I have written and rewritten this post countless times. I’m still not completely happy with this post, but I can’t grant my conscience any peace until I’ve said something on this situation. Goodreads is a war zone. I’ve been watching the drama on Goodreads rather intimately since my incident with that author nearly two months ago.
It was not a fun experience for me. I didn’t wake up one morning and say, “I’m going to piss on this author’s book today because I need some more fucking page views.” The truth was there were only 14 reviews in a 60 stop tour. Forgive me for saying 1 or 2. I didn’t LITERALLY mean one or two. But, it was my mistake for accompany that information with the review. It didn’t pertain to the book itself. I really feel guilty that it was my mistake that prompted the author to attack me. Theoretically, if I didn’t make a mistake, the whole incident never would have happened.
The tiffs between authors and reviewers is an everyday occurrence. But who is the bully in each situation isn’t as black and white as the participants want you to believe. It’s understandable if you stand up for your friends when one of them is attacked. That’s what friends are for. What’s not okay is for you and your friends to belittle and bully the other person until they never want to step foot on Goodreads again. Too many times what was originally said is blown out of proportion and what ends up happening is nothing short of childish.
It might be that many of these incidents occur because the reviewer does go slightly off topic and includes information that isn’t limited to the content of the book. It might not be a stretch to say that an author sucks at writing if several of their books have been sub-par, however, including what an author does outside of their books doesn’t have a place in a book review.
I wish that reviews would follow these two rules:
- Don’t post a review unless you read part or all of the book – Sample counts.
- Review the book and not the author – Tell me why the book sucks, not why the author sucks.
Shelving a book you’ve never read
I don’t use shelve books on my do-not-read list if the author behaves badly, but I’m not against it. I completely know why they do it. If I know that an author has gone after a reviewer previously I am much less likely to read/review the author’s books. I’m not on some moral mission to read only books by authors with good manners. Fact is that I don’t want to end up in the hot seat again because another author didn’t like what I wrote in a review. I’m not shifting the blame to the reviewer, but I really think that if WE were more proactive in not inciting drama that there would be less of it. Not only do some reviewers go outside of what should be in a book review, but some members on Goodreads actively LOOK for drama. (Screenshot taken from one of the comments on my review.)
There is an entire crew of people that search out and bait naive members of Goodreads. I don’t want to list people and I don’t need to. If you compare the comment logs of these incidents and you will see the same half dozen or so individuals making everything harder on the rest of us.
These people are trolls.
They have no purpose other than to make the rest of us fucking miserable. There will still be some drama between authors and reviewers without these trolls, but I DOUBT that it would be as severe as it is now. And it’s dangerous for bystanders too. Once you show any inclination that you think of one side favorably, you will be publicly called out and every post you make will be trolled. There is shady things going on with both sides, which is why I’ve tried to stay out of it. I’ve sent my <3 through PMs, but supporting someone that is on the current shitlist will only get YOU on the shitlist.
The Master List – Authors Behaving Badly
Something else that I’ve been pondering. How can authors that have behaved badly earn a second change? How can these people who we have blacklisted and humiliated clear their name? At the moment Goodreads works just like a sex offender list. Once an author is on that master list, there is no way for that author to step foot on that site without the label following their every post.
I think that there should be some path for retribution. Granted, there are some ‘special snowflakes’ that will be repeat offenders, but what about those that have learned from their mistakes. The reviewers shun these authors and then they’re surprised when these authors turn to the one place that offers them support and direction – STGRB. Whether or not they give rejected authors good advice, well…you can decide that for yourself.
I think people forget that authors are human beings too. We all make mistakes. What’s important is that it’s not repeated.
New Reviewers – They don’t understand that some authors care only about sales. Some authors will do ANYTHING to have only positive opinions of their book(s) available.
New Authors – They don’t understand that everything they say will be taken out of context and perceived in the worst way possible. They don’t realize that their Twitter and Facebook pages are opened to the public and therefore everything said on these sites will be screen-shot and forever associated with them.
Indie Writers – It’s implied that if an author did something wrong they were self-published. The well-known incident involving Wendy Darling and the author of The Selection was traditionally published. The author I had an incident with was from a small press publishing company. There are self-published authors that do behave badly, but avoiding books by self-published authors won’t guarantee that you will escape the drama. It’s like avoiding pregnancy. The only way to guarantee you won’t get pregnant is to not have sex. The only way to guarantee that you won’t get bullied over a review is to not write reviews.
I don’t know how to end this post anymore than I knew how to begin it. I apologize if it sounded like preaching. It’s something that I felt needed to be said. Feel free to disagree or agree with my opinions in the comments below.Read More
Angel’s Heart: The Keeper by Lisa Bilbrey
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Renaissance Romance Publishing
Released July 24th, 2012
Unaware of an age-old prophecy, secret societies, and an enemy she doesn’t know she has, Sophie Crenshaw thinks of herself as just being average. Along with her two best friends, Deva and Tabitha, Sophie sets off on what she thinks is a normal vacation. What she doesn’t know is that everything she thought she knew about who she is, and what she can do, is about to change. Thrust in a world she knows nothing about, Sophie tries to find her true self, without losing her grip on her own sanity.
Henry Chang lives in world full of magic, where the stories over the legendary Angel’s Heart are spoken in whispered conversations, and midnight meetings. His job is to protect the Heart, keep it safe from anyone who wishes to hurt it or its Keeper. In a divine moment, he’s tied to the Keeper’s heart forever. While trying to understand his own feelings, Henry does what he can to support Sophie, and keep her from falling apart.
With the help of Willow Crest members, who are sworn to protect her, without ever meeting her, Sophie will struggle to get control of her feeling and new found powers. Or will it be too much for her to handle? Will their growing love give Sophie the strength and courage to face the greatest challenge of her young life?
I should have learned by now that the first chapter of a book typically reflects what to expect in the rest of the book. The first chapter of Angel’s Heart: The Keeper was boring with cliche characters and an overused backstory. If I had stopped after the first chapter, I would never have guessed how bad this book could possibly be. It was the literary equivalency of Honey Boo Boo and felt like fan-fiction of all the popular paranormal books mixed together. In fact, if you piece together the worst parts of every paranormal book on the market, it STILL might be better than this book.
Sophie is a depressed, unemployed orphan with a beautiful best friend that stinks of narcissism and another one that really didn’t have a personality. Her best friends decide to surprise her with a vacation to Hawaii. On the plane flight, the three girls meet three sexy, mysterious boys…and surprise, surprise, guess what happens?
Well, apparently Sophie is the most magical being to ever walk the Earth and her magical powers are unlimited. Not just that but her parents aren’t dead but rather being held captive by a villain that has less character development and personality than Maleficent in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty.
And that mysterious boy Sophie meets on the plane she falls madly in love with and loses her virginity to him twice – yeah once on page 86 and once on page 124. The only other character I’ve ever seen do this is Rhapsody by Elizabeth Hayden. Not only that, but they become accidentally marked for life, which is a very rare thing (yet half a dozen characters in the novel also had it happen).
The end reminded me of Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer. There’s a huge buildup to the final battle and when it happens, you’re like “that’s it?”. Also, the plot is nicely wrapped up 2/3rd of the way through the book. What happens after is nothing more than Sophie whining about how much her life sucks, despite there being NOTHING wrong with her life at this point. And every character coddles her. There’s one character that calls her out for being childish and she whips him into shape with her Mary-Sue powers.
The only reason I was able to finish the book was because it had, at least, been properly edited. If the author does the exact opposite of what she did with Angel’s Heart: The Keeper, then the sequel will be phenomenal. (F)
(I won a copy of this book from the author in a Goodreads giveaway.)
(Picture and information borrowed from Goodreads.)
Obsessive, compulsive, slightly crazed, but enough about her personality. First and foremost, Lisa Bilbrey is a mom to three and a wife to one. She loves to write, and spends the majority of everyday writing. It’s who she is, and what she’s meant to be doing. Words are her life, the air she breathes, and the nutrients of her soul.
Finding a love in the written word, Lisa Bilbrey started writing as a way to express herself and let her voice be heard. From the first word she wrote, she’d found her heart and soul.Always willing to learn, she’s spends much of her time trying to improve as a storyteller.
Lisa has been blessed to find Michele Richard and Laura Braley, both of whom she spends hours everyday writing with. In October of 2011, they opened Renaissance Romance Publishing, hoping to be able to give other the same change to let their work shine.
Lisa’s works include:
Life is More than Candy Hearts, Book One of the Candy Collection:
–Life’s Unexpected Gifts
Summer Confections, Book Two of the Candy Collection:
–A Season of Change
Angel’s Heart Series:
Harvest Treats, Book Three of the Candy Collection:
–The Journey Home
Sugarplum Dreams, Book Four of the Candy Collection:
–Broken Hearts & Dusty Dreams (coming December 11, 2012)(
The Glimpse by Claire Merle
Publisher: Faber and Faber Children’s Books
Available in ebook or paperback.
If you’re easily offended by use of stereotypes and torture of small children, I’d advise you not to check out this book. Some of the characters in this book are very close-minded. Such as Ana’s father, who will do everything in his power to make sure his family does not develop mental illness. In his mind, it is a disease and harmful to society.
The only way to treat this disease is to over-medicate the person until they become a zombie in both emotions and senses. Children like Ana are raised to fear mental illness and when Ana is diagnosed as being a carrier for mental illness, she loses all self-image and feels like she is a disease. Her bonding partner, Jasper, keeps postponing their arranged marriage and Ana blames it on her being a carrier. Everything that goes wrong she blames on herself. She feels like she has no control and she’s forced to withhold all emotions and “crazy” actions in fear that these things will trigger the illness.
And then Jasper is kidnapped. Ana decides to find out what happened to him by leaving the safety of her community and enters the world of the crazy people. There she discovers how normal some of the “crazy” people are and that people like her father are the real enemy.
Or are they? Maybe the Crazies are crazy (go figure) and are feeding Ana delusions. The author leads you back and forth in what to believe and it’s fairly convincing. I like how each side truly believed in their position on whether or not the segregation and classification then medication process was fair and just. I enjoy novels where I can’t decide whether or not the narrator is truly in the right mind.
Now the horror lover in me was super psyched when Ana and many of her teenage friends were repeatedly tortured in very explicit ways. If you enjoy light reads, move along. If you prefer the dark and twisted novels, this one is for you. I not-so-secretly enjoyed the scenes where the “Crazies” patients were put into tanks, it was slowly filled up with water, and then sometimes the doctors stretched the time-allotted a little too long and there would be a drowning.
So why when I adored this book so much did I not give it five stars or an A? The ending sucked. There was so much buildup during the novel and almost none of it was resolved by the end. I hate cliffhangers. I felt like tossing this book off a cliff when I finished, but since I read it on my Kindle, I refrained. Plus, I didn’t feel like driving across town to find a cliff. That said, I hope there is a sequel. There better be a sequel. I want to know what happens next to Ana, Cole, Jasper, and the rest of the gang.
In a near future, society is segregated according to whether people are genetically disposed to mental illness. 17-year-old Ana has been living the privileged life of a Pure due to an error in her DNA test. When the authorities find out, she faces banishment from her safe Community, a fate only thwarted by the fact that she has already been promised to Pure-boy Jasper Taurell.
Jasper is from a rich and influential family and despite Ana’s condition, wants to be with her. The authorities grant Ana a tentative reprieve. If she is joined to Jasper before her 18th birthday, she may stay in the Community until her illness manifests. But if Jasper changes his mind, she will be cast out among the Crazies. As Ana’s joining ceremony and her birthday loom closer, she dares to hope she will be saved from the horror of the City and live a ‘normal’ life. But then Jasper disappears.
Led to believe Jasper has been taken by a strange sect the authorities will not intefere with, Ana sneaks out of her well-guarded Community to find him herself. Her search takes her through the underbelly of society and into the pits of the human soul. And as she delves deeper into the mystery of Jasper’s abduction she uncovers some devastating truths that destroy everything she has grown up to believe, but she also learns to love as she has never loved before.
This book will appeal to fans of Hunger Games and other dystopian or YA novels.
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.Read More
Facing the Hunchback of Notre Dame by L.L. Samson and Lisa Samson
Available in ebook or paperback.
For only being 140 pages long, this MG fantasy took me a long time to read. I considered not even finishing it because was a mental challenge to stay focused on the story. The narrator is a college custodian that likes to explain both how to write a story, while making snide remarks about his colleagues, which have nothing to do with the story. After reviewing the book, I checked the author’s profile on Goodreads and it said:
The Christy-award winning author of nineteen books including the Women of Faith Novel of the YearQuaker Summer, Lisa Samson has been hailed by Publishers Weekly as “a talented novelist who isn’t afraid to take risks.
I’m not sure if the risks taken with this book are worth it. I still haven’t figured out who the targeted audience is. As an adult, I didn’t enjoy the narrator and only finished the book so I could explain the book in detail to my mother, who is a MG teacher, and ask if her students would read a book like this. She said no. What’s the point of the author making a Mice and Men reference, and then explaining the reference as a book they will read in high school? Later in the book the narrator says that he will not describe the scene because bugs make him gag. Really? So if it’s not for adults who enjoy MG and it’s not for MG students, then who will enjoy this book? I honestly don’t know. This is a perfect example of a book that is not marketable.
The beginning of the book should of alerted me to trouble when the word prologue was immediately followed by:
What You Need to Know Before Reading This Fantastic Little Book…Or All This Backstory Isn’t Normally a Good Idea, but We’d Like to Get On with Things.
The plot was bland. By accident, Orphelia summons Quasimodo into her attic and in order to send him back she has to read a book before time runs out. She tells one of the other characters that she can’t help clean up because she HAS to read this book, but then continues chatting with her companions while she is ‘reading’ and they are ‘working’. Oh and there’s a storm, no a flood. That’s it. That’s the story. I don’t need to put a spoiler for you to know what happens at the end. It’s A + B = C. Nothing more. This isn’t MG quality. This has a better fit as a story I would read to my one year old son.
I think it also has the worst ending line to date:
“You can’t sit around reading all day.”
Yeah, lets discourage the youth from reading. Great idea.
My advice to the author? Stick to Christian fiction. MG fantasy is not your forte.
A hidden attic. A classic story. A very unexpected twist. Twin twelve-year-old bookworms Ophelia and Linus Easterday discover a hidden attic that once belonged to a mad scientist. While relaxing in the attic and enjoying her latest book, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Ophelia dozes off, and within moments finds herself facing a fully alive and completely bewildered Quasimodo. Ophelia and Linus team up with a clever neighbor, a hippy priest, and a college custodian, learning Quasimodo’s story while searching for some way to get him back home—if he can survive long enough in the modern world.
I don’t know who would like this book.Read More
Over the last six months I have accumulated 143 Kindle ebooks without spending a cent. I’ve stalked author blogs, giveaways from groups on Goodreads, and checked my email daily for offers from the Author Marketing Club.
I figured it is time to actually buy a Kindle to read these books, so this weekend I will get my Kindle Touch. I’m excited!Read More