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“No offense, but…”: The book review every writer is afraid they will get

Words ripped from my heart

All this talk on various blogs about whether or not writers should be posting negative book reviews has got me thinking about my own fears as a writer. It’s so scary putting your work out there. What if people hate it?

So I thought–why not write out what exactly I’m afraid of? Below is just a snippet of what my nightmare book review would look like. What would yours look like?


Dear Amazing Author:

No offense, but I just finished reading your book and man was it bad. I mean REALLY bad. I can’t believe you wasted five years of your life on that drivel. The only reason I made it through the whole thing is that I couldn’t BELIEVE anyone had actually published it. Your main character (who, by the way, shares a name with my best friend’s new pet rattlesnake), seemed like a whiny brat. Why would anyone care what she thinks? I sure didn’t. I really wish you had chosen a different main character.

No, scratch that. I don’t think any of the other characters are any better. I’m pretty sure you stole them all from J.K. Rowling and J.R.R. Tolkein or someone else with better initials than yours. Not to mention that the plot that you probably thought was so original has been done a million times before.

Only better.

I saw all the twists and turns coming–it didn’t help that some of them were on the book jacket. Or that the whole thing was based on your life. What…you thought no one would notice? Come on, face it. Anyone can see that the real reason your main character doesn’t have parents is because of your deep seated anger toward your own. There’s no way you would have written it that way otherwise. Because you obviously don’t have much of an imagination based on what I’ve read.

And don’t get me started on your dialogue. How unrealistic can you get? No one talks that way in real life and I’m not sure anyone would want them to.

Anyway, I hope the bookstore accepts returns. Good luck trying to get your next book published!

Yours faithfully,

Fan Girl

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