Delete Key Awards Finalist #8 comes from Stephenie Meyer’s novel of alien abduction, The Host (Little, Brown, 619 pp., $25.99), a three-way tie:
“It’s a voluntary choice.”
“He nuzzled his face against mine until he found my lips, then he kissed me, slow and gentle, the flow of molten rock swelling languidly in the dark at the center of the earth, until my shaking slowed.”
“ ‘Well, for Pete’s sake!’ Jeb exclaimed. ‘Can’t nobody keep a secret around this place for more’n 24 hours? Gol’ durn, this burns me up!’”
The Host is a novel for adults written at a fourth-grade (9-year-old) reading level, according to the readability statistics that come with the spell-checker on Microsoft Word. But even 9-year-olds deserve better than the redundancy of the first example, the purple prose of the second, and the cornball dialogue of the third. The Jan. 5, 2009, post on One-Minute Book Reviews tells more about the fourth-grade reading level of The Host.
© 2009 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.