Reading Progress 9%: Unwanted Things and Other Whatnots

Unwanted Things and Other Whatnots - Tamera Rickman

I snagged this cheapie because the blurb sounded potentially interesting, yet cryptic:

 

"Join Abigail and Miss Kitty as they embark upon a fantastic adventure full of wit and whimsy where things are never what they seem, not even their journey's end. Brimming with colorful characters, and peculiar places, Unwanted Things and Other Whatnots is sure to capture the imagination and keep the reader engaged, eager to see what happens next."

 

And it has no reviews.  According to the information on Amazon this is a Middle Grade. I don't yet have an opinion on that score.

 

So far this book is odd, and not in a good way. And it's got issues.  The first sentence does not inspire confidence:

 

'Abigail froze in her, her arm still extended outward toward the door.'

 

Um. Yeah. I'm calling that an editing failure.

 

Right off the bat Abigail is harassed by some young toughs.  One of them says,

“Who? Abigail the Unwanted!  That’s who!”

 

I glare at the book title. What a coincidence! Hit the reader over the head, why don't you?  Why do they say this to her? We aren't told. But I do think I can guess, we readers need to be told she's "unwanted".  Personally, I think there are much, much better ways to do this.  Preferably by being shown, not told. And definitely not being smacked with it in such obviously contrived way.  Besides, it's a very lame insult.

 

Abigail enters a shop where she is to pick up some things for her mother.  The shopkeeper says,

 

'“May I help you?”  He loomed over her, talking down.

“Is my mother’s stuff ready?”'

 

And then after snatching the list out of her hands he goes ballistic for no apparent reason,

 

'"Of course not!" He yelled at her.“Tell your mother it will be ready in an hour, and I don’t want you hanging out in here.  You hear me?  I don’t want you stealing my wares.  I know you don’t got no money of your own!”  Spittle shot through his yellowed teeth as he shooed her out the door and onto the street.'

 

Okaaaaaaaaaaaaay.  That's a bit...over the top. Seems to me he could be shown to be not very nice, and insist she wait outside without going from "May I help you?" to blowing a gasket in 30 seconds for no apparent reason.

 

It's also clear that her mother and her sister are awful to her, a la Cinderella, but we're given no explanation as to why. 

 

There's a clocktower in town, and we're told no other timepieces are allowed. "...no watches on chains, no house clocks, no wristwatches, nothing."

 

Why? No idea.

 

The only clue as to time/place so far is the mention of wristwatches and her mother and sister driving off in a car.  Beyond that I have no idea where/when this is.

 

And on I go...