One of my favorite things about Thrillerfest was the point in the banquet when an award was given for the worst review of the year. Copy from each of the finalists’ hideous reviews was read, each progressively more bizarre, ranting and childish than the last. There were cheers, enthusiastic clapping and a trophe was given to the author who’d attracted the nuttiest, most personally insulting commentary on one of their releases. It was freeing. Inspiring. It was a bonding moment as we embraced the reality that some critics live to breach the line between reacting to a novel as a reader and calling attention to their own story as a frustrated human being who delights in publicly tearing apart other people’s creations (and often other people themselves).
My mission once I settled back home and got my life in order after being gone for the better part of two weeks, was to find my absolute worst review ever and own it out here on the blog. It was clear from my Thrillerfest experience that readers and writers alike would enjoy the exercise, and I’ve developed a new-found appreciation for how empowering it can be to study someone else’s exercise in showing the worst of himself while pointing a finger what he’s decided is the worst of you.
And thus, I give you this review of my first Atlanta Heroes novel, Because of a Boy:
This from a man (I’m assuming there’s a Y chromosome at work somewhere within this person’s DNA, after reading his list of “real” books and the copy from several more of his reviews) who freely admits having no understanding of romance in general, or category romance itself as a sub-genre targeted to a very a specific but loyal audience that purchases millions of books a year. A man who can’t express himself without dropping the f*** bomb every other sentence, but possesses a childish glee in mimicking other’s words at every turn (not just mine–read some of the other “romance” reviews and you’ll see I’m not his only kicking post, just his favorite), calling phrases his curse-riddled mind doesn’t understand “cliche,” as if anyone who does find the writing appealing should head straight back to elementary school to re-learn basic grammar (and, I’m assuming, the merits of substituting four-letter words for symbolism and metaphor).
Here are some of my favorites parts of his rant: (more…)