We might take a vacation from the blog in December but we certainly don’t miss out on all the YA lit drama. And this winter, the big event was from an author bashing reviewers. Who could forget the horror story that was Kathleen Hale hunting down an anonymous reviewer for giving her one star on GoodReads which sparked outrage about author/reviewer etiquette? The answer is Yvonthia Leland.
First, let’s talk about how this drama didn’t start in December. The earliest reviews for The Wrythe and the Reckoning happened in January. A whole year ago at this point! The reviews all say the same things:
- moves slow
- little to no character insight
It’s the uneventful part that really bothers Miss Leland. In her post The Wrythe And The Reckoning Book Review: In Response To “Nothing Happens” she basically throws a temper tantrum and accuses one particular reviewer (and then later all negative reviewers), of not reading the book, citing the reviewer as saying she skimmed most of the book.
She then claims that ARCs (advance reader/reviewer copy) are not final versions of the book. This is only partially true as an ARC should be as close to the final version as possible and not 1/3 of the book as she claims to have posted.
What tipped me off especially was the reviewer making statements that implied when the characters get to ________________ (a certain location) nothing happens. Ha! Excuse me? Any reader who has read The Wrythe and the Reckoning knows that when they get to that location a lot happens. It’s the main setting of the story. That statement alone gave it away that the reviewer skim-read most of the book and only captured a small amount of the content. However, there was no mention of her having read only bits and pieces of the book, in actuality having read the book only briefly. But yet she reviewed the book as if she had read it in its entirety or at least most of it. It’s as though she was giving the impression that she knows it well, but she hardly knew the story at all.Yvonthia Leland
Rather than focus on the fact that her book didn’t hit home with this reviewer she chose to question whether this reviewer was qualified enough to have an opinion on her writing. As a reviewer I will say this:
I often review books I didn’t finish.
They are usually 1 and 2 star reviews and I state what made them that way and what made me put it down. While I have not been able to find the original triggering review, I’m willing to bet that this anonymous reviewer stated her reasons too.
Which brings us to another problem with Miss Leland. She attempted to discredit and police her GoodReads reviews. Many of the negative reviewers were apparently accused of either reading poorly or not reading at all. While many of her comments are gone now, they live on forever in quoted responses.
“Since when does a Booktuber or Bookstagrammer give a review when they have read only one chapter or skim-read the book. You are unprofessional, and I don’t understand why you have authority on this site when you don’t even have the courtesy to read the entire book before reviewing it.”A Since Deleted GoodReads Comment – Yvonthia Leland
But wait! There’s more!
Responses like this are all over the place and I am happy to see that many claim to have simply reported this unprofessional author, although none of this experience seems to have set in for her.
Basically, anyone with a dissenting opinion of her book is a piece of crap. While this doesn’t happen often, when it does it certainly blows up the battlefield. So here it is ultimately for both sides:
- Be Polite
- Don’t Insult The Team
- Be Honest
There is a professional way to say everything and “I love how you all treat authors like #$%^& and then act like you’re the victims” doesn’t make the cut.
Every book and every book blog has a lot of heart go into it. There is no need to be insulting.
And no one is asking you to lie about how you felt about the book or how it feels to have a good or bad review. But regardless of your feelings, refer to rule #1.
And if you find that a comment or blog post is out of line or in violation of community standards then flag it, block the account, and move on.
Perhaps the only good thing to come out of it is that I’m going to put PROUD MEMBER OF THE GOODREADS MOB on a T-shirt and never look back.
As for Miss Leland, perhaps she should take her own advice.
Q: If you could give one tip about writing, what would it be?About – Yvonthia Leland
A: To care about your audience. For writers, or any other artists or entertainers, I think caring about the audience should be at the foundation of our art.