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Posts Tagged ‘book reviews’

  1. Eagar’s powerful debut, HOUR OF THE BEES

    March 8, 2016 by Kiersi

    Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eagar


    Author: Lindsay Eagar

    Category & Genre: Middle-grade Magical Realism

    Publish date: March 8, 2016

    Blurb: Carol has to spend her summer on her grandfather’s ranch—when strange things start happening.

    Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ out of 5

    Carolina didn’t know quite what she was getting into when she went with her parents, sister, and brother down to her Grandpa Serge’s sheep ranch. Carol’s skipping out on a whole summer full of having fun with her friends just to help her parents clean out the house, and move the obstinate Serge into a home. Worse, her dad—who spent the last twelve years estranged from his own father—is putting the place up for sale against Grandpa Serge’s will. (more…)

  2. Author Divas Censor Book Reviewers

    May 2, 2013 by Kiersi

    What is going on with authors this past week? It’s like spring came and the divas of the book world woke up from hibernation in full-attack mode. Remember that part where you wrote a book and then put it out there in the world? Where did it become okay to attack readers for writing honest reviews about them?

    Let’s start at the beginning, where a reviewer I follow on Goodreads posted her honest review of a vampire novel. (I’m already getting No Remorse flashbacks here, shudder.) She received a free copy of the book in exchange for her honest review. That should be where this story ends. I mean, I don’t even know why I have to go on here.

    Instead of backing away and leaving it at that, the author of said vampire novel, P. J. Dominicis, wrote an email to her “literary idol” Anne Rice, asking for… I’m not sure what, actually. Emotional support, I guess? That doesn’t really bother me much; authors are people too, and reading a negative review can be a trying experience. (Though, if I were to give any advice here, it’s just… don’t read them, bro, and spare yourself the experience.) (more…)

  3. Meyer’s The Host a clean break from Twilight

    December 15, 2012 by Kiersi

    The Host, by Stephenie Meyer

    The Host, by Stephenie Meyer

    This book gets: ♥♥♥♥♥ out of 5

    The Host, by Stephenie Meyer – “Wait, wait, Kiersi is reviewing a Stephenie Meyer book, favorably?” You might ask, disbelieving. You might wonder, having seen my tweets about the disgusting co-dependent, abusive relationships glorified in Twilight, or about how Bella’s story is ultimately a tragedy, how this might come to be. What has happened to this predictable reviewer? What has been done with her?

    But I can assure you I am cognizant, that I have not been invaded by a very kind, reasonable alien, and my eyes are still a perfectly normal (perhaps not) shade of dark brown. And I can also assure you that The Host is a great book. (more…)

  4. Why Self-pub Authors Need to Stop Whining

    September 13, 2012 by Kiersi

    I really like author and blogger Noah Murphy. I’d like to think we’ve had a good relationship on Twitter. I’m excited about his upcoming book, Ethereal Girls. But I’m growing pretty tired of self-published and indie authors whining about being repressed and “kept down” by the traditional book publishing industry when that is clearly not the whole story.

    In his article, Publisher’s Weekly Review Double Standard, Murphy accuses book periodical Publisher’s Weekly of extorting self-published authors. As you probably already know, Publisher’s Weekly reviews traditionally-published books for their book review section. But they also have PW Select, which reviews self-published and indie-published books. The catch? The regular PW only takes submissions for books published by a publishing house, and it’s free to submit; however, PW Select charges a fee for your submission.

    Murphy writes:

    To Publisher’s Weekly, we’re not real authors – worthy of consideration for free – because we’re not part of the club. We decided to go outside the system and therefore we should be punished for that by extorting us. We have to pay to even be considered worthy of a review. This is the major way traditional publishing can keep us down because otherwise they’re quaking in their boots. (more…)

  5. Of Plagues and Monarchy: Book Round-up

    September 9, 2012 by Kiersi

    The summer flew by so fast it might as well have been Mitt Romney’s chances of winning the election. Instead of spending an entire post discussing each of these books, I decided to do a Book Round-up and just give you a brief opinion blurb on each.

    One thing I’m seeing in YA, and especially dystopian YA, is an almost fetishistic obsession with monarchy. Whether it’s Elder in Across the Universe (who is, essentially, a prince), or the mad queen in The Pledge (oh, wait, there’s also a mad queen in Cinder), monarchy seems to be in with teen fiction.

    Frankly, it disturbs me a little. There’s a worrisome two-dimensionality in the love interest that is good-looking and infallable, but also ridiculously wealthy and powerful to boot. I want more books about ordinary people becoming great, not about people born into power and wealth with whom I have nothing in common.

    But perhaps I am reading too much into it.

    Across the Universe, by Beth Revis (book cover)

    Across the Universe, by Beth Revis

    This book gets: ♥♥♥♥ out of 5

    Across the Universe, Beth Revis – This is a book that starts out unbelievably strong and immediately afterward makes some serious stumbles. The premise is surprising and creative, the writing is brilliant, but the romance is without any chemistry. Though it takes a while for Revis to get into her stride, Across the Universe is still a solid read. It gets extra points for being honest-to-goodness sci-fi, and for actually taking place in space. (more…)

  6. A Lesson for All Authors

    June 1, 2012 by Kiersi

    Kiera Cass's agent Elana Roth, calling a reviewer a "bitch"

    Kiera Cass's agent Elana Roth, calling a reviewer of Cass's book a "bitch" on Twitter

    As a reviewer, I’ve experienced an author’s wrath first-hand. In my particular case, my negative book review spectacle was more fueled by said author’s rabid pack of fans than by the author herself–later incendiary comments on Goodreads by someone named “Marilyn” even accused all of us who wrote negative reviews about the book of “colluding to ruin this good woman’s reputation.”

    Regardless of that hilariously absurd allegation, the whole situation got me to thinking in broader terms about the blogosphere and the ramifications of its naturally low barrier to entry. To set up a blog these days, all you need to do is visit a site like or Blogger and create an account. Pick a theme, add some content, and you’re up and ready to post some book reviews. Social media networks such as Goodreads lower the barrier even further, so anyone with a computer can sign on and review a book.

    By the same token, authors use these platforms to great success. Kiera Cass (who I will talk about more in a moment) keeps an online journal where she talks about book releases, signings, and more. I recently added a book to my Goodreads’ “to read” list after reading a fabulous blog post by that book’s author. I’ve built relationships with other debut YA authors on Twitter over things like cover reveals and critique partners. Social media–including my Twitter, my Facebook, and my blog–have all done a lot of my marketing for me, because I simply enjoy using these mediums to talk about my passion. (Which means I am always working, and by the same token, never working.)

    My friend Abi over at A Hunger to Learn pointed me to a much larger-scale debacle than my indie-pub incident. This controversy stars Kiera Cass, New York Times best-selling author of The Selection (to which I gave a panning review here), and a high-profile blogger-slash-book reviewer who goes by Wendy Darling. (more…)

  7. The Craft of Book Reviewing

    April 13, 2012 by Kiersi

    A couple of weeks ago, I signed up to review a new book as part of a blog tour. I did it for two reasons: 1) I love free books, and ARCs count (even if the ARC is distributed digitally), and 2) I’m always up for helping and promoting new and indie authors. There are some real gems out there and I’d like to help them get noticed.

    If you’ve read my blog before, you’ll probably notice I’m not a pushover when it comes to giving my honest opinion about a book, especially one that’s been mass-marketed or published by one of the Big Six. I don’t derive any gratification from giving a negative review to a popular book, and it certainly doesn’t endear me to my audience, as someone recently pointed out on Twitter. And yet, I gave Lisa McMann’s The Unwanteds a one-star review because it just really rubbed me the wrong way. I simply can’t help myself–when I don’t like a book, I really don’t like it. When I love it?

    I’ll be the best cheerleader an author could ask for. (more…)