Oh, Goodreads . . .

If I were a Sensible YA Author, I’d stay well away from Goodreads reviews of my books. After all, reviews aren’t for authors; they’re for readers. Of course, I’m not a Sensible YA Author (if I was, I’d be writing about zombie mermaids, not 1930s politics), so I do occasionally visit Goodreads, where I get to read one-star reviews like this [warnings for plot spoilers and homophobia]:

“The story was interesting and engaging until the end when the author suggests the boys are lovers. WHY? For a young adult book–or any for that matter? Too bad Ms Cooper ruined the book.”

That was the entire review – and that’s a very polite, positive and coherent review, compared to some of them.

But then, there are also Goodreads reviews that are critical, yet thoughtful and entertaining, such as this one of A Brief History of Montmaray, which begins:

“Michelle Cooper is the Quentin Tarantino of young adult novels.”

Um . . . what? It turns out the reviewer isn’t referring to the gory murders in the book, but to Tarantino’s habit of wearing his influences on his sleeve. The review consists largely of complaints about the characters and the plot, but it’s smart and passionate and, most importantly, uses LOLcats to illustrate its points. I loved it.

Then the same reviewer tackles The FitzOsbornes in Exile:

“Dear sir or friend,
I am a princess in exile. My family cannot access our funds unless you, a kind American, will launder money through your bank account and send letterhead, bank statements and personal documents. Thank you for helping.

the FitzOsbournes

I don’t know why they didn’t just send out a letter like this, if they needed money so bad . . .”

The review goes on to compare the plot of The FitzOsbornes in Exile to that of the recent X-Men film, and regards Simon as the Clark Gable of Montmaray. It’s absolutely hilarious. Thank you, Mariel, you made my day. Well, my morning, at least. Or part of my morning.

Now, to slightly more serious matters. Here is my blog’s Spam of the Month:

“Dude, you should be a writer. Your article is really interesting. You should do it for a living.”

Okay then, I will! Unfortunately, I’m finding ‘writing for a living’ a bit busy at the moment, so my poor blog has been neglected this month. However, in a few weeks, I will (hopefully) have handed over the manuscript of Montmaray Three (currently known as The NeverEnding Story) to my long-suffering and infinitely patient editor. Then I’ll return to my irregular – but slightly more frequent – blog posting.

In the meantime, just talk quietly amongst yourselves.

6 thoughts on “Oh, Goodreads . . .”

  1. Hi Michelle 🙂
    I bought A Brief History and Exile for my daughter for her 13th birthday. She loved them! I’m now reading them and loving them also. When does the third book of the trilogy come out, we are dying to get it!

    1. Hi, Fiona and Fiona’s daughter, and thanks for your lovely comments! I am madly typing the final chapters of Montmaray Three right now! The book will be out sometime next year in Australia. I don’t know exactly when, but I promise I’ll put up a blog post with the news as soon as I do know!

  2. I’m a bit late in responding to your post, but I was pleasantly surprised this morning to discover your second Montmaray book is out…I’m late with that too. When I read your post above, I quickly ran over to my Goodreads account to see if I’d reviewed A Brief History of Montmaray. I wanted to be sure I hadn’t said anything negative, you never know in the heat of the moment if I won’t think and type something silly. I didn’t even review the book (phew), but I did love it. I don’t know if you or all authors for that matter, appreciate comparisons, but you quite remind me of Dodie Smith’s writing, only better. Coming from me that is something because when people walk into my bookstore and ask for my favorite book, I usually walk right over to I Capture the Castle and demand they read it. Looks as though I’ll be adding a new title to force upon my customers. 🙂 I wish as a book buyer, we had access to whichever covers we preferred because I like the Australian covers the best (I live in the US). Have a great day!

    1. Hello, Madelyne, and thanks for your kind comments! And I heartily approve of you forcing my books (and Dodie Smith’s) on your customers!

      But I really don’t mind critical reviews on Goodreads – it’s a place where people who love books can talk about what they’re reading, and they’re not going to love everything they read. I only get cross when the reviews are blatantly homophobic, and even then, I’d never confront the reviewer. (I just whinge about it on my blog.) People have a right to express their opinions, even if I don’t agree with them.

      The Australian Montmaray covers are lovely, aren’t they? But I adore the US cover of The FitzOsbornes in Exile – so glamorous!

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