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A look at Reviews....

Becuase PRADA & PREJUDICE is coming out in 47 (!!) days, my thoughts have turned to reviews. With luck, I'll be reviewed by Kirkus, School Library Journal, Publisher's Weekly... all the biggies.

Of course, I am equally worried about a horrible review AND being skipped all together. I think being skipped is worse.

Sometimes a particularly bad review makes me want to read the book.

For instance, this review is from Publisher's Weekly, for a book called SWOON that comes out in the next couple weeks.

If ever a YA novel were primed for late-night Cinemax adaptation, it's Malkin's (The Uncensored Confessions) latest. Protagonist Dice (who has visions) moves to Swoon, Conn., and, one day, while swinging on a tree, her cousin Pen awakens a restless, vengeful spirit, Sinclair Youngblood Powers. He initially inhabits Pen's body, but eventually gains a body of his own after Dice turns him into a gorgeous, living, breathing golem named Sin. Pre-golem, Sin turns Pen into the horny center of Swoon, and as a golem, Sin continues to wreak sexual havoc on the town—including deflowering Pen, a “Homecoming Orgy” (where a sexual assault occurs and is then mocked) and a spanking scene. While Malkin's prose has a jarring (yet pleasing) lilt to it—her chapters begin with short, vivid statements and Dice offers pithy observations about whatever is happening at the moment—her style is not enough to salvage what comes across as more a series of orgasms and innuendo than an actual story. This book makes Gossip Girl look like Sweet Valley High without the fun and irony. Ages 16–up. (May)

Sorry, but I read that (horrible) review, and I think-- Really? It makes GOSSIP GIRL look tame? And CINEMAX ADAPTATION?? Could it really push the envelope that far?

SWOON wasn't even on my radar, but I admit, now I want to read it.

So-- if you were the author of swoon, would you wish they hadn't reviewed you at all-- or would you take your review and see it as a badge of honor?


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 24th, 2009 07:22 pm (UTC)
I actually know this author, and she is amazingly sweet and I hope she's dealing with this better than I would. I've never gotten a bad review, although I've had some mediocre one, but for me, personally? I'd rather not be reviewed at all than get a bad one. It's an ego thing. I think about all the people who are excited for me to be publishing a book, and then if they read something like this they'll think, "Dang. Maybe she sucks after all."
Apr. 24th, 2009 07:25 pm (UTC)
Yeah, its from the 3/30 pub weekly so I imagine the sting has faded.

But honestly, both Cyn & I read that and at the same time were like, "Hmm. Now I want to read it." Painful as that review probably was, I think it'll generate more sales!

Apr. 24th, 2009 07:35 pm (UTC)
Badge of honor, baby!

And I will totally read Swoon now. Thanks, PW, for drawing our attention to the sexual havoc. ;)

I wouldn't want to be skipped. I want people to know my book exists, even if the reviewer hates it. I have no delusions that everyone will love it.
Apr. 24th, 2009 07:36 pm (UTC)
Oh, man... please if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. I don't think i could handle a bad review...! LOL! Of course, I'm positive your reviews will be wonderful. I can't wait to read it! I'm so excited for you!
Apr. 24th, 2009 07:51 pm (UTC)
First off, I haven't been to your LJ in ever and I saw your moodtheme and I TOTALLY forgot much you love Tay Tay Swift! :) (on a side note of that: I can't get to Taylor's concert in NYC; the tickets were way too expensive)

As for this review...
I couldn't keep my head straight for this review. I kept having to reread words and sentences. Maybe it's just me, but I feel like they need to work on their wording! :)

But back to your question...
If I were the author of SWOON, I think I'd be alright with the review. I think if you're proud of your work that you have completed and you have friends/family who like it as well, you should not let reviews get to your head. The only thing that would bother me is saying GG is tame like SVH because it's such a punch in the gut, you know?

Apr. 24th, 2009 07:55 pm (UTC)
Wow that review really is a great example of a bad review that will sell books! I bet the author is none too pleased, but it really doesn't even count as a bad review in my mind. A bad review would use words like "boring," "trite," and "not worth your time." Words like "orgasm" and "orgy"are much preferred. And yes, "sexual havoc" is a great phrase! So yeah, I'd take a spicy bad review (which would be weird b/c my book is not spicy) over nothing but probably nothing over a bland review.
Apr. 24th, 2009 08:15 pm (UTC)
I imagine that it will break my heart when I get my first bad review, but I see how a Bad Review is better than No Review. A great review might encourage me to read a book that didn't previously interest me, but if the subject matter sounded interesting, a bad review wouldn't stop me from reading it and forming my own opinion.

It sounds like the reviewer is mostly objecting to the raciness of SWOON, and I'm sure the author already knows she wrote a racy novel, so I don't think this particular review would bother me too badly. They did say her prose has a pleasing lilt, at least!
Apr. 24th, 2009 08:27 pm (UTC)
ya know
reviews, like everything else in this business are subjective. When I read reviews, I tend toward the positive ones. The negative ones, esp the ones so obviously there to bash the author or the book, just come off making the reviewer look bad. As authors, we can't please EVERY reader. There are going to be some folks who just don't connect with our work. It's counterproductive to dwell on those. It's uplifting and positive to enjoy the positive.
Apr. 24th, 2009 08:27 pm (UTC)
I've had a handful of bad reviews - usually by people who seem sort of offended by the book. I usually take it as a badge of honor.
Apr. 24th, 2009 09:23 pm (UTC)
I actually just emailed Nina Malkin a few days ago to let her know how excited I am to read this one! I think it sounds amazing, and could really care less what the big reviewers think.

As a reader, and not a writer, I'd have to say that I rarely read professional reviews because they most often don't look for the same things that I do in a book. Rather, I turn to bloggers and word of mouth because they're normal people like me. Hope that makes sense!
Apr. 24th, 2009 10:28 pm (UTC)
Hm...that's a good question. Of course, I've read SWOON, and I didn't especially love it. It was intriguing, and she did a great job with the sexual tension (and then some) -- BUT it was wanton (hehe), and if my kiddos read it (hopefully when they're older), we'd have to have some serious talks about it afterward (I almost felt like the author put in every sexually related conflict she could think of -- and they didn't all fit that well, imo). I think this review makes it sound intriguing, though -- so if I was her, I'd be glad of it!
Apr. 25th, 2009 12:37 am (UTC)
I have an ARC of SWOON that I'm going to be reading this weekend, given to me by an agent friend, and she said that it was really sexual. And just... yeah. It made me almost not want to read it, but here it is... I'm lookin' at it.

I would have preferred to not have that review, personally, if I were her.

Speaking of reviews, any chance you've got any galleys kicking around so I can read and post on http://kidlit.com ? Like I said... can't wait to read your book!
Apr. 25th, 2009 01:46 am (UTC)
I tend to love the things the critics hate and rally against the things critics tell me I'm supposed to love. Bad reviews usually turn me on to the best stuff.
Apr. 25th, 2009 02:40 am (UTC)
I'm the same way--- movies or books, I NEVER agree with critics!! Perhaps why I want to read SWOON?
Apr. 26th, 2009 05:40 pm (UTC)
You know what? I'm actually halfway through SWOON and enjoying it. There's a lot of sexuality in it but the prose carries it.
Apr. 29th, 2009 03:33 pm (UTC)
I just got Swoon and so far I'm loving it. As for the review, it would totally make me want to read it--especially if I were a teen. Not sure how many teens read PW,but that would've been a must read for me.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
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