Since Becky made reference to it in my last entry’s comments, our publisher recently sent us a photocopy of a review for SOMEONE LIKE YOU that has me baffled. I’m not going to name the reviewer, or the publication in which it was published, because I don’t think either deserves the attention.
First, the reviewer blatantly accuses us of writing SLY so it would be turned into a movie, or a television show. Oh, sure. Because that angle worked so well with our first three books, not to mention the other two Becky and I wrote together. And my short stories are being adapted by Oliver Stone! Because Hollywood was banging down our door, we spent a year of our lives writing and editing SLY just so it could be made into a movie. I understand that our “beach reads” have to be reviewed with a snarky attitude, because they are fluffy lighthearted entertainment. But if a reviewer feels he or she has to do this, please feel free to put us in our place by reminding us that we aren’t Andrew Holleran. Compare our books and characters to his. Or Felice Picano. Or John Weir. They are brilliant writers, and I will humbly and gladly lick their boots like the hack that I am. That would be putting us in our place. Why, oh why, must we be compared to Will & Grace? That was a television show. If we published a script, I could understand. But we didn’t. Maybe the reviewer doesn’t understand the difference between a script and a novel.
Next, is this puzzling quote:
“Young Derek has trouble in his sugar-daddy relationship with an older (gasp, he’s 27!) hotel heir, Hunter, so he takes a job at a department store where he meets Vienna, who is black for no apparent reason, and more than she seems.”
Um… Can somebody explain to me what “black for no apparent reason” means? I wasn’t aware that there are specific reasons for characters in a book to be black, or any other race. I’m surprised Meg wasn’t “Korean for no apparent reason.” For that matter, I wonder why the reviewer didn’t feel it necessary to mention that Derek is white? Probably because we OBVIOUSLY only wrote the book so it would be made into a television show, and what main character on Friends or Will & Grace were black? If they were, I’m sure there would’ve been a darned good reason.
Maybe we should write Faizah into a chapter of TJB5 and put an Aunt Jemima ‘do-rag on her head and make sure she serves fried chicken and tells a few colorful pearls of wisdom before she cleans the kitchen. You know, so there’ll be an apparent reason for her to be in the book.