We authors have a complicated relationship with online reviews. Mostly, I love them. For a relatively unknown writer, nothing is more helpful in persuading new readers to give me a try, than endorsements from others. I’ve been lucky so far that the majority of my reviews have been extremely positive.
Much has been written, of course, about the pain of negative reviews, especially when the author feels something is downright inaccurate. However, we have been warned emphatically by Goodreads and other platforms not to respond to these. (Here’s a fascinating account of Emily Giffin failing to heed this advice.) That said, I feel strongly that a constructive critical review is hugely useful to other readers. We can’t all like the same stuff: one person’s sappy tedium may be another’s sweet escapism. When I’m shopping for books, hotels, or anything else, the informative negative reviews are just as important as the praise.
But there’s a third type of review that I want to highlight today: the funny kind. Sometimes, the reviewer is skilled and witty in their opinion of the book. Sometimes, they’re a little confused. And sometimes, the review is so bizarre, there’s nothing to do but laugh. Here are three I’ll never forget:
- “This is a very cute story… I like stories that occur in Ireland.”
I’m so glad you liked it, but Saffron Sweeting is actually in England. It’s about 300 miles, with a sea crossing, from there to Dublin. They use a different currency, too.
- “This is a book showing watercolor paintings of teacups/saucers.”
Oh dear. Lots of tea is, indeed, consumed in my novels, but there are no paintings at all, let alone of teacups. I think perhaps the reviewer was confused with the book shown above?
- “Dandelion juice. Do you have a recipe for it? Would it taste better with tequila or vodka?”
Should I consider adding a disclaimer to my books that I can’t take responsibility for inadvertent poisoning? Dandelion and burdock is a traditional English soft drink, with a strong, somewhat medicinal taste. There’s a recipe here but for first-timers, you might want to buy some instead.
Funny or not, I’m grateful for every single review. Short, long or in between, I love to know what readers think! If you’ve read anything longer than a bus schedule recently, please do go online and tell others your reaction.
Big thanks to Julie Valerie for hosting her monthly Fiction Writers Blog Hop. To return, click here.
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