Dryland - Sara Jaffe

I could never fully immerse myself in this story. The author chose to not use quotes to mark speech, but unlike Veronica's Grave, where I first complained about this writing technique, I had no trouble following who was speaking and it wasn't due to any great skill by the author. At some point in this authors history, she must have been told when using dialogue tags, to stick to 'said'. I wish whoever gave her that piece of advice had followed that up with the usual, 'use dialogue tags sparingly' advice as well, because I wouldn't have spent the majority of the novel counting the uses of 'said'.


Being at Rich's was like being nowhere. I said, I'm not.

He said, You look like you could be.

I didn't look like anything--my jeans and my raincoat and my flannel and my henley. I said, I'm not.

He said, Right on.

I said, Are you?


Despite this giant flaw in storytelling, the story was interesting, and I wish the editor had done a better job in handling this book. I can see people picking this book up and then immediately putting it down again after reading the above exchange on the first page.