't feel your blood, okay? It doesn't magically change temperature because some hot kid is touching you. Fourth, please remove the automatically from the sentence, I'm begging someone. And this was just one little piece from all of this.

The Premise
This isn't about the story itself rather the premise where Maggie and Caleb can't be apart without causing themselves physical pain. For young people this will sound romantic, but is it really a good way to portray love? In a relationship it is always important to have your own identity and being alone. It scares me a little that this is portrayed in such a romantic manner, because I think it can be hurtful to young people who will be affected by this message that you must at all times be with your loved one and almost blending into one person rather than two separate individuals in an equal relationship. I believe it's important what we teach youths about life, and I don't believe this message is the best to send them.

And before anyone start harassing me on why I read this book: It's becoming a movie (maybe a TV series) and I wanted to check out what the fuss was about. I also have friends who enjoyed this book, and I can see why people do. Unfortunately it wasn't for me. And, most important, I don't need to justify my reasons for reading this or any other book.