Thursday, April 16, 2009

Reviewer Wanted to be Shocked...

I'm usually very positive, but today I'm going to tell you about a less-than-stellar review - and the sad truth behind it.

A three star review was posted of "The Circle of Friends, Book I...Lori" yesterday. It was written by a teenager, so it was poorly and unprofessionally crafted, and since it is the only sub-par review of the book so far, I can easily discredit it.

What bothered me though was a comment she made about the story. She wanted something really bad and dramatic to occur - such as Lori getting raped!

Wow...

Where are we as a society that a sixteen year old expects or wants to see a rape in her reading material? Have we completely desensitized our youth? Do they require something so shocking to jolt their senses and feel anything at all? Are they only able to relate to such negative?

I wrote a sweet, innocent story filled with hope and optimism. I feel bad this young lady totally missed the point. She'll probably never view the world that way, either. I can't reach her, but hopefully I can reach others who still view the world with hope, dare to dream and believe in love...

12 comments:

Nancy J. Parra said...

I think at 16-these "shockers" aren't real- the depth and breadth of the emotional damage is hard to truly know-

that said- it is bad when such things are expected or desired in a book.

Helen Ginger said...

It seems clear she picked up the wrong book. Sounds like she was expecting one thing and was disappointed when she got something else. Makes you wonder what kind of books she normally reads.

Helen
http://straightfromhel.blogspot.com

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I'm with you. I find that shocking, disturbing and a bit scary!

Jane Kennedy Sutton
http://janekennedysutton.blogspot.com/

Marvin D. Wilson said...

Wow. Just wow. Then again look at movies and TV these days. Shock value and sensationalism and hideous scenes of heinous crimes rule. Glad to read you're not taking it too seriously, except for the sadness of what it means about the young author of that review.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Water off a duck's back to me, Marvin!

A couple of my fans read it and also expressed shock - one even left a lengthy comment for the reviewer.

I know it's a rough world we live in now, but that sort of thing is still not the norm.

Bluestocking said...

Wow! That is really disturbing. I don't even know how to respond.

Hagelrat said...

can't say i've ever thought "what this book is lacking is a good rape", which I think is probably a good thing. Maybe she just didn't express herself very well? I have thought books or films were leading up to something nasty that then didn't happen (I usually feel relieved) perhaps (being charitable) that's what she meant? Or perhaps she just is that callous.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I think she genuinely wanted something like that to happen!
I really didn't know how to respond either, so I didn't.

Mayra Calvani said...

This makes me really sad, Diane. It is so true that a lot of the YA fiction being published these days is filled with gratuitous violence. I'm shocked at what I have sometimes reviewed for tweens. It's the whole shock value thing, and it makes me throw up.

Jamieson Wolf said...

I'm still in shock that she wanted to see something so horrible just to spice up the plot of a book. The world is in enough trouble without bringing that kind of stuff to the books we use to escape life's hardships.

It just doesn't make sense to me, but to each their own I guess. Sigh. :)

Laza said...

Although I definitely see why you would be frustrated by her comments, (and without having read her review or your book) I'm not sure I think it's fair to say she writes unprofessionally and is easily discredited because she is a teen. I'm only 25 and I don't consider my blog to be professional, but that doesn't mean my views (or her views) are any less legit.

Being that age and blogging about books is something we should be exulting not condemning. How many 16-year-olds do you know that would take the time to do that? I think a better way to approach her would be to engage her in a conversation. I don't think there's anything wrong at all with an uplifting book with hope etc. She may have just been expecting something different. Besides, I don't think a 3-star review is really that bad. I would perceive that as "it was a good book, just not for me." (Did she personally attack you? That, to me, would be a more pertinent question. I definitely don't think that's acceptable.)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Laza, I do not discredit her as a teen, although for Reader Reviews, she is not a professional reviewer and her amatuer review reflected that.

I have no problem with someone not liking my style or my books. It was the fact she was wanting something more extreme or graphic that disturbed me. As a teen, I would've NEVER read a book that had a rape scene. It's a sad statement on society that today's teen views these types of horrible acts as normal.