My question remains: “How does NaNoWriMo apply to this?”

Oh, boy. Oh, boy. Oh, boy!

When I made my sorta-kinda resolution to get back into book blogging/reviewing, I may have forgotten that people don’t always take negative criticism well. As of this morning I am fully reminded.

A little over a week ago I posted a review of Crimson Rose. Frankly, I didn’t much like it. Initially on Goodreads I’d given it a two-star rating, but after thinking more about it I realized that the complaints I had with the book easily would have left me not even bothering to rate the book. Heck, I probably wouldn’t have finished it if I weren’t inexplicably drawn to the soap opera slash train wreck narrative. So, after a day or so I dropped a star. I didn’t edit a word of the review. Not a word. I never do with reviews, except when I notice a typo because I’m super anal like that.

This morning I receive a message from the author, R. Malone, with the subject line of “Fuck You, Jealous BITCH”. [ETA #4: Message removed by demand of author on grounds of copyright infringement.] The message itself is filled with profanity. After she inquires about my removal of the star and notes the disappearance of a comment I posted where I affirm some interest in reading the potential sequel based on the excerpts she has posted, she then begins to attack me. She states: “I’m finished putting up with jealous bitches like you, Cyndy. I guess if this first book goes to shit thanks to bitches like YOU, that’s perfectly fine. I don’t give a fuck anymore, I really, really don’t.” She ends the note by boasting that my negativity has done absolutely no harm to her book’s sales.

I’ll give her props for two things: (1.) She spelled my name right! (2.) She’s got guts. Though, possibly not so much sense. Especially if she thinks something like that is going to stay private with an avid blogger.

[ETA: I forgot to address the comment deletion. (Though, I did reply in the Goodreads review thread.) I didn’t delete them, whether the author chooses to believe this or not. I noted that much of my activity on Goodreads has been having some issues — including missing comments, unregistered votes, my missing wishlist on Bookswap, and supposedly receiving a book that was sent to Little Rock, AR — and that I’ve been in contact with Support about these issues. (Their last reply was to tell me they’re “researching the issues.”)]

Of course, that wasn’t nearly enough; she also left a comment on my profile and started attacking me on the review at Goodreads. [ETA #3: Her comments have since been deleted/edited by her. (Though, not before I flagged them for being slanderous and inappropriate.)] Apparently she reported the review. But I’m still very confused how my participation in NaNoWriMo for the last decade has any relevance to my disliking a book. Especially when I was pretty darn tactful. I could have easily ripped it to shreds in the review — I’ve done it before — but I actually didn’t want to. I mean, I didn’t hate the book. And let’s be honest, I knew she was going to read it and I didn’t want to start a, well, exactly this.

Does it make me a bad person that I’m laughing at the lack of maturity here?

ETA #2: Ah, she did finally answer my question about the Nano reference. Apparently, she’s under the impression that I feel I could write a better book, but since I’m obviously unpublished11 my critique is hardly relevant. I didn’t realize that my status as a reader was hindered because I don’t have my name in a fancy font on a book cover. Go figure.

Edit the Last: As of 5:00 p.m., I am shutting off comments to this post and ceasing any further response. I received a reply from Goodreads regarding the flagging of the original comments on the review there. They have deleted her comment from my profile and sent her a warning. Thanks everyone for your support. Let’s all move on, please.

  1. I’m guessing my inclusion in sociology journals doesn’t count. After all, those were just academic papers, right?

Comments

  1. Aww, come now Cyndy. There’s no need to post something private on your public blog.

    Yes, I knew you’d post that here. I did delete my worst comments on goodreads.com, but at least I admitted it. :)

    I think it’s fine that you hated my book. The thing was, and still is, is that you gave it two stars almost two weeks ago. It took you that long to decide you actually hated it? And wanted to give it one star instead? Come on, this isn’t rocket science. Either you hate it or you don’t. I’ll post your blog post on my website as well. After all, two can play at this little game. I’ve also submitted your BS review to a website called–well, never mind. You’ll find out when it’s on there. :D

    Robin

    • Since you’ve now deleted and/or edited the comments, I feel a need to set the record straight. It was you that made this public by posting pure vitriol, though slightly less profane comments on the review. And rather than politely ask me to remove the message, your first act was to report copyright infringement.

  2. I don’t see what the big deal is about changing your star review on a book – I do it often. I usually rate a book once I finish reading it and then, after a week or sometimes more, I think back on the book and sometimes find I loved it more (often because it’s stuck with me) or I find it wasn’t very memorable.

    Surely this wouldn’t have been an issue if you changed your review to INCREASE your star rating.

    Some people.

    • If I’m to understand her meaning through all the hostility, Ms. Malone seems to feel that this altered star rating could greatly affect her sales.

      What bewilders me is that I don’t understand what her purpose is in attacking me for changing the star rating. Am I supposed to be convinced to change it back? I justified my reasons several times and she quote “called BS” because “either you hate it or you don’t” and apparently never should you waver from this.

      I never knew a single star held so much power. Because, to be quite honest, when I look at reviews — I actually look at what the person WROTE. There are lots of 5 star books out there I have no desire to read.

  3. Hey again, Cyndy!

    Here’s my post on my website, which gets around 100 visits per week. I’ve quoted most of your diatribe, with my own comments in the brackets or parentheses.

    Crimson Rose Comments/Review by Cyndy Otty

    “A little over a week ago, I posted a review of Crimson Rose. Frankly, I didn’t much like it (although her review stated that the ‘premise was interesting, Malone’s crafted world manages to put a surprisingly fresh spin on a mythos that’s been explored by countless others. Her characters are, for the most part, full of wonder and spark much interest in the reader. The story itself is especially intoxicating. Malone truly does have a talent for building a complex and engaging story and has certainly created a unique enough world to capture the interest of a paranormal/urban fantasy fan. I found myself deeply invested in the story and truly curious to see how the events would unfold’). Initially on goodreads (and Amazon.com) I’d given it a two-star rating but after thinking more about it I realized the complaints I had easily would have left me not even bothering to rate the book (huh?). Heck, I probably wouldn’t have finished it if I weren’t inexplicably drawn to the soap opera/train wreck narrative. So, after a day or so (TWO weeks this Wednesday) I decided to drop a star. I didn’t edit a word of the review. Not a word. I never do with reviews, except when I notice a typo because I’m super anal like that.”

    After Cyndy changed her review to one star on both GR and Amazon, I wrote her a scathing message. She took this private message and promptly displayed it on her blog, with goes against the host’s Terms of Service. I know, I read the TOS. And reported it.

    Here’s some more of Cyndy’s thoughts:
    “I’ll give her props for two things. 1.) She spelled my name right! 2.) She’s got guts. Though, possibly not so much sense. Especially if she thinks something like that will stay private with an avid blogger (And goes against the TOS agreement).

    I forgot to address the comment deletion. I didn’t delete them, whether the author chooses to believe this or not. I noted that much of my activity on goodreads has been having some issues–including missing comments, unregistered votes, my missing wishlist on Bookswap, and supposedly receiving a book that was sent to Little Rock, AR–and that I’ve been in contact with support about these issues.

    Of couse, that wasn’t nearly enough; she also left a comment on my profile (Cyndy inserted the link here) and started attacking me on the review at GR.

    Does it make me a bad person that I’m laughing at the lack of maturity here?”

    R. Malone’s note: I’ve left out some of her comments, as her diatribe became utterly redundant.

  4. Wow, 100 hits a week! That’s awesome: it’s great publicity for Cyndy’s blog!

  5. You posted a negative review and the author personally responded with this much vitriol? Negative reviews are part of published work. Your review wasn’t personal, and she shouldn’t have taken it personally. Even when one is personally wounded by a review, the proper response is to take a deep breath, consider whether the criticism has merit and if so what can be learned from it, and then move on. Perhaps this is her first published work, so her skin hasn’t thickened up yet. I’d really recommend working on that; it’ll be of huge benefit in the long run.

    Having said that, I wouldn’t be wild about finding a personal message put out for the entire world to see. I guess this is also a lesson about remembering that on the internet, the personal can become global in the blink of an eye. Best to use the same manners in e-mail that one would use face to face.

    • I deleted the previous comment as it’s no longer applicable; the PM is respectfully no longer posted. However, the point of the comment remains: privacy doesn’t really exist on the Internet.

      I didn’t bother to respond to the rest of your comment before about my initial review, but I completely agree and I appreciate your analysis of the review itself. I try to be objective when I write reviews and I certainly would never judge an author as a person based on their work or bring them personally into the review. That’s hardly the point of reviewing. The content of my review has remained exactly the same since it was originally posted on 2/9/10 and that should be the crux of this. I never wavered in my opinion of the book — I removed a single star. I don’t understand the need to personally attack me and then later accuse me of being the attacker! Moreover, I certainly am entitled to have an altered opinion. It’s an opinion after all.

  6. Yeah!! Isn’t that awesome Rebecca???

    Sheesh.

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