Review Of ‘The Compulsive Move’ By Phillip Cornell

Note: I received a free copy of this book from Online Book Club in exchange for an honest review. You can check out both the novel and other reviews here

The Compulsive Move is a story about nineteen year old Kevin. A young man hoping to break into the fashion industry, he lives in a small town and is stuck in a dead end job. To get out of his rut, he knows what he has to do. Planning a secret move to Chicago, Kevin must overcome multiple obstacles and find himself asking if the trouble is truly worth it? Can he do it alone?

I normally try to list as many positives as I can about a novel, but in all honesty, there isn’t much I can say about The Compulsive Move that is good except for that the idea itself wasn’t a bad one! A coming-of-age story about a young adult desperate to become more than what he is, to make something of himself, is an idea that many of us can relate to, and something that’s worked countless times before. But the method in which the author tells the tale is cringe-worthy when it isn’t straight up laughable.

Told in an extremely short manner, the story is rushed. The book is about 55 pages long and takes place over the course of approximately two years. With no time to connect to the characters or immerse yourself in the story, you’re left feeling unsatisfied and wondering what the point was. Kevin, not only as a person but as a protagonist, is a complete nightmare. He’s immature, seems at least a little racist and sexist, and overall, a warped stereotype of an average teen. Unrealistic and unlikable, Kevin thinks only of himself and how he can use others. He uses his girlfriend and manipulates her so he’ll have a place to live. Add on his habit of racial stereotyping and what you have is a failure of a protagonist.

The author seems extremely naive. The slang and phrasing he uses brings to mind an elderly relative gently asking what the kids are saying nowadays. Typing “Tumbler” instead of “tumblr”, using words like “fam”, and overall trying to sound “cool”, the author completely failed in relating to the audience. He describes that his friends became his brothers because they shared a meal together. I couldn’t help but laugh. Take this line for example:

She would find another guy, whose swag was not even comparable to his, marry him, and move to Washington DC or something like that.

And did I mention his girlfriend’s name is J’adore?

Pardon my French, but I shit you not.

The grammar and spelling is appalling. With multiple instances of comma misuse along with too many spelling errors to count, I once again find myself begging these authors to invest in a proper editor. Writing “were” instead of “where”,  “sole” instead of “soul”, and switching between first and third person, Cornell is an unreliable storyteller.  To the author, if you’re reading this, here is my advice to you. Rushing through a story gets you nowhere. Perhaps if you had taken your time with it, given background and a sense of identity to your characters, they would have been likable. Or at the very least, your audience would have known them. Stop trying so hard to sound cool, it isn’t working for you. And for the love of all that is good, proofread your work, get an editor, and maybe check out a grammar site while you’re at it.

I think you know the rating that’s coming, but it’s my job to state it. I rate this book 1/5 stars. And, I hate to say it, but that’s being generous.

As always, remember that this is just my opinion! A few people really enjoyed the story, so be sure to check out other reviews, along with the book itself, here at Online Book Club!

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