Oh, boy. Where do I even start with The Weaver by Heather Kindt? I suppose the first thing to say would be that I chose to DNF this book at around 72%. After forcing myself through an immense amount of poor writing, over-the-top cheesy and unrealistic romance, and problematic ideas I just couldn’t bring myself to finish. I hate to call a book a waste of my time, but the truth is The Weaver served only to disappoint and anger. Which is a real shame for a book with such an exciting premise.
Delaney, or Laney, Holden doesn’t know it yet, but she is a Weaver, a writer so powerful that her characters come to life directly from the page. When the villain of her story sets out to force her to change the ending, to destroy the hero, William, it’s up to Laney to save him. And that would be wonderful and all if it weren’t for the fact that this story has so many problems.
The Weaver is very much a novel that follows the ‘not like other girls’ trope. There’s an unfortunate amount of sexism, girls pitted against each other, and body shaming. Laney is supposedly better than literally every other girl despite her dismal self-esteem and any girl who is ‘pretty and popular’ is looked down upon as being either an absolute bitch, stupid, or slutty. Unsurprisingly, the ‘not like other girls’ Laney is the only one who doesn’t think she is pretty and all the boys around her are tripping over themselves to prove to her just how wrong she is. And of course, no girl but Laney could possibly be interested in academics.
There’s a disgusting moment of fat-shaming that is again used to perpetuate Laney being unlike all the other girls for the only others interested in history are implied to be “overweight, pimpled girl[s],” implying that Laney is different because she actually is pretty. And naturally, the girl described as an ‘aburn goddess’ is the bitch of a jealous girlfriend who forces her boyfriend to stop talking to his best friend unless he wants her to leave him. Nevermind Laney writing the only girl in her story to say, “I need a strong man to protect me and bring me home.”
I could go on. Suffice to say, this book seriously pissed me off.
And that’s without getting into how unrealistic every single character was, the massively disgusting level of ‘Laney, you’re so perfect’s and ‘there’s no one else for me’s that were peppered throughout the novel. Not only did I have no reason to believe that either of the men in this love triangle should be in love with Laney who was frustratingly flat and boring, but they were so over the top with their ridiculous feelings that I literally felt like I was reading a fanfiction I’d written when I was eight.
So much of this story was drowning in cheesy, unrealistic one-liner declarations of love and romance that the overarching plot which involved the villain of Laney’s story threatening her and the people she cared about almost non-existent. Nevermind that Laney constantly claimed to care about people when all her actions ever showed was that she wanted to fall all over William, whom she couldn’t quite figure out her suspicions of. Was he her William from the story she’d written or not?
Which brings me, ultimately, to the other Weavers who are only in the story long enough to provide an info-dump of information to clueless Laney. Apparently, in this world, if you’re a Weaver you bring two characters from your works to life. The first is the Ender, your villain, and the second is a Watcher, the hero who comes to protect their author from the Ender. More than one Weaver exists and despite having formed a group to discuss the perils that come–namely that their Enders are trying to kill them and one author has already died because of this–they adamantly comdenm the thought of not writing in order to avoid having some murderous person or creature come after them.
I’m sorry, but if the evil of my stories was popping out of the page to come and kill me, I’d definitely stop writing. Not to mention the level of mental trauma that such suffering would cause a person and the fact that literally none of Kindt’s characters seem to have any of it. Add all this to incredibly poor writing that often contradicts itself throughout the course of the novel and I’m honestly surprised I got as far as I did. I genuinely wish I hadn’t even bothered.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.