Watch the amazing Locus juggle several books at once, and try not to drop any! Free admission.
" 'You're not crazy because I saw everything. She didn't look strange to me except that she was dressed oddly, wearing that party dress out here on the river. She didn't speak like a child either. It was like everything she said was carefully thought out. And she wasn't good at answering questions. She was better at asking them.' "
If the author feels the need to explain (through a character) why creepy child is creepy, instead of showing the creepy directly...
I think I know what bothers me most about the writing style: the book reads like a screenplay, or the detailed description of a movie plot. It doesn't have any narrative aspects, something that would make it feel like a novel instead of a sales pitch for a future script. Maybe some authors write with that goal in mind?