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There are two new How To Ditch Your Fairy reviews. Both of them a bit too spoilery for my liking. I.e. they give away plot points beyond the title of the book. I am very spoiler sensitive.
This one really tickled me as it is from an eleven-year-old reviewer who is also a fan of the Magic or Madness trilogy. Have I ever mentioned that I was worried about what my MorM fans would think of HTDYF seeing as how it is so very different from the trilogy? This review set my fears at rest.
The reviewer is not the youngest fan of the book. I received a lovely fan letter from a nine-year-old HTDYF fan not too long ago. That’s especially excellent as me and my publisher were really hoping the book would cross over into middle grade. In fact, there was some discussion about publishing it as middle grade instead of YA. Bloomsbury decided against because many teenagers are thought to be less willing to read middle grade than they are YA. Whereas middle grade readers will read up. Bless their hearts!
Then there’s Jennifer Hubert Swan’s review at Reading Rants:
Funny and whimsical, this isn’t just a fantasy, but a romance, sports, and even a bit of a mystery novel. Larbalestier threads sly pokes at celebrity obsession and adolescent self-centeredness throughout Charlie’s snarky narrative, which will delight close readers and us “olde” teens who fancy ourselves above all that? Personally, I could use a “no one ever sits too close to me on the subway” fairy, or a “write brilliant book reviews in no time at all” fairy.
Once again, a reviewer gets what I was going for. I am blessed!
Have I mentioned that one of the most wonderful things in the world is being reviewed by smart, articulate, witty reviewers. Seriously, writing a novel takes AGES. When you’re writing and rewriting and dealing with copyedits and proofs and all the rest of it you start to think that it will NEVER end. You become convinced that the book will never be read by anyone but you and the people who HAVE to read it as part of their job.1 And when other people do read it they will just lecture you about serial commas and plot discontinuities. And that all the smarty-pants, I’m-so-clever stuff will only be noticed by your mum. So reviews (and letters and comments from readers) like this make everything seem worth it. I am not alone! My novel exists beyond me and some people think it makes sense! Hallelujah!
Further to the last post: I may have given the impression that I am against reviews or think less of reviewers. Au contraire! See above paragraph. Writing a smart review is one of the hardest things to write in the world.
Posted by Justine at 16:45, 31 July 2008 under Fans & readers, How To Ditch Your Fairy, Praising, Reading, Young Adult literature | 3 Comments »
Yeah, it is pretty awesome to read reviews that aren’t the same as every other review (You know, “Yeah, it was funny and reminded me of this one time…blablabla.”) But writing reviews can be tiring and hard too, especially the ones for the really good books. It’s hard to put how amazing the books is into words and make people want to buy it y’know?
July 31st, 2008 at 7:17 PM
I love Reading Rants. Jennifer’s such a smart, funny reviewer.
I feel kind of shady for reading HTDYF and not telling you how much I enjoyed it. So I’ll do that now. I really, truly liked it. In fact, I read it in one sitting, which gave me a headache, since I refuse to wear my contacts. But it was worth it. I reviewed it on my blog somewhere…(http://www.thepageflipper.com/index.htm?blogentryid=3732316)
And I agree with Bloomsbury on the YA/MG thing. Unfortunately. I’m 16 and I personally love MG as well as YA, but I know a ton of teens who don’t like to read below their age group. They’re missing out!
July 31st, 2008 at 7:53 PM
Ok, I’m a bit confused. When you talk about a “reviewer” who are you referring to? I always thought of reviewers as people who wrote regular columns criticizing art (literature, film, stage, whatever). People who write in a review about a book they’ve read freelance, or publish it in a non-standard way (blogs) should get another title I suppose. I’ve had terrible experiences with the former type, but usually good experiences with the latter.
And I agree with the slight stigma of reading “below” your age group. I get a lot of weird looks when I’m hunting for books in the YA section instead of the “regular” science fiction / fantasy sections (I’m an OA, OLD Adult ).
August 2nd, 2008 at 12:52 AM
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