I used to be the blogger called YAL Book Briefs, but I grew bored of the handle and changed my name to Howdy YAL. I also respond to MJ. I like to read, write, eat truffles, and watch bad Lifetime movies.
Oh, dear lord. I'm going to try to finish this thing tomorrow (after some recuperation time with Queen of Hearts). But here's my thoughts of the first half:
1) This is a wish fulfillment on Houck's part. The first seven pages is filled with so much ridiculousness it's unreal. A porsche, a fancy house, a new wardrobe, college tuition paid for, and guardians that don't give a shit or raise their eyebrows about this. Really, really. It doesn't help when there's a wise character (roughly the author's age) that's inserted in there giving the character romantic advise (note said insert character's husband is also described as author's husband).
2) There are some lines that oddly remind me of Twilight. Wording is just changed enough so that it won't get called out for being plagiarism. But really, a drug analogy? And a guy who writes a song for his girlfriend and buys her a ridiculous amount of crap (i.e. which means he's controlling), oh and everyone falls in love with the heroine...
3) The research still consists of Wikking things, despite the fact Houck actually has resources now to research and edit.
4) You could cut about half of this first half and there's still be room to cut.
More to come after I torment myself tomorrow.