(...)I like well written stories written from a child's perspective.
_Orbital Resonance_ is supposed to contain all those elements and more, so what happened? Why did I find this book such a major disappointment?
First, all the characters were names attached to concepts rather than people. You the concept called "Bully", "The Reformed Bully", the "Girl Who Is Growing Breasts", the "Shy But Smart Kid" and on and on. Those descriptions basically sum up the whole character development that you get for all the characters introduced in the book.
Second, the main cardboard character has empathy for people, and the writer shows by the character continually hugging and kissing everyone, but we don't get to see or hear why this character is empathetic, or what she's thinking, or why. I guess it's "enough" that if a character hugs every other character, this is a wonderful empathic character.
Third, the dialog is so shallow in most cases. Here is a typical example:
"No, I'm sorry."
There was a hushed silence, then a the main character tittered a laugh.
"Gosh, um, I'm so embarrassed."
"It's all right. I like you."
"Wow, that's a relief, I really like the fact that you like me."
The characters hugged each other and wiped away a few tears.
This type of writing that spews from the page, on and on. A few instances of this, I can take, but if the entire book is devoted to scenes like this, it gets real boring and insulting real fast.
Fourth, the whole notion of the characters being "smart" doesn't come across well in the writing. All the writer does is spout a lot of titles of subjects that he's familiar with, such as Godel's Incompleteness Theorem (not very well), but the kids' knowledge of anything other than the subject titles or understanding doesn't seem to correlate with the buzzwords that the kids are spouting.
As a sharp contrast, in Card's _Ender's Game_, you really did feel that the characters did have a preternatural understanding of the world, and it showed in their actions and thoughts.
In _Orbital Resonance_, the kids spout off the buzzwords of the subjects their studying, but their actions are like kids in a kindergarden playground, with no maturity, with no insight to the reader as to why they are supposed to be smart or what they're thinking. This is just lazy writing.
Lastly, if you thought the main story was bad, the ending is the worst.