Mediocre Reviews ~ In Which I Dissect A Bad Review of My Own

Earlier this week I came across the following review which was posted just last Saturday over at B&N to my 2nd book, Stealing Wishes, giving it 3 stars.  Three out of five stars used to bother me, but it doesn’t so much anymore depending on how good or critical the review is.  Just like a book, a lot can be left up to interpretation between 3 and 5 stars.  I find myself giving a lot of books I read 3 stars these days, but I don’t mean that as a bad thing at all. I honestly liked the book but in comparing it to other books I’ve read, it might not have rated as high.

Unfortunately, this review for me does not back up it’s 3 stars and I found it to be a bit insulting.  Read the review first and then I will explain my perceptions:

50/50 by LutaWolf

Posted March 5, 2011, 8:36 PM EST: I think this book really depends on what you like to read. So this review is more about informing so that you can make an honest choice unlike me who bought it because of the authers review. The writing is lovely and indepth. You truely get to know your characters and love them. However this is not a HEA ending book. It’s not even truely a romance. While it does have a gay character it’s more about personal journey that a gay romance. I was truely disappointed that this was never explained and hope this helps others to make a more educated choice of if this is a book they would want to read.

First, I question whether or not LutaWolf actually read the book because she makes no mention of the characters’ names or any specific plotlines.  In fact, the review is quite vague about the story itself and lacks validation.

The first sentence made me laugh out loud: I think this book really depends on what you like to read. Ummm….doesn’t every book depend upon that?  It’s a readers’ world isn’t it?  Not every book out there is going to please everyone.  If that were true, we’d only need to read one book.  Variety is the spice of life, so right away, I don’t trust this LutaWolf.

Second sentence: So this review is more about informing so that you can make an honest choice unlike me who bought it because of the authers review. Besides the misspelling, once again I don’t trust LutaWolf’s ability to “inform.”  As you read the rest of the review, you’ll discover she really doesn’t inform you of anything as far as what I think her intention is.  And I assume her intention was in the first sentence, and we’ve already discussed the weakness of that.   Unlike me who bought it because of the authers review? I have no idea what this means because I don’t review my own books. I’m assuming she read a blog post somewhere from me about it. LutaWolf, buy a book because you want to read it; not because of what I have to say.  Authors will always tell you their book is the best!  And mine is! 🙂 But you should really make that decision for yourself.

Next: The writing is lovely and indepth. You truely get to know your characters and love them. Well, thank you, LutaWolf, for the compliment.  (*blush*) I definitely feel truely informed now.

However this is not a HEA ending book. For those who don’t know already, HEA stands for Happily Ever After, not Higher Education Authority, at least I’m pretty sure that’s what LutaWolf meant here.  And again, the HEA is left up to interpretation.  No one else to date has been disappointed by the ending.  I fully admit that a reader might find themselves disappointed that the two relationships courted in the book don’t end the way you’d hope, but when the book ends the characters are indeed happy with the way things turned out for them because they have opened their eyes to a new perspective on relationships.  Not all relationships have a happy ending.  And neither do all books. I would certainly hope that LutaWolf would appreciate a book that is not cookie-cutter of the genre, but based on her other reads (all books with half naked men on the cover) I don’t believe that is true. This book is a play on cliches and metaphors of the genre as well.  Since LutaWolf appears to read so much of it, you think she’d picked up on that.  The characters themselves are all cliches living in a world of metaphors, but I purposely avoided a cliche ending to surprise the reader. I would apologize to LutaWolf, but as Madonna said, I’m not sorry.  (By the way, that was also a cliche…Madonna…gay….nevermind.)

And then we have this: It’s not even truely a romance. While it does have a gay character it’s more about personal journey that a gay romance. This book has never been defined as a gay romance. It’s a gay romantic comedy. Gay romance, which LutaWolf is obviously well versed in based on her reading choices that I mentioned above, are indeed all cliche because romance between two men never happens like that in real life.  It’s the stuff only books are made of to appeal mostly to straight women.  Toss some hot shirtless guys on the cover and that HEA LutaWolf wants on the end (Prince Charming!) and you’ve got gay romance.  A gay romantic comedy is light hearted, the characters often make fun of themselves, but way down deep in the plot, there is indeed a personal journey and you’ve had fun discovering that, and so have the characters.  I don’t write gay romance and applaud anyone who can (mostly straight women) and write it well.  And for the record, I have yet to read any that was any good and NOT cliche. I’m sorry LutaWolf that you were misinformed? Which leads us to the next sentence…

I was truely disappointed that this was never explained and hope this helps others to make a more educated choice of if this is a book they would want to read. LutaWolf, had you contacted me for an outline and dissertation I would have gladly provided it for you before you read my book.  There are lots of things “never explained” in a book’s description.  If we explained everything, people would already know the whole story and there’d be no reason to read the book.  But thank you for admitting that you can’t make educated decisions. That explains everything!

Am I being a bit harsh on Luta?  Probably. But just as her book really doesn’t provide an honest and informative review of my book, I’ve merely pointed out that her review is a waste of time and I wish more would have been explained here.  I don’t feel informed.  And do I need to even mention the misspellings again?   And so I have to laugh.  And seriously, I thank LutaWolf for that laugh because…well, this is downright funny.

And so tomorrow, check back for an unbiased post about what authors expect from reviewers, in my opinion. That is, if the reviewer would like to be taken seriously.

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