My reviews from readers can be found at Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.com. Some have been five or four stars with some positive comments. Some are three or two stars with no comments, and I can deal with that. But when I receive one star and the comment,"Meh," it makes me wonder if this person even read the book. The Last Girl was intended for YA readers, but I know there are teen readers who are far more eloquent writers and reviewers. As a teen, all I was ever told to write were book reports. I didn't write anything like a critique until I was in college. My work has never been reviewed by a major publication, but I appreciate my book-page reviews, but I am honest enough to admit that negative reviews screw with my head.
It seems silly. I'll be forty years old in August, but the thoughtless remarks from a teen-or maybe younger or older-reviewer still bothers me, because I know how much work I put into my writing. I also deal with promotion, spending a lot of time on Facebook and Twitter. But none of this should concern the reader; they should just read the book. I want to know what they think. The author has offered the story as a gift, and not all gifts are appreciated at face value. When I read a book, I go into it with a pure heart. I really want to like it, especially if I have paid for it. But I don't always go with the hype; for instance, just because everyone else is reading Fifty Shades of Gray doesn't mean I'm going to drop my hard-earned K-Mart dollars on it. I read the summary, and the book doesn't appeal to me personally. However, a reader can simply stumble over a book and love it. The reader is looking for a leisure experience, not stressing over writing anything afterwards. Kind of like how I felt after finishing college as an English major. Yay! No more essays! But have the young readers been given too much power, in terms of sales and reviews? I think the answer is yes, but everyone goes where the money is, which sometimes means pandering to people you would never take seriously while working at K-Mart. Or next to you behind the register at McDonald's. People between the ages of twelve and twenty-three are not always known for a sharp sense of discernment, but neither are most adults. We never really know what we want until we already have it, then we want something else; so is the case with readers and writers. For the writer, whatever bad review you receive for one book or story could very well even out when you receive a good review for the next book or story. For the reader, one is bound to bump into a book or plot they don't like, but another reader might love it.
The ego of the creative person is sometimes ridiculous, even to themselves. A negative or stupid review seems to hurt my feelings more than when a customer or co-worker at K-Mart is rude to me, and the answer why is simple-when my shift ends at the store, I go home; however, I can spend two years or more working on a book. Writing is where my dreams are, and what I love can't be stored in Layaway. :)