…And the reviews are in!
Well, actually they’re not.
But one very important review is in! Let me tell you about it…
So, a couple of weeks ago a woman I had never met came into my coffee shop. She was carrying a book and, like I always do, I asked her what it was. We struck up a conversation in which I told her about my book.
“I have a daughter who’s an avid reader,” she said. “If you’d like her to read your book, I’m sure she’d love to give you some feedback.”
“That’s ok,” I dismissed her. “I work with a lot of kids, many of whom love to read. But thanks for the offer!”
As she went to her seat with her coffee, I started to feel bad. I shouldn’t just dismiss people like that! They obviously love their kids and think they’re the best. Plus, it never hurts to find out what books avid teen readers are reading nowadays. So I approached her table.
“What does your daughter like to read?” I asked, and the conversation took off.
In a few minutes I learned that, among other things, this girl had read The Hunger Games 3 years ago, when it first came out, and told her mom, “Mom! This is like a Japanese book that’s not published here in the US!” Um… yeah. Basically, this girl knows her stuff. And she didn’t owe me anything- she had no motive to lie for the sake of my happiness, unlike my students. So I gave her mom the manuscript, right then and there.
That night, I e-mailed a couple of questions, along with strict instructions to be honest! And tell me flat-out anything she doesn’t like!
Yesterday, I got it back…
And she loved it.
An impressive two-page letter told me exactly what she liked about my book. She compared it to X-men (“it came across as a clever call back and wasn’t too blatant; in fact, I really liked it!”), loved the villain, and praised the writing (“The vocabulary was good and solid, but never too advanced or too simple.”).
The plot was also a plus: “The climax and conclusion were awesome and played out well.” And she wants to read more! “I was satisfied with the ending but would look forward to the next books.”
Another quote: “Overall: I really liked Bleeder: The characters were distinct and memorable (like I said, I really liked the villain!) the climax was exciting and had good twists.”
And finally, the optimism every author wants to hear, “I can’t wait to see your book on the shelves!”
Thanks, Hannah! I can’t wait either!