What Would You Do Differently?

Use this forum to discuss the February 2020 Book of the month, "Opaque" by Calix Leigh-Reign
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S1234
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What Would You Do Differently?

Post by S1234 »

Spoiler alert

I feel like a lot of people, myself included, struggled through this story because of Adam's fixation with JoAnn, despite there being an explanation. Do you think it would have been more enjoyable for the target audience if this specific part was not part of the plot? And if he was able to redeem himself for what happened to Terry?

What would you do differently to improve your impression of this story?

I would take away the JoAnn fixation and include a chance for him to redeem himself after what happened to Terry.
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Post by leareiler »

I agree, I would also take away Adam's fixation with his mother. But I would either take out the Terry situation entirely, or give justice to her. I think that the message it would send to readers (or the message that it is sending to readers) if Adam was able to "redeem" himself is that if you change your character enough to be like-able, then the harm, abuse, etc., you've done to others is excusable and doesn't ever need revisiting. It is a dangerous message to send, and one that we should not be sending today, what with the MeToo movement. Terry should have either been left alone entirely (because what did that storyline bring to the plot anyway? It was dismissed with a wave of Carly's hand), or give her some justice. Let her be buried by her family. Or let Adam face the consequences to what he'd done.
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Post by Alyssa »

Same, the who obsession with his mother made me really uncomfortable while I read it, even after the reason was explained. I feel like for the target audience it was a little to much, but I’m not that ago anymore and I know things change.
But with Terry, I have to remind myself that this isn’t the only book and it leaves me with hope that Adam will do the right thing by the end. I secretly hope that he ends up the villain in a dark pot twist.
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Post by S1234 »

Alyssa wrote: 03 Mar 2020, 12:56 Same, the who obsession with his mother made me really uncomfortable while I read it, even after the reason was explained. I feel like for the target audience it was a little to much, but I’m not that ago anymore and I know things change.
But with Terry, I have to remind myself that this isn’t the only book and it leaves me with hope that Adam will do the right thing by the end. I secretly hope that he ends up the villain in a dark pot twist.
I do as well. I feel like after what happened with Terry he's pretty much nearly there. But at the end of the book, he's so different! I was expected Adam at the end was the main character from the start, if that makes any sense. I guessed that Adam at the start was possessed by something evil that Carly needed to get rid of, that way what happened to Terry wasn't his fault. Ah well, wishful thinking. He might go evil if Carly dies, but I assume a lot of readers that enjoyed the book wouldn't like that.
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Post by S1234 »

Alyssa wrote: 03 Mar 2020, 12:56 Same, the who obsession with his mother made me really uncomfortable while I read it, even after the reason was explained. I feel like for the target audience it was a little to much, but I’m not that ago anymore and I know things change.
But with Terry, I have to remind myself that this isn’t the only book and it leaves me with hope that Adam will do the right thing by the end. I secretly hope that he ends up the villain in a dark pot twist.
He might, his character did a 180 by the end of it. I really wanted him to be possessed by something that Carly had to essentially remove from him. That way none of the sinister stuff was really Adam. I thought that's what the story was hinting towards when Adam saw his reflection laughing at him in the mirror when he kidnapped Terry. Have you read the second book?
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Post by Alyssa »

S1234 wrote: 04 Mar 2020, 12:43
Alyssa wrote: 03 Mar 2020, 12:56 Same, the who obsession with his mother made me really uncomfortable while I read it, even after the reason was explained. I feel like for the target audience it was a little to much, but I’m not that ago anymore and I know things change.
But with Terry, I have to remind myself that this isn’t the only book and it leaves me with hope that Adam will do the right thing by the end. I secretly hope that he ends up the villain in a dark pot twist.
He might, his character did a 180 by the end of it. I really wanted him to be possessed by something that Carly had to essentially remove from him. That way none of the sinister stuff was really Adam. I thought that's what the story was hinting towards when Adam saw his reflection laughing at him in the mirror when he kidnapped Terry. Have you read the second book?
I didn’t even consider the possession possibility, I like it. I have yet to read the second book but I do have it on my list.
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Post by Jacktone Ogada »

Well, I could have removed the merger effect and create a way of just sharing the powers without any death.
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Post by S1234 »

The first half feels like a diary. I kind of would have liked more dialogue at the start.
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Post by xuanmaii »

I guess how Adam feels towards is like a base for the author's another twist, and I respect his plot and his decision
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Post by piplup45 »

I feel as though the “explanation” for his feelings for JoAnn was a non-explanation. She added the rape dungeon, kidnapping turned almost rape turned almost death, and oedipus complex for shock value and then just lazily tried to dismiss or explain them away later in order to change the focus of the story.

I mean, she destroys the rape dungeon by saying “We could make use of the “den” now if it hadn’t mysteriously burned down a few weeks ago.” Yes, it’s later pointed out that Carly did it, but that is lazy writing and a sudden changing of circumstances in hindsight for a matter of convenience so the author can suddenly change the plot on a dime to go in the direction she wants it to go now.
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Post by Odette Chace »

Spoiler Alert

There are many things I would change in this story. I agree that Adam's relationship with JoAnn should have been more wholesome. I may or may not cut the scene with Terry as well because I feel like his mental space was apparent even without any added sexual frustration. It takes a lot to unironically refer to your peers as "animals." Plus, I already thought he was delusional when he was carrying around a book about telekinesis in high school.

If I was writing this book, I would also rewrite the entire thing in past tense and change the ending. How on earth did they know where to go in Greenland? It's kind of a big place. There's more I would change as well, but those are a few starters.
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Post by Songjohn007 »

What I would do if I am to rewrite the story is the part of Adam, he should have been more supportive in his relationship with JoAnn
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Post by PRECIOUSreads »

I would have to put more dialogue in the first few chapters to make it more interesting... Also I would have focussed more on Terry as apposed to his fixation on JoAnn to make the context a bit less uncomfortable. I would have also added some humor to make the novel a bit more entertaining.
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Post by tanner87cbs »

PRECIOUSreads wrote: 24 Mar 2020, 18:19 I would have to put more dialogue in the first few chapters to make it more interesting... Also I would have focussed more on Terry as apposed to his fixation on JoAnn to make the context a bit less uncomfortable. I would have also added some humor to make the novel a bit more entertaining.
I could not have said this better. I agree with the first few chapters being dry. The story really started off strong with some questionable content, with little to no explanation. Honestly, I feel like I was reading two different books when you get a third way in. I would drop the insects to make the story better, as well as to appeal to a broader audience.
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Post by Frances019 »

The obsession at the beginning of the book would have been more bearable if he had fixated on someone besides his mother. It still would have been uncomfortable, but that just shows how deep Adam's darkness went in the beginning. I would have replaced it with maybe a crush on his teacher or a family friend that used to babysit him. He would've been more likely to act on his impulses, but then I could add a moment where he stops himself before he does anything. I do think Terry should have justice, and it does seem a little heartless for Carly to just burn the shed and not confront Adam at all on her death. Now that I think about it, there wasn't even a way for her to figure out that Adam never followed through on his plan to rape Terry. I probably would have taken the kidnapping out of the book completely since it seems to get in the way of the true plot. The author got caught between showing Adam's darkness and having him turn good, and I don't think it works unless Terry is fully addressed or taken out of the plot completely.
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