I try to feel hopeful when I find a new review of my work online, but cautiously hopeful. It is only one person’s opinion, right? I read books every week that I don’t absolutely love. School Library Journal (SLJ) is a big US review agency, so having a book reviewed in SLJ is good publicity. So, when I found a SLJ review of Rocket Man, I read it slowly. But what’s this? Bob O’Neill? My protagonist is Bob Prescott. Maybe the reviewer, from Fairfax Virginia, was writing to a deadline. She felt the basketball and net on the cover was misleading as the book isn’t really about basketball – I beg to differ, although the book is, of course, about more than the sport of basketball. And I still haven’t figured out this bit:
The book’s brevity (of) pages may appeal to reluctant readers,although the dialogue has a distinct after-school special feel.
Overall, the reviewer did a fine job of summarizing the book, and it’s an okay review.
But then, on Google Books, I came upon this review, for The Power of Harmony:
i love this book! although at times its sad its always got me on the edge of my seat making me want to finish the book in one sitting. The power of harmony makes you smile tear up and want to go find the people in the book in real life and either hug them beat the up or help them. this booked is filled with emotions as sadness but at the same time happiness. I wasn’t sure that Jan Coates would be a good author but after reading this book i Know for a fact she is. XOXO providence
So whoever you are, providence – this grateful writer thanks you for the hugs and kisses, for taking the time to review my book, and reminding me why it is I write.
What do you think – reviews, the good, bad and ugly? Helpful, hurtful? All of the above?