Thursday, December 16, 2010

REVIEWS: The Good AND The Bad

No matter how many times you tell yourself not everyone will like your book, it still doesn't prepare you for when you see it in print. GOSSIP was recently reviewed by both Kirkus and Publishers Weekly. I'm very happy to say that the Kirkus review is awesome. I was thrilled when I read it! With Publishers Weekly, well, it was very much the opposite. But how fair would it be if I only posted the good review here? With the good, comes the bad. Unfortunately. And yes, I know, I need to get thicker skin. I'm sure there will be many bumpy roads ahead.

Kirkus Review
Aspiring blogger Sofia longs to make it big within her school’s blogosphere, thereby improving her “popularity meter” rating. The sixth-grade sleuth spends her time lurking in the farthest stalls of the girls’ room, eavesdropping in her quest for the latest scoop, and is not above an occasional snide online remark about her arch-nemesis, Mia St. Claire. Sofia’s “pre-blogging journal” covers one tumultuous month as she navigates the rough waters of social status, the monotony of Life Science class and the ultimate embarrassment of her mother’s new position as the substitute Spanish teacher at her school. When faced with the biggest news of her career, Sofia must decide how far she is willing to go in her pursuit of popularity. Cooper keenly captures Sofia’s quintessential preteen voice: spunky and full of a blustering bravado meant to mask her vulnerability. Sofia’s experiences, recorded in faux–hand printing on lined paper, and the many hilarious sketches scattered throughout the journal will garner groans and laughs from readers. (Fiction. 9-13)

Publishers Weekly
The first book in debut author Cooper's Blogtastic! series is structured as the "Pre-Blogging Notebook" of sixth-grader Sofia Becker, a gossip collector with a hyperactive imagination. Printed on faux lined paper and decorated with Sophia's stick-figure doodles, the story follows Sofia as she gathers fodder for her anonymous blog by hiding out and eavesdropping at school ("I have very genius-like planned my schedule around being super-discreet in the girls' room, the cafeteria, and other gossip-infested places, every chance I get"). The main drama involves Sofia's obsession with popularity, her suspicion that popular Mia St. Claire is stealing her crush, and her feeble attempts at matchmaking. Readers will quickly get that it's Sofia, not Mia, who is the raging egomaniac, and Sofia learns the expected lessons (mostly) that come with making assumptions and trashing one's peers. Both in format and in its morality-challenged protagonist, this book aims for a Wimpy Kid vibe, but Sofia's cartoons add little, her tone grates, and her personality is one-note--Cooper never really gets inside the heads of her characters, Sofia included. Ages 10–up. (Jan.)


20 comments:

Emily White said...

Yay for reviews! Whether they're good or bad, they must be terribly exciting because they mean you are getting SOOO close to your release date!

And the best way to get thicker skin is to eat more chocolate. :)

*counting down the days*

Vicki Rocho said...

We'll just delete the last sentence of the PW review...problems solved.

Jessica Bell said...

LOL. Yeah, I ditto Vicky! :o)

TerryLynnJohnson said...

Little ouch, but a stellar review from Kirkus should help to buffer that last line.

Way to go!

Teenage Bride said...

You will never be able to please everyone ... its just not possible.

I for one am so prouf of you! And think about it, reviews are done by adults... not kids. No matter how hard they try, they will not be able to think like them. i think your book is PERFECT for your target age group.

Congrats on the good ones and don't worry about the negatives... they are inevitable no matter how great a book is.

Beth said...

Wow. That was a harsh review. I admire you for being able to post it on your blog. That's really taking it head on.
beth-project52.blogspot.com

LTM said...

when I was in college, we were taught the Kirkus reviews were like the Bible of the publishing industry. So YAY, ROSE!!!! wooo!!! <3

Erinn said...

Ouch that last line of the last review hurt.
I"m still excited to read it, no matter what.

Dawn said...

Even negative publicity is publicity, sugar. I'm completely onside with Vicki - delete the last sentence - the review wasn't compelling enough that people will read to end anyway :-) I, for one, can't wait to read your book!

Julia Karr said...

Remember - your readers don't read reviews!

Anonymous said...

Ouch, that last one hurt. But I bet it's still great. And different people expect different things out of the characters. I get bored if people go on forever about.

Your other friends already left great comments. What awesome support you have!

Shannon E.

Crissy said...

It is just so cool that Publishers Weekly is reviewing your book!!!!

Amie B said...

like NI said - let it slide off you like water. The review from Kirkus is AWESOME and that's what you should focus on. Letting one bad review get you down isn't worth it. ANd as far as I see it - you've got 2 great reviews if you include mine :)

Donea Lee said...

I echo a lot of the thoughts above!

Thanks for sharing the good and the bad, and YAY!!! to the Kirkus review - that's awesome!

Lola Sharp said...

What Vicki said!

But, I'm sorry for the part that hurt. *hugs*

Happy Holidays,
Lola

MT said...

Many times I've read the big reviews and wondered why it was negative. To each his own, I say.

I hope you have a Merry Christmas!

Halli said...

oh gosh. wow. that's tough. Just to let you know, I think your book is great. And this is coming from someone who would actually be reading it. The adults aren't the audience, so their opinion hardly matters. : D

Demitria said...

Congrats...and awesome of you to handle your bad review so well. You can't please everyone.

You must be so excited though!

demitrialunetta.blogspot.com

Medeia Sharif said...

It's all too human that not everyone will agree on something, but we'll just ignore the last few lines. *la la la la*

Congrats on the Kirkus review.

Clara said...

Look at the bright side: At least both werent bad reviews. I mean, a bad review sucks, but what would there be of yellow if everyone liked blue?
Main thing is: You're doing what you love and there are people who like it = )