Friday, July 16, 2010

A Perfect Fourth of July

by Joel Hisaw from the July 5, 2010 issue

Tagline: Amy's matchmaking efforts on her little brother's behalf had always fizzled. But this time? Fireworks!

In A Nutshell: Will goes to the family Fourth of July picnic dreading it because his sister is up to her usual matchmaking shenanigans. He notices and admires his cousin John's new girlfriend. Turns out she's not. She's the girl his sister wanted to hook him up with.

Opinions: This is the first story I've seen from Joel Hisaw. The matchmaking/mistaken identity plot is very familiar, but set against a Fourth of July backdrop. Will is likable, real. I'd certainly go out with him if I weren't married. I like the picture Hisaw painted with Kristin's dress--romantic and feminine, but still from a guy's POV.

However, there were a few rough edges. First, a little redundancy.

It was hotter than the Fourth of July...

and three sentences later

It was hotter than blazes...

Then, out of context these statements seem contradictory, but that wasn't my point. I was just pointing out the use of the words time to meet twice so close together.

At 28, he had plenty of time to meet the right woman.

and three sentences later:

He never seemed to have the time to get out and meet anyone.

These are minor glitches that you may want to keep an eye out for in your own stories. Having someone else beta read for you can help a lot.

I also found the ending to be abrupt. First, they're about to go sip lemonade together, and then, boom, it's three hours later and he's thanking his sister for setting him up. We never really see Will and Kristin connect. He liked how she looked. They're both computer geeks, but other than that, their conversation happened off stage, which I think robbed the story of the emotion we all expect from romance stories.

My Favorite Part: When Will greets his cousins, it's very realisitc and cute. Made me say "awww."

"Hey, it's the brats!" he teased. They grabbed hold of their uncle's biceps and he swung them around.

I want me an uncle like that! (Of course, he'd have to be the Incredible Hulk, because I'm not as svelte as I'd like.)

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