I hesitate to write about White Horse, because I didn't actually finish it. It came right before my reading and enthusiasm-of-any-sort slump, and I'm not sure whether I hated it so much because I was starting to Whomp, or if I started to Whomp because I hated it so much. Chicken and egg, really.
I do know, at least, that the book played a sizable part in my hatred of it. Because, while the story was cool and I was motivated by the mystery to keep turning the pages, the writing forced me to put it down. Here's the blurb because I can't be bothered:
Thirty-year-old Zoe leads an ordinary life until the end of the world arrives. She is cleaning cages and floors at Pope Pharmaceuticals when the president of the United States announces that human beings are no longer a viable species. When Zoe realizes that everyone she loves is disappearing, she starts running. Scared and alone in a shockingly changed world, she embarks on a remarkable journey of survival and redemption. Along the way, Zoe comes to see that humans are defined not by their genetic code, but rather by their actions and choices. White Horse offers hope for a broken world, where love can lead to the most unexpected places.
We alternate between Then and Now, learning -- through Zoe -- about the events that lead up to this particular apocalypse and how humans are dealing with the aftermath. I wanted to find out what happened to cause the catastrophe, I wanted to see the full scope of what the world had become, and that's where the anger came from: all of the interesting details were buried in weak similes beyond counting. Seriously, every other sentence. And now I'm angry at myself for not writing any of them down. I did note that even the strands of writing without similes weren't exactly breathtaking, including such gems as "How do you file a restraining order against sadness?"
The silver lining on this bummer is that White Horse is a debut novel and the first in a trilogy. I think the simile attacks come from a lack of confidence, like when someone tells a story and ends every sentence with "You know?" or an upward inflection. With time, maybe Adams will be able to get out the way and just show the readers this world she's created, without over explaining ever detail. Not sure I'll be the one to find that out, though.