A friend at a niche publishing company asked me to read a novel and give a thumbs up/thumbs down. Not a full review or critique, just "Do you want to see more like this?" There are few novels written about this sphere, and I'd like to write some someday. I'm at 25% and so far, I'd love to see more like this, but this book's writing style is driving me nuts. First person, lots of rumination, slightly self-conscious/dated voice.
How do I respond? "I love the idea and want to see more like it but could it please be completely rewritten?"
I see this more than I wish when a query is meh and the concept is terrific. Or something about the novel (setting, time period, new take on old trope) is enticing but the writing just isn't up to scratch.
In fact, I just had a requested full go back to the author with "I love everything about this novel except X" and we then had a discussion about next steps. (This is where a paid professional editor comes in VERY handy)
When faced with this kind of situation, you start with the things you like. Then you mention the things that don't work for you.
And if you're like me, you say "this is my personal reading preference and not everyone may agree."
My latest analogy is a beautiful couture dress (probably made by Christian Siriano) that doesn't hang on me in a flattering way. There's nothing wrong with the dress at all. And I am what I am. I'm not going to be six inches taller just cause I want to be.
Not all beautiful dresses are suited for all beautiful sharks.
Same for books.
And how flattering that your friend asked for your opinion!