Last week I signed up for a Goodreads account. Since I’d just finished it, I decided I’d slap up a review of The Poison Throne by Celine Kiernan so it would look like I’m planning to do stuff with my account (spoiler: I’m probably not).
I was pretty much just intending to say YAY CHRISTOPHER IS MY BOYFRIEND YAY, but then I looked at other reviews and realised that other pretend-authors review, like, themes and crap. So I figured I’d better balance it out by commenting on something I liked less (excessive use of the word ‘darling’; over-protective actions of multiple males towards perfectly self-sufficient and kick-ass heroine, thus undermining her self-sufficiency and ass-kickery) + YAY CHRISTOPHER IS MY BOYFRIEND YAY (because he is. And you can’t have him. So there).
I felt kind of nervous doing so, but I didn’t want the other kids on Goodreads to think I was totally shallow (YAY CHRISTOPHER YAY) and vapid (BOYFRIEND! BOYFRIEND BOYFRIEND YAY!)… so that’s how that went. And then, because this is how life works, THE AUTHOR COMMENTED ON MY REVIEW. And I was crippled with guilt for saying something less-than-complimentary about her beautiful word-world just because I wanted to look cooler than I am (CALL ME, CHRISTOPHER!), and I felt bad for days. DAYS.
And then I was NEVER GOING TO DO THAT AGAIN.
But then I read the SEQUEL.
And God, guys, I have THOUGHTS. Like, real ones this time. Not just about how Christopher is super hot and NEEDS TO BE MY BOYFRIEND and how his damaged hands that keep him from his MUSIC make me want to… wait, yeesh, has my mother found this yet? (I doubt it, or she would have called me about all the KFC this blog consumes.)
Rarely have I wrestled so with a book. Partly this may be because I read a climactic chapter while soddenly drunk and eating frozen burger patties in bed, I’ll admit, but I think I have all sorts of thoughts about dropped threads and un-unpacked ideas (WHERE DID THE CATS GO? I LIKED the cats! Also WAIT WOLF WHAT WHERE? Machine who what?)… but I also LOVED it. It’s dense and chewy and everyone has valid motivations for their actions and I thought the various races and relationships were extremely well-handled, and I enjoyed all of it very much… but I often understood very little of what was happening in the wider sense. Partly because Wynter, the narrator, was kept in the dark so often that at points it felt like everyone else in the story knew more than she did (and could do more about it), and partly because topics or themes or HUGE REVELATIONS seemed to appear and then sink without trace pages later, never to return… and partly because sometimes I was VERY DRUNK.
BUT I REALLY DID LOVE IT.
But I have learned my lesson, so my thoughts will die here with me. And you. And the world wide webosphere.
I have more on reviews for another time, re: reviewers on Amazon who make me cry and rage when they mark down YA books for nothing other than dodgy language or sexual content. I was tootling about wish-listing (I’m all up in technology lately, right?) Wake by Lisa McMann, which I am v. excited to get my peepers on in the near future, and I noticed that she has a whole slew of one star reviews, many for no other reason than because there’s a homosexual situation and bad language in her book. For teens. Teenagers. People of a teen age.
I have multiple problems with this, not the least of which is persecuting an author and her work for nothing other than affronting delicate sensibilities. I can understand parents wanting to protect their children from mature content, in which case DO NOT GIVE THEM THE BOOK! But posting a review flagging the writer and her work as terrible to all of planet internet just because you disagree with her word choices? Or because there are GAY CHARACTERS?
Christopher would flip you off. Er, you know — if he COULD.
But this is not another time, so!
(My mother would also tell me to stop being so opinionated in public. And I would agree with her, but be unable to help myself. Such is my curse.)