Thursday, June 24, 2010

YA is funny sometimes...

This is pretty much a post expressing thoughts on the feedback I've gotten from The Dark Divine... As always, these are just my views, arbitrary as they may be.

I've seen it here on this blog and I've also seen it on my goodreads and on other reviews, and now I've talked to 2 people in real life who have echoed this - but apparently The Dark Divine has received negative/mixed reviews. In my own snide mind, I can just take a wild guess as to why. And it just makes me shake my head and want to post my TDD review over and over again, if only to get the word out. Despite what it may seem, I do not like writing negative reviews, so it makes me giddy with glee to write positive ones. And lately, I've had the chance to do that a lot (Sabriel, TDD, Eyes Like Stars, Wildwood Dancing).
So now I come to my obvious thesis: YA is funny sometimes. It really is. It is completely beyond me that a book like The Dark Divine would get mixed and negative reviews. I really, REALLY do not see it. Yet other books like Hush Hush, The Iron King, Tithe and Bleeding Violet (to name a few) generally get glowing reviews, which read more like endorsements. It's just funny sometimes. Seriously, I would find the opposite true. Have you ever felt like you were in the minority on a certain book? On a more lighthearted side, I get that a lot with Twilight, haha! Somebody actually said to me on goodreads "I bet you're one of those Twilight fans" as if that was some kind of pejorative.

I love YA, it's definitely (along with MG) the main genre that I read, but it sure can be funny sometimes. I think it's funny the types of things that readers will let an author get away with in a book, or the things they don't mind reading, and the things that readers on the other hand don't like. Like I said, I must be missing out on something obvious, but I cannot think of anything that would warrant such negative reviews for TDD.
To each her own, I guess, but I just wanted to do a little pro-TDD post again and pose the question, because it sure seems awkward sometimes to feel like somehow you're missing or not getting something. Hmmm!

11 shout-outs!:

Natalie said...

I think I definitely get what you're saying here. While I really liked The Iron King (Hush, Hush and Tithe were only ok, and I haven't read Bleeding Violet), all of those books you listed DO seem to be getting a lot of glowing reviews. And yes, I've definitely felt like I was a minority on a certain book. For example, I recently read and reviewed The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting, a book that most people have raved about, but I didn't care for it all that much, so I definitely felt like the only one with that opinion there!

Concerning The Dark Divine: You hinted at it, (and if I'm thinking the same thing you are,) I think you have a point. I think the Christian aspect of the novel is probably a big reason why some people didn't like it (and it could also be a reason why some people loved it). For me, I didn't feel like the book was Christian fiction, and though I wasn't in love with the book, I did mention in my review that I really liked the way the author combined Christian elements with paranormal romance. I thought it was a really ballsy move, and I thought she did it well, overall. I liked that she did it, even though I consider myself an agnostic. However, I can imagine how some non-Christians might be annoyed by the religious aspect. Personally, I wasn't.

My problem with the book was that I just couldn't connect with the characters, and I thought the plot was a bit too slow to hold my interest, even though I know a lot of people had no problem with it. Like you said, I guess, to each her own!

And one more thing: I just wanted to let you know that I've always admired you for saying what you truly think about things. It's one of the reasons why I like your blog so much. Obviously, everyone can't agree on everything, but showing honesty and respect when it comes to differing opinions is always refreshing to see!

Christina T said...

I was really excited about reading The Dark Divine and I wasn't disappointed with it. I liked the faith aspect of the book although the family did remind me of the Camdens on 7th Heaven at times. I did wish that Grace was a stronger female character but I guess not everyone can be a Katniss or Eowyn. :)

I totally agree with you about Bleeding Violet-I couldn't finish it. I did like The Iron King when I read it although it had many flaws. Now that I am reading The Iron Daughter it has helped me to realize how much I don't like whiny Meghan or the hot and cold behavior of Ash. I was not a fan of Patch's behavior in Hush, Hush either.

Sometimes my reviews come across like I'm a fan girl and I am trying to work on fixing that. I hope that my reviews never lead another reader astray. It can help to wait some time before writing my review to analyze and think about the book more critically but I may need more professional help :) I appreciate the honesty in your reviews.

Mari - Escape In A Book said...

Almost all of the reviews I've read for TDD has been excellent ones, except for my own :) I had such high expectations that the story couldn't live up to it. It was OK but I did not love it.

I had some issues with the religion of the book but that was not why I didn't fell in love with the story. I have loved other books where religion has been involved, if the story is a great one I don't mind the religion.

A Story Untold said...

I can't tell you about Dark Devine because I haven't read it yet but I said it before and I will say it again:over the top-praising reviews can be even more dangerous than bad reviews.I have read such praising reviews of books I didn't like and books I did like often go unnoticed and slip through the cracks.I guess it has everything to do with publishing and advertising and nothing to do about the book itself.
For example,Dark Divine was on the top of my TBR list and after all the negative reviews,it's somewhere at the bottom now.But that's just my stupidity that led to that and it's by no means the reviewers fault.I had that at first but now whether the review is good or bad,I'll read it and keep it in mind,but I will not rely in it for my decision to read a book or not.
A lot of good and bad influence out there,gotta be careful and filter the plethora of info in your mind.

j said...

It never bothers when someone loathes a book I happen to love. We are all different, from all different backgrounds, and that affects how we view our books.

As far as TDD, I had no problem with the religion in it. Of course, I grew up in a Christian/Catholic family, so that might me why. Reading about any type of religion never bothers me though, as long as it's not pushy. TDD was a 5 star read for me too.

I always know I am going to get your honest opinion, and that's why I love your reviews Amelia. :)

Ky said...

I notice the same thing. Believe me. The Mortal Instruments books, Need, even the Iron King. And well of course Twilight. Lolz. I'm looking for an interesting story not typical old YA plot lines which have gotten a bit ridiculous as of late. I haven't read the Dark Divine yet but it sounds fantastic to me. And while YA is the main genre of which I read sometimes I just need a break from it. I get so annoyed when I start reading a new "amazing" book with awesome reviews and I'm just like... and how is this different from any other YA book out there? OH! Their immortal instead of being vampires. Of course! So original! *rolls eyes*

Okay so I might sound rather negative there, but it's my honest opinion. For example, everyone seems to adore Need by Carrie Jones. I HATED it. I regretted buying it! I don't think I have ever felt that way with a book before! Ever! I refuse to even read the sequel because the first one was so ridiculous. And I totally went off on a tangent didn't I... lolz. I'll stop now.

But yes! I totally agree with you. XD

Snorkle said...

I totally agree. YA is very funny sometimes. I just don't understand how some book get "praised" when I would NEVER recommend them in a million years and some of my favorites are only given lackluster attention. I feel like I definitely side with the minority in these things.

Tales of Whimsy said...

I prefer positive reviews. I unfollow people that are constantly tearing books down. Like they prefer negative reviews to positive ones. Who needs that negativeness ya know?

I ADORE The Dark Divine and agree completely.

Remain steadfast :) and do not let others sway you. It is a sad fact of our times that many people shy away from faith. All you can do is stand tall and keep writing/reviewing from your heart.

Carry J. said...

What I find tragic is that people are telling you that The Dark Divine is getting mixed reviews because they've seen/read one or two negative reviews. From what I see, it is still getting overwhelmingly positive reviews when you look at the total count on Amazon, Good Reads, etc, of 4 and 5 stars to 3 stars... and hardly anything below that.

This is what really baffles me. Negative reviews, even if they are the minority, seem to get more attention.

Mari - Escape In A Book said...

I do not think ones own religion always have to do with not liking religion in a book. I'm Christian and still I do not like to read about religion in my fictional books. I guess it's a personal thing, we are all very different.

Jillian said...

I liked The Dark Divine. However, I do agree that the reason so many people LOATHE the book may be because of its religious aspects. It really depends on the reader. Maybe that's also why you didn't like Hush, Hush, like you told me you didn't like how she portrayed Angels. I agree with you, while I didn't like the Angels were portrayed, I simply didn't like Hush, Hush because I personally think Patch is a character made up of all the cliches of bad boy-dom. I didn't find their love story very believable either.

I do have to agree with Natalie that the reason why I like you and this blog so much is because of your honest (but tactful) opinions. It's always important to say what you really want to say.

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