Monday, June 9, 2014


Gak, pitooey . . . my skin is changing!

Image courtesy of [Idea Go] /

So . . . I recently received this lovely review for Sierra:

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Gak, phew, gurg, pitooey! The WORST book I've ever read!,May 19, 2014
Deborah Taylor (near the coast of Connecticut) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sierra (Kindle Edition)
Oh my freaking goodness, what on earth made me read this drivel? Is this one of those Harlequin Romance things? I have finally found a match to the horrid video we bought about an Irish Christmas. Can't say which was worse. I kept reading this to the end to see how much worse it would be. What's more astounding to me than me reading this, is that there is a market for this crap. Back to the well-written book section with me, after I wash my brain out with some Hemingway.
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My son was home from college and read the above review with me. A strange thing happened. With every word, my skin grew thicker and thicker. And we both laughed. Laughed! I never laugh at bad reviews. I usually burst into tears and feel sad for days on end, sure that I'm a complete failure. 

Instead, my son and I continued on with our huge project of painting the living room, dining room, and hallways in my home. It was quite the job. You wanna know what we said when we became frustrated or tired? 

Bet you can guess!

Gak, pitooey . . . I dripped paint!

Gak, pitooey . . . all this dust is disgusting! (the house seems so clean, until you start moving furniture around and see what is lurking in the deep, dark corners!)

Gak, pitooey . . . I'm exhausted, let's quit for the night!

You get the idea. Gak, pitooey became our catch phrase for anything upsetting or disgusting. Sometimes all you can do is laugh off the bad reviews. It's either laugh or cry. I'd rather laugh. 

I believe in freedom of speech. I believe everyone has the right to say how they feel about a book. But, please, please be kind.

I feel the above review is just plain MEAN. I believe there is a nice way to say you didn't like a book. And it doesn't involve the words, gak, pitooey. 

When you write a review, there is an actual person on the other end of cyber space who reads it--a person who (meaning me) spent a year of her life writing that book and pouring her heart and soul into that book.

Image courtesy of [stuart miles] /

I don't expect everyone to like my books, but a little kindness goes a long way.

What do you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts!


  1. I agree. People can be so crude and mean with the anonymity that comes with social media. I'm glad your skin is getting tougher to their jerkiness. I can usually pick out these when I read reviews and don't give them much credit due to their 'mean jerk attitude.' Definitely a book snob that thinks only one specific book type has any value. They're probably the same mean jerks who try to intimidate and silence others from having their own religious or political views too. Good to ignore them.

    1. Thank you for the encouraging thoughts, Charissa. Sometimes I just need to vent and have others validate my feelings, then I feel so much better! I appreciate you!

  2. Good for you! Developing a thick hide is a necessity. I went and looked at some of her other reviews, so I just don't get it. Maybe it's not her kind of thing. Not everyone will like your book, that's okay. Diversity is good. I just didn't see that kind of reaction on any of her other reviews, so I am a little puzzled. Laughter is the best medicine. ^_^

    1. So true. My beef is not that she didn't like my book. She's allowed to not like my book. Not everyone likes romance! I just felt that her review was particularly mean. I'm not okay with that. Oh well, such is the case when we have freedom of speech and I'd rather have the freedom to say what we want than the alternative! Laughing it off is the only way to survive! Thanks for the support, Sherry!

  3. Good for you! Laughter is the best medicine! There was a time when I wouldn't even leave a review if I didn't care for a book, but author-friends told me that they wanted to hear the negative reviews too. I do try to be constructive and explain why the book didn't appeal to *ME*, instead of just trashing it. That's mean and pointless, and doesn't let others know anything other than the reviewer is rude.

    1. You make some excellent points, Felicia! Thank you!
      It is very true that I have learned about mistakes I've made in my writing through constructive criticism in reviews--and even though it's tough to hear, I'm grateful for the feedback. But, you're right, there's a nice and polite way to go about it. I appreciate kind reviews, even if the reviewer didn't care for the book. I appreciate your comment as well! Thanks for stopping by!