Descriptions are important.
I'm supposed to be writing about something else completely, but I've just started reading Kristopher Reisz's Unleashed, and on my way to deciding whether I like it or not, I'm bothered by the lack of descriptions. I guessed immediately what the main character looks like because there's a guy and the girl on the front cover. Be nice to have some sort of description--what if I had a later copy with a different cover...or it had been damanged --but that does for him. And he's got a chick holding him on the front, three other teens in the back. The girl he's with on the cover and one of the guys on the back are black. So this is the group of kids he's with at the start of the book? I mean, his best bud's name is Bwana. Like most people reading it, my initial reaction is "what the heck sort of name is that?" Some others, like me, will immediately assume it is the sort of name certain black parents might give a child as an alterntive to a "slave name." (Just looked it up, by the way. It's Swahili.)
OK, whatever. On page 19, there's Misty toying with her lip ring. Aha! The chick on the cover has a lip ring! And the other two with Bwana are two out of three of his remaining original group? What do the other people in the story look like? ....Oh, but wait. I'd forgotten (totally blanked it until reminded on page 22) that Misty has a brother.
This, of course, is much ado about nothing. I didn't relate well to teens when I was one, I'm a Bostonian and they're in Birmingham...real descriptions sometime soon after the characters were introduced might have helped me not have this total sense of disconnect. But it's interesting enough to keep me reading for a bit.
Maybe tomorrow, I'll write what I should be writing now.