Breaking the Silence: The Selection Debacle

May 31, 2012 2012, blogger perspectives, Wendy 231

There’s a reason why I haven’t been around as much online, and it can summed up in two words: The Selection. I don’t blame anyone at all for skipping right over this post, because it’s going to be extremely long since there are a lot of issues to address, and it may not be entirely coherent since it’s late and I will have to come back later to clarify certain points. I have never blogged about this until now because I try to keep The Midnight Garden a happy place, and I’m not a fan of unnecessary drama. But when blatant lies and gross exaggerations are published in attempt to curry favor and to seek attention, I think it’s time to break the silence and explain what happened so that the facts of the matter are very clear.

As you may or may not know, there have been a lot of YA author meltdowns this year. I’ve always believed in speaking up when I see someone being attacked, particularly when it’s someone I know to be a fair reviewer and whom I consider to be a friend. Still, when it happened to me over a comical review I wrote of The Selection by Kiera Cass, I tried to avoid speaking publicly about this other than on my own review and in a single interview in an attempt to refrain from further fanning the flames. I’ve turned down all other requests to talk about it, even though I understood why people were interested: when a public figure goes on the offensive towards someone who is not a professional reviewer, it is an ugly and shameful thing. What made me really furious about that behavior was that if it happened to me, it could happen to anybody. There are a lot of fledgling bloggers and casual reviewers who don’t have nearly the kind of support system I do, and the thought of someone being guilted into changing or deleting his or her review made me very upset.

The Facts, Recapped:

January 13, 2012:  My review of The Selection went live on this blog and on GoodReads. Within hours, the first trollish comment appears on GoodReads, followed by repeated negative comments by “Anonymous” on this blog. Later that day, I discover that the author’s agent, Elana Roth, called me a bitch on Twitter. She and the author then publicly discuss trying to game the system by burying my review and upvoting positive ones instead. I published my status update (screenshots linked above) to the GR feed along with a few subsequent comments, and the whole thing exploded. Numerous people tweet the author and her agent to express their disgust.

January 14, 2012: Kiera Cass sends me an private message via GoodReads to say she feels someone should apologize, so she’s sorry. She proceeds to explain why she and her agent wanted to vote up reviews in the hopes of people seeing good ones when they visited the page. I did not respond.

January 17, 2012: Karen Stringen from Publishers Weekly contacts me about the YA author controversy. I speak with her via telephone the following day.

January 18, 2012: Elana Roth sends me an email to formally apologize. I formally accept.

January 19, 2012: Publishers Weekly publishes the story Should Authors and Agents Weigh in on Citizen Reviews?

January – May Numerous blogs write about the situation. (I’ll come back and add links later.) Trolls come and go every week on the reviews. Fellow bloggers and GoodReaders go on the attack weighing in on my reviewing policies and a supposed “hive mentality” when it comes to these meltdowns. The author’s friends leap to her defense, and one person writes that blaming her for her employee’s actions (and her failure to stop them, I might add) is equivalent to “blaming ever(y) Muslim for 9/11 or every American for the bombing of Hiroshima.” Authors, friends, and complete strangers write to me with messages of support, both publicly and privately. Kiera Cass and Elana Roth tweet about how the author shouldn’t be blamed for the agent’s actions and imply that they hope the book won’t be affected. An entire blog is created to mock GoodReads reviewers, including me. Countless new GoodReads account pop up with an interesting amount of activity devoted to this book, and countless 5 star Amazon reviews are posted where it is the reviewer’s sole contribution.

May 29, 2012 A self-published author with a long history of reader attacks, leaving abusive comments, creating sock puppet accounts, and who was even banned from GoodReads for that behavior, decides to publish a 5-star review of The Selection onto Amazon and onto her blog, which freely quotes my review and comments on my “ignorance” and also compares the book to Fahrenheit 451. It receives no attention.

I leave a note about this occurrence in the comments section of my “review” of her book (which I freely admit is on my “will never read” shelf due to her previous behavior) since it further illustrates her contempt for reviewers in general. More quotes from her Amazon review: “I’m sorry but some reviewers these days are such incredible idiots that I have hard time containing my frustration of their ignorance. Some reviews I read are such a cesspit of stupidity, it makes me wonder how these people are even able to function from day to day in their lives.”

May 30, 2012 The self-same author–whom I refuse to name because this is clearly a bid for more traffic and possibly align herself with people in the industry–publishes a vicious and defamatory post full of misquotes and outright lies. Words are twisted, whole scenarios are made up, and if that weren’t enough, she also publishes what she claims is my real name, my photo, my email, my husband’s work info, and various other tidbits she thinks will be damaging, as if she’s going to score some sort of victory. Oh, and also, apparently I’m not a legitimate reviewer who writes critical reviews of books, and I am a bully who calls upon my vast army of friends to stalk and harass authors relentlessly. And Publishers Weekly is apparently in the business of damaging authors’ reputations and the future sales of their books.

There have been a lot of accusations and misconceptions from a lot of different sources over this review, though this is certainly the most heinous one to date.

Here’s what I did not do:

  • I never wrote a blog post about The Selection debacle until now.
  • After the initial posts with the screenshots and a few comments, I refrained from publishing further info to the GoodReads feed, and kept it semi-private in my review. I did not post it on Facebook, and only linked to it on Twitter after I was asked about it. 
  • I never emailed friends to ask them to vote on my review, blog about the story, or otherwise take any sort of action on my behalf. 
  • I never emailed friends to ask them to downvote negative reviews of the book on Amazon.
  • I never went out of my way to badmouth the book or the author on other reader’s reviews, whether it was on positive reviews or even on negative ones that I agreed with. I think I’ve commented on maybe a half dozen reviews written by good friends in all this time.
  • I never initiated contact either the author or the agent in any way.
  • I never contacted Publishers Weekly to pitch them this story.
  • I never posted the PW story to GoodReads, and only commented on it after someone else posted it on my review.
  • I never tweeted, blogged about, or publicly put out the many blog stories written about this situation, other than on the discussion on my own review.
  • I never contacted any of the considerable resources I have at other news media across the country to alert them to this story.

None of that is my style. So to be accused of bullying and calling in favors is incredibly low, and indicative of exactly the sort of ugly thinking and petty behaviors that led to this entire debacle to begin with. I’ve been pretty circumspect about this situation, and much more civil about it than many of my fellow reviewers would have been had this happened to them. Considering that a mere rating from me without a posted review can generate over 100 likes, the amount of traffic from my thousands of friends and followers would have been completely insane if I’d gone out of my way to publicize the situation more.

The truth of the matter is: yes, over 10 years ago, I did contribute fiction reviews to Publishers Weekly for two years. The writer who contacted me about the story had no idea about this connection and was surprised to hear of it since my editor had long retired. There was no “conspiracy” to badmouth anyone, and to imply so shows an offensive lack of understanding of how journalism works. The publishing industry’s biggest trade publication is obviously going to be interested in a story on a topic that recently made international headlines. The gross exaggerations and outright lies contained within the vanity author’s blog post are ludicrous and delusional.

Here’s what I continued to do, even after all this occurred:

  • I have never retaliated by calling Kiera Cass or Elana Roth any names. (Well, in public, anyway.)
  • I have repeatedly corrected misconceptions about the book and/or defended the points that I thought did not deserve mockery.
  • I have never told a single person NOT to read this book. 
  • I have never asked anyone to downvote a single positive Amazon review for this book.
  • I have never withdrawn a single “like” on a positive GoodReads review of this book that I had already cast in support of my friends before the debacle occurred.
  • I have made it very clear to friends that my relationship with them would not be affected if they decided to read this book.

If you take the time to read through the 1600+ comments on the GoodReads review or the ones on this blog, everything is clearly documented.  I also have screenshots of the vanity author’s attack on me, as well as documentation of some of her past actions that led to her being banned from GoodReads.

How this has affected me:

I have to deal with the fallout from that review of The Selection every day.  I literally cringe whenever I get a notification on it, or when someone sends me an email about it. As I previously mentioned, I haven’t been around much lately and I’ve taken several prolonged breaks from GoodReads and from the blog, simply because I’ve lost a great deal of my enthusiasm for reviewing. I put a lot of thought and heart into the reviews I write, and I spend so much time dealing with this negativity that I sometimes can’t even muster up enough energy to keep up with what my friends are doing, let alone try to write something myself. Shamefully, I’m 20 reviews behind, although I’ve even had a hard time reading for long stretches of time. Every time I think it’s safe and things have finally died down, I try to ease back in, but something always seems to happen to turn everything upside down again.

The irony is, I know for a fact that even though I have a fair number of readers who see my reviews, this particular review never would have been as popular as it was were it not for the underhanded actions surrounding it. At over 1100 “likes” in just 4 months, it quickly became one of the top 5 reviews of all time on GoodReads, a site with 7.5 million users. Every time an author meltdown occurs, someone, somewhere, feels less inclined to write a review–even a positive one. If authors want the free publicity and marketing tools that come with social media and citizen reviews, there must be an understanding that GoodReads, Facebook, Twitter, etc. users have a right to express their opinions, whether they’re positive or negative. I don’t view reprimanding other people for their opinions on their own space as any different than standing on a street corner and yelling at strangers for disagreeing with you.

This situation has also made me look at everyone around me in a whole new way. It’s impossible not to, when something this crazy happens and not everyone reacts the way you would expect or hope.

My Standpoint on Various Issues:

  • This review got the reaction it did because a. it was a negative review and b. I happen to have a lot of readers, so it received a lot of attention. There are plenty of reviews that are far more sarcastic and dismissive than mine, but a panic ensued because of my rankings and nasty behaviors reared their heads because of personal agendas.
  • As anyone who reads a lot of reviews knows–who doesn’t have a stake in the industry or an axe to grind, that is–my review of The Selection is not all that harsh. I take a great deal of care to soften my language with my negative reviews because I never want to write one in the heat of anger or annoyance. Believe me, I don’t publish half of the snark that runs through my head! But I often do use humor to take the edge off what would normally be a scathing review. I’ve reread this review dozens of times by this point, and I still stand by all of my statements as ones that are fair. Most reasonable people also recognize that for a good portion of the review, I allow the book to speak for itself–and that I have always advocated for readers to make up their own minds about it.
  • “Did not finish” reviews are perfectly valid. To know why a book didn’t hold someone’s attention is often extremely useful to me, but if it’s not useful to someone else, for heaven’s sake, move on! It is poor etiquette to weigh in on another blogger’s reviewing policies, and authors/author affiliates who do it just sound like they’re complaining. My DNF review of this book had more data to back it up than most regular ones, and if I hadn’t been honest and disclosed that information, no one would have been any the wiser. In fact, I even had one “big six” author email me to say how much she appreciated my earlier 3-star, DNF review of her book and how terrible she thought this situation was, stating that she thought I was fair in what I wrote about her book and she appreciated my saying other people would probably enjoy it more than I did.
  • I am not a professional reviewer. As long as I’m not violating terms of service for Blogger or GoodReads, no one has any business telling me what I should or shouldn’t write in my review. Not even publishers do this! I owe them more than I owe anyone, and they place absolutely no demands or restrictions upon me whatsoever. I certainly have my own standard of conduct that I abide by–and I feel so strongly about disrespectful reviews that I even have a note about it in my GoodReads profile in regards to friends requests–but no one else has the right to police me for it. And while thoughtful conversations and dissenting opinions are usually welcome, there comes a point when it crosses the line into being pointless, counter-productive, and just plain rude. I don’t go onto blogs of authors I dislike and tell them their books are vapid and meaningless, and I don’t expect them to come onto mine and tell me I’m wrong for not liking their books. 
  • The type of behavior exhibited by with the trolling remarks, sock puppet accounts, etc., was in poor taste even from reader to reader. There is an etiquette to interacting with your fellow readers, especially when you disagree about a book. Deliberately antagonizing a reviewer on his or her review space is incredibly rude, and will never, ever lead to the reviewer being open to your point of view.
  • No one will agree with another reader or another reviewing style 100% of the time. One of the most shocking and hurtful things to come out of this situation has been seeing how other reviewers or bloggers have felt the need to go out of their way to attack me as well. I certainly don’t publicly comment about reviewers who do nothing but squee over books and award 5 stars like they’re candy, because in my opinion, it’s poor form to weigh in on someone else’s policies. And while I wouldn’t expect or want anyone to summarily dismiss any author’s books because of any one situation, it’s also disappointing to see readers who choose not to research what happened so they can make their own decisions. It’s very easy to look the other way…until it happens to you or someone you know.
  • Whether I use a pen name or not–and most people who interact online do–the fact remains that in the year or so that I’ve been active in the YA community, my reputation stands for itself. It’s ironic that someone who was kicked off GoodReads for having multiple false accounts (who, amusingly, sometimes talked to themselves) doesn’t understand the definition of the word “sock puppet.”
  • Your representation represents you. 

The Silver Lining

It’s true: there is a positive side to this story. I work with many wonderful publishers who make books available to me for review, and not a single one has penalized me over this situation that I know of. Including the amazing people at HarperCollins, whose poor publicity department has probably gotten quite an earful about this fiasco. Fortunately, they are consummate professionals over there and have never publicly spoken about the situation. They also know I’ve written dozens of glowing reviews about their books and will continue to do so long after the dust has settled on this one book.

The biggest blessing to come out of this, however, is the many, many new friends I’ve made. I have been so touched and incredibly humbled by the staggering amount of support I’ve received, from casual friends who rallied to my defense to random strangers who were standing up for what’s right. I’ve had trolls post on my review and not even known it until literally hundreds of comments later, by which time my friends had already come to my defense and addressed the silly arguments. I will be forever grateful to those who stuck out their necks for me.  I’ve never been one who put too much stock into numbers, but I think it’s worth noting that I had approximately 1700 GoodReads friends and followers at the beginning of the year before this happened, and that number has since grown to over 4200. Whether you agree with the review or not, I think having a strong point of view and holding fast to your convictions have to stand for something.

In Conclusion

Most of us who blog about books do so for the sheer love of it. We’re not required to do it, we’re not paid to do it, and the amount of time we put into it would astound those who have never attempted it.  We do all of this because we love the experience of sharing our books with others–and if people conspire to make it difficult for us to love the experience, there is a very real danger that some of us may stop. And with that loss goes the countless positive reviews that have helped to sell an immeasurable number of books.

I don’t have any grand words of wisdom to impart about this overall, except that I’ll say what I’ve said all along before any of this happened directly to me: no one book will be universally loved, and very little good can come of authors who go on the offensive over negative reviews. The chances of alienating a potential audience, however, are pretty high, because public perception of authors WILL change. Repeated attempts by authors and “friends” of authors to defend the book by trolling reviews or attacking reviewers just add more fuel to the fire.

Finally, if readers can’t trust me to tell the truth about a book I didn’t like, they will never trust my opinions about the books I love. Books should stand or fall on their own merits–and I, for one, know that my fellow readers are intelligent enough to make up their own minds, no matter what I say.

Note: rude or inflammatory comments on this post WILL be deleted.

231 Responses to “Breaking the Silence: The Selection Debacle”

  1. Beyond Cynicism

    I have just been learning about some of the appalling behaviour exhibited by some authors because my partner is looking to self-publish her first book in a couple of months.

    It really has left me open-mouthed with disbelief and I can well understand your anger.

    I dop hope that you are able to rekindle your enthusiasm for reading and reviewing. It is important to remember that there are a lot of unpleasant people out there and, by virtue of being unpleasant, they are the ones who make the most noise and cause the most upset.

    Pleasant, well-balance, normal people don’t create waves in the same way so it is easy to forget both that they exist and that they probably outnumber the nasties.

    As I have read through the comments here, I can see that you do have a lot of support – and quite rightly so!

    My take on this story is that you have two choices: either you live your life and follow your loves and enthusiasms as you wish to or you allow someone else to dictate to you where and if you find the pleasure and contentment in your life.

    I am not at all sure that you should be allowing someone so nasty and twisted tell you how to spend your time on earth. Why would you let such people dominate who and what you are, who you talk to and what you say?

    Some people are scum. Sad but true. Don’t let them also be controlling scum.

  2. Rachael

    I’m actually really glad to know about this. I do publish negative reviews on my blog although I hate reading bad books and writing reviews for them. My think I do with negative reviews is that I try to think of at least one or two positive things that helped me get through the book.

  3. thequietvoice18

    Yep, you’re officially my favorite YA book blogger on this earth. Wendy, you are a shining star for every novelist, blogger, and human being out there. I hope this doesn’t sound sarcastic because I really mean it – I love the dedication you put it and how you tackle these issues with clarity, honesty, and compassion.

  4. Courtney Diles

    You’re right. Books stand and fall on their own merits. You’re just putting your opinion out there, and you should be proud of doing it. As hard as it can be for authors and agents to take negative reviews, you’d hope they had the overall faith in themselves and the work not to lash out.

  5. Momo the Mome Rath

    I originally read this post awhile ago and thought about how terrible it is that people can be that hurtful over a review. I started doing my own reviews after that and now, having received my own flames on GoodReads, thank you for writing about this.

    I signed up to review an indie book as part of a group. I didn’t like it early on, but as it was my first time signing up with them, I forced myself through it. I wasn’t required to write a good review for the group, and I wouldn’t have signed up if I was. Attempting to be professional, I kept it classy on GoodReads (but maybe was a little snarky on my blog). I posted it and almost immediately was personally attacked by what appears to be a “sock puppet” on GoodReads (not my snarky blog).

    It was comforting to come back to this post and read about your struggle with it. I was seriously considering dropping my blog over the rather silly comments. Words coming from a more experienced and respected blogger mean a lot, so I thank you again for writing them.


  6. Ira

    Everyone has a right to voice out their opinions, right? You are not in the wrong here. The author is too sensitive and isn’t professional enough to accept people’s criticisms -__- So, you go girl!!

  7. Nina @ Project Read and Review

    I’ve just finished reading The Selection, and I went to find out about all the controversy about it. Book bloggers and reviewers are here to give their own opinions on novels, and they differ greatly from reader and reader. I understand it is all pretty much water under the bridge now, but I still think what happened was unfair. I think you are brave to have kept the review up, and I know that if I ever get hate on one of my reviews, I will take your lead, put on a brave face, and will pull through. You’re inspiring.

  8. Michaela Grey

    Hi Wendy – Nathan Bransford linked to the GoodReads article on Author Temper Tantrums, and I stumbled across your review of The Selection from there.

    I just wanted to say that I thought your review was very well-written, thoughtful and precise, and in no way did you deserve the vitriol heaped upon you.

    I read The Selection and liked it well enough – certainly didn’t hate it, but I was very disappointed in the way the “professionals” acted. Part of being an author means putting yourself out there and accepting that not everyone is going to like what you’ve created.

    I’ve been enjoying the other reviews you’ve posted, and I’ve got several new books on my Wish List now, thanks to you. :o)

    I admire how well you’ve handled yourself through this whole debacle. Keep it up!

  9. cussedness

    Things like this are why I stopped writing reviews. I have stopped going to Goodreads since this happened to me several years ago. You must have great strength of character to even continue.

  10. PidginPea

    I am one of the “fledgling bloggers” who writes reviews simply because I love reading and thinking about what I’ve read. Since I’m new and still pretty out of the reviewing/blogging loop, I was completely unaware of this whole situation, but I just wanted to say I’m sorry that all of this happened to you. It’s shocking. Much love and support to you.

  11. Sophie

    In the four years that I’ve been reviewing books for two blogs, it seems the drama in our little corner of the blogoshpere has increased a bazillion-fold, and not just from authors/agents/publishers but also fellow bloggers. You said it so eloquently, we write reveiews because we love books. I’ve always been that bookworm who will rec a book to you in the first minute of conversation. I want to stay true to that personality trait (nerdish thought it may be).

    But sometimes, the drama and the never-ending waves of it as I log on to twitter/fb feeds is just too much for me. I’ve actually contemplated stopping reviews and backing out of the community for a while. It’s becoming a place that is less about sharing our love of books and more about creating drama.

    I realize that there is stress in every industry, publishing included, and I know sales are important. But as a reader, I just want that good story. Hook me with your best plot, characters, action scenes and not with your marketing tactics (and this includes online comments).

    I had no idea of the fallout you’ve experienced and I’m so very sorry. Hang in there, Wendy, you are handling all of this with tremendous grace and professionalism.

  12. I talk books!

    I am really sorry that you had to face all of this. You are an awesome reviewer and I love your opinions. Don’t let anyone discourage you from writing because that would be a great loss for the entire book-reading community. :)

    Authors should not comment on reviews. Not everyone can like their book, they should be thankful that at least people are reading it.

  13. StephanieD

    I had no idea all this has happened or his happening! I liked The Selection and gave it a good review, but had I known the author and/or her employees would react this way I do not think it would have been as positive. I am very disappointed with the Cass and I’m sorry for all the bullying you’ve endured. I am seriously considering changing my Amazon and Goodreads rating of The Selection.

  14. Magic_Of_Reading

    Well said and very honest Wendy :) I too have written reviews about books I didn’t particularly like and have always been lucky enough to get friendly and professional responses from the authors. It’s sad that this is not always the case. I hope this will all blow over soon and you can enjoy reviewing as much as you always did. Big hugs xxx

  15. ShreShre

    Hun, she’s don this a lot of my friends too. I personally think instead of going after people that posted critical reviews she didn’t like, she should’ve been thinking about how to make her book better. Or just accept the fact some people are just not going to like her book, and they have the right to post their reviews based on their opinions. Hopefully she learned something by now. I’m so sorry this happened to you Wendy. *hug* :) Feel better, you have your followers supporting you every step of the way!

  16. Kelly Oram

    Wow. This is exactly why I always get nervous when I post reviews for anything I read, even if they’re positive. I’m glad to see you aren’t leaving the blogging world over this. Sadly, negative backlash is a part of life when you’re putting your thoughts out there publicly. I won’t even read reviews of my work on goodreads because I’ll just obsess over it until I go crazy. I just have to ignore it and keep doing what I love. I hope you do too because there are enough people out there that appreciate what you do. I’d be lost without bloggers, and I appreciate negative reviews as long as they’re mature and insightful. (Snarky ones always make me angry.) They’ve saved me from reading plenty of books I probably wouldn’t have liked, and if the reviewer didn’t like it for reasons that I don’t think would bother me, I’ll still give the book a chance.

    Hopefully this will all blow over. Best of luck.

  17. Sweet Pea


    I love your reviews. I love them for their honesty and I find that as I read your reviews, I get to know you as a reader and I can tell when we are going to agree or disagree- it’s like making friends without actually meeting.

    Anyway, I just wanted to say that I am sorry that you have gone through all of this. I feel that you have to stand by your reviews, good or bad, because they are your opinion.

    As an aspiring published writer, I have been taking notes on what NOT to do when I finally get published, because this only makes the author look like a fool and a jerk.

    I hope that you continue writing reviews and posting them on Goodreads. That’s kind of selfish of me, because I don’t want to miss out on your wit an opinion, but I also think that getting back on the horse is important to rebuild confidence and to let those jerks know that they didn’t break you.


    – Alison

  18. Two Cups Of Inspiration

    Wendy, I virtually hugged you through this whole post. I am so sorry you had t go through all that ugly situation and I think you were very strong and you handled it in a very mature way without badmouthing anyone 00 unlike many ‘professionals’ do. I think your reviews are extremely fair because you know how to give arguments and defend what you stand for. I hope this is left behind and I truly hope you enthusiasm of writing come back because I can’t wait to read more of you.
    This comment will be lost among the huge amount of other comment, but I just wanted you to know we support you and we always will!
    – Dianna

  19. A. Knight @ Paranormal Indulgence


    I feel like such a loser. I HAD NO IDEA ALL OF THIS WAS GOING ON. I mean, I saw a little of this and thought nothing of it – I’m not very observant. I didn’t realize this whole situation had gotten so out of hand and blown up the way it has. That’s grotesquely incredible! What some people will do with their time… *shakes head*

    I’m so sorry you had to deal with all this! No person should have to. I mean, some of this stuff is downright bullying and nasty and rude. I can’t even imagine the kind of harassment you’ve endured, and over something so trivial in the grand scheme of things and certainly something that did not warrant all that negative attention. HOW CAN YOU EVEN STAND TO HAVE PEEPS TALK TO YOU ABOUT IT?

    It would drive me to rip my hair out hearing about this situation every day. I hope this blows over and I hope that you’ll come back to us as awesome as ever. While I doubt you’ll be ultimately untouched, I hope this won’t leave any permanent damage. *hugs* Stay strong! And YOU DID ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG.
    (I enjoyed that review to the point of giggles. Despite my liking the book so much myself, I could appreciate your point of view.) You’re made of Koolaid and awesome things, just FYI <3

    — Asher @ Paranormal Indulgence

  20. sunsontops

    Sigh, I hate it when this happens.

    Wendy, I had such a stellar comment, I even made a wordpress account so it can let me post it. But nooo, things happened and my long comment is forever lost. So I’m just going to sum up what it said.

    Hi, this is Sunonstops on Goodreads. A recent stalker of your goodreads page to get good recommendations :)

    1. Your Selection review wasn’t even mean by any definition of the word. I was actually surprised by your composure and tack you had when writing that review. It honestly did no justice to how horrible that book was, and how much it disappointed readers, like me. But yes, you were polite. Me, on the other hand, when I have the time for it I usually don’t hold back when talking about books that wasted my precious time.

    2. Try not to take internet drama to heart. I know, who am I to be giving this advice. But, I just had to. Don’t get upset over people you don’t know and who have no real presence in your life. ESPECIALLY, when you’re not in the wrong, and you know they’re being foolish.

    3. I SUPPORT YOU. Whenever I read a good review written by you to a book I am deliberating reading, it’s a guaranteed to read book. That’s what happened when I read Angelfall. I stopped everything I was doing cause I saw your 5 star rating, along with others of course, but yours had the most importance for me. AND I READ THAT BOOK LIKE THERE WAS NO TOMORROW. Sniff Sniff. I loved it :)

    – Sunonstops, A ordinary teenager who will not hesitate to write 1 star rating reviews to books that are horrible whenever, however, and wherever I want to. But, I also do write some good reviews, when there’s time and when my creative juices are flowing. Because, anyone out there knows a review for a gem of a book takes time, heart, and just cannot be attempted half-heartedly. :)

    Good luck, Wendy.

  21. Joanna

    Oh Wendy, I haven’t been online much for the last month and I completely missed this. 8( I’m so sorry this has happened – and keeps happening – to you, I just cannot wrap my mind around the lengths to which people will go in their petty ego trips. I can see how discouraging this must be so, as selfish as this may sound, I’m really glad we haven’t lost you for good. Keep on rocking! <3

  22. Joanna

    Oh Wendy, I haven’t been online much for the past month and I completely missed this. 8( I’m so sorry this has happened – and keeps happening – to you, I just cannot wrap my mind around the lengths to which some people will go in their petty ego trips. I can see how discouraging this must be, so as selfish as this sounds, I’m really glad we haven’t lost you for good. Keep on rocking! <3

  23. Julianna Helms

    I’m sorry I haven’t been here for you as much as I would have liked to lately, but school is over and it’s so terrible that this happened to you. You don’t deserve this. I know I would probably crumble if all of this weight crashed onto me. So, Wends? I’m still here, thousands of people support you, and lastly, *virtually hugs*.


  24. onceuponareading

    Agree with all your fundamental points here. I’ve been following you for a while and I hadn’t heard of this incident until you made this post. As a for the record statement: I read your review of The Selection when you first posted it on your blog and I read the book anyway. There’s no need for this paranoia from agents, authors, etc. A negative review is not the end of the world or the end of book sales. All squabbles in this regard are restricted to the realm of ego, which should be disregarded in the public arena.

    Some of the best evidence that you were not out to kill a book comes from your own comment on the review: “Thanks everybody! And hah, I totally understand the compulsion to still read this book, in spite of this review. A. You may enjoy it anyway. B. The cover is MESMERIZING. Should be interesting to compare notes down the road!” While your reviews are very crisp, as anyone familiar with your style knows, that doesn’t necessarily mean the book will make everyone vomit. It’s all just a matter of preference and manner of communication.

    My feelings pretty much mirror yours but my review, upon second reading, sounds downright glowing; my three stars is your one star. That’s just the way you review verus how I review. It’s sad because this exact sort of situation is part of the reason–not all–why I have never given less than a three star review. Ah well. Here’s to hoping you keep on reviewing Wendy, as an emotional sort who rarely speaks frankly about what just did not work in a book (with this particular book I made a lot of “I am excited to see this in the second book…” statements to express my lack of satisfaction), I always appreciate your open, uncompromising honesty.

  25. writeonclara

    I came across your review when considering whether or not I should purchase “The Selection.” I already had some misgivings about it from the main character’s full name and from your review decided ONLY that the book would not be my type of book. I didn’t think you were bashing the book, nor that you had some personal vendetta against the author. All I got from your review is that the book wasn’t your preference and that it likely wouldn’t be mine, either.

    I skipped the last paragraph of your review and went straight to the “Was this review helpful?” button on Amazon because it was. When I went back to it, I was shocked to see that you were dealing with such an unprofessional backlash from the author and her agent. After everything you have gone through, I am extremely thankful that you left the review up. It really helps people who are on the fence about reading the book make an informed decision about whether or not it would be to their preference. I am so sorry that you had to go through all of this and it’s really a travesty that you have lost some of your steam for reviewing books. Please know that you have a huge support system behind you and that your reviews are greatly appreciated.

    I wish you the best of luck.

  26. Rain Phoebe Midnight


    On Goodreads I follow your reviews and always look to you for recommendation. I am so so sorry for what has happened. I don’t understand had people could be so mean to someone as lovely as you!

    Please come back soon, you are quite missed!!! xxxxx

    P.s *Hugs x100000000* < All I wanted to do during reading your post. :( x

  27. Rain Phoebe Midnight


    I follow a lot of your reviews on goodreads and frequently look to your books for recommendations. I had noticed that you haven’t been as active for the past few months as you used to be. I am very very sorry of what has happened and amazed at how some people can be so mean to someone as lovely as you!

    All my best and *hugs*

  28. Chelsea

    This kind of author behavior makes me ill. It’s so unprofessional and pointless. See, there’s the thing. The thing about being a writer is you need to have a thick skin. Your work is going to be constantly challenged and critiqued. Not everyone is going to love what you write. If you can’t take that then maybe consider another career?

    You are amazing Wendy!

  29. Book Archaeologist

    I am so sorry to hear that this is the reason you have not been online much of lately. I am probably a trogladite for not noticing what has been going on, but I feel as if I should say something. There will always be someone out there who is going to try and rip you down, and I have learned that it really should not matter what they have to say after you put your honest opinion out there. Honestly, you took this in a stride I myself could never muster. Wendy, I am new to the internet world and if I could just say one thing to help I say this:

    In the world of written word and spoken tongue, there is only the voice behind it that can truly change the meaning. Whether it be out of spite or out of passion, the person in the end has the right to change the experience.

    I hope this sounds uplifting to you as I found it to be when writing it Wendy. :)

  30. walkawayslowly

    There is, apparently, no end to the stupidity available to the masses via the internet. I am WILDLY unimpressed with the response of the author and the publicist and I’m really sorry you’ve had to deal with any of it. I don’t know you terribly well, but I’ve read the review in question and it wasn’t mean spirited or bitchy, just an honest review of a book you didn’t like terribly well. Boo freaking hoo! Everything isn’t for everyone!

  31. Shelby

    *claps* Very well said! I just came across this issue today when I was posting my review on GR. So sorry this happened, but I’m sure good will come out of it. Thank you for having a positive attitude about it and dealing with it civilly. You are gaining so much respect through doing that!

  32. Sara York

    If more people would realize that not everyone is going to like their work then the drama would cease. You stated your opinion, that’s all. Sad that people can’t accept that you have a different opinion than they do. Don’t let this effect your writing and your reviewing. Be strong and ignore the negativity.

  33. Julie Lynn Hayes

    Hi Wendy! I’d like to start by saying your blog is beautiful, I love it! Secondly, you do express yourself very well indeed, very professionally and very eloquently. I am both an author and a reviewer, although I only review for myself, not for a site, not any more. I cannot conceive of the behavior you describe over this YA novel (which I’ve never heard of, btw, and I do read some YA). Such a furor, and for what? Any publicity is better than none, and bad publicity sells books too. No sense in the agent or anyone else behaving in such a juvenile fashion.

    That being said, there are a number of people on GR’s who do give low ratings, not because they dislike the book, but because they dislike the author for whatever reason. But life is too short to wonder why some people do what they do. Personally, I have enough to do figuring out the things I need to do without worrying about someone else!

    Anyway, just wanted to say great post, stay strong, and feel free to visit my blog any time –

    The only drama there is where it should be – in the books I write or review or the TV shows I talk about!

  34. Danielle

    You expressed yourself so eloquently, and you have shown consummate integrity throughout this situation. My hats off to you. I love your reviews and I hold you in very high esteem. Love from a fellow GRs reviewer and friend.


  35. scherzi

    I’m one of those strangers who stumbled upon the whole fiasco on GoodReads and am now a big fan of this blog. I’m so sorry that this should happen to you and like many others, I hope this experience won’t stop you from writing reviews.

    I have so many things (*cough* curses *cough*) to say about the anon author, Cass and the agent, but I’m going to refrain from doing that. Enough negativity, I guess, and I hope you can start reviewing again without any burden. =)

  36. Leea Plank

    I’m so sorry you went through this. I followed a little of what was happening on Goodreads and you handled yourself with grace and honor. I love reading your reviews and hope this doen’t stop your passion for books.

  37. Leea Plank

    I’m so sorry you went through this. I followed a little bit of this on GoodReads and have to say you handled the situation with grace. I enjoy reading your reviews and hope you keep them going :)

  38. thesilenceisinthelibrary

    Hello Wendy!
    I’m pretty sad to hear about this particular situation affecting you so much, as no author/agent/professional should respond in a negative way to a reviewer. I hope that you feel ready to return to reviewing as much as you used to, because I must say, I enjoy reading your reviews.

    As a person who’s constantly at least a little worried about negative responses from posting negative reviews, I must say you’ve handled it well throughout.

    I hope the situation passes over and you get back to 100%.


  39. Candace

    I had no idea this stuff was still going on! I remember hearing about the GoodReads debacle and stuff but I didn’t read your blog back then so I didn’t really pay much attention. Plus I was going through a ton of other stuff.
    But it’s crazy that people just aren’t letting up. It’s too bad it’s affected things so much and I hope that things calm down soon so you can get back to your regular reviewing schedule. I’ve missed seeing you around!
    I’m curious about who this author is. I know that she’s probably talked about a lot but I’ve missed it all. What ridiculousness!

  40. clairewriteswords

    This whole situation is sickening. That creature is vile. But you’ve handled yourself well. It’s just a shame that some people behave in a way that’s shameful for the whole human race.

    I’m hardly surprised though. The whole blog in question is full of lies, vitriol and misinformation. She is a horrible person with flawed logic and complete ignorance of the publishing industry AND how to handle herself in public.

    Lord alone knows what the folks in her day job think of this. I mean, the internet if FOREVER, and I know that, for one, Google EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON. that I’m thinking about working with or for.

  41. Lexy

    I just want to say you’ve behaved with amazing grace during this ridiculous incident and that I very much enjoy your reviews and hope you find your way back to Goodreads, and enjoying reviewing once again, very soon,

  42. Belle

    It sucks that this has had a negative impact on your experience – but I, like thousands of others, agree with you and back you 100 per cent!

  43. 0c468506-53ce-11e0-b87d-000bcdcb8a73

    If I was Kiera Cass, I would get rid of that agent right now! Talk about negative publicity! I wonder if this negative publicity will actually increase book sales…I hope not! I read The Selection before reading any of the reviews. I was a victim of the pretty cover scheme, and I must admit that I do indulge in reality TV from time to time so I figured this would be a fun read… I was very dissapointed! I am one of your followers now so I hope you don’t get discouraged because I really enjoy and appreciate your reviews!

  44. Peppermint Ph.D.

    I’m a new reader…another new friend you’ve gained from this fiasco :) I think the worst thing that could result from this episode is that you stop blogging and reviewing. I am appalled at adult behavior in times like these…and worry for our future when a book conversation can so quickly dissolve into name-calling and derogatory language. I for one do not have any desire to spend my precious reading time on an author who has no more class than this. Hang in there! :)

  45. Small Review

    Oh Wendy, this is still plaguing you? *HUGS* This has been going on for so long and I’m so saddened by the whole thing. You have shown true class and fortitude with the way you have handled this situation.

    I am sure you never wanted the role, but I hope you realize how much you have helped other bloggers and Goodreaders who may encounter a similar situation in the future by providing a strong and poised example of how to handle such a reaction.

    Selfishly, I don’t want you to shrink away from Goodreads and blogging. I enjoy your reviews and your friendly presence in the community and would miss you if you left. But I understand the desire to pull back and you have my support and thanks either way.

  46. The Story Queen

    Hi Wendy :) I can’t say that I know you very well but I am just so, so sorry that you were put into this position. Like you said, I think you let the book speak for itself for quite a large portion of your review and it’s not as if you ever pretended to have read the book in its entirety.

    This post was brilliant. Really. I don’t think most people would have been able to write in such a fair, honest and eloquent manner. It’s inspiring that you were able to keep such a level head through all of this.

    Keep doing what you’re doing, Wendy! You have my full support! <3


  47. Sheri's Open Book

    I adore your reviews and trust them when I consider what to read. As for the others in this mess, they have shown their true colors. When you feel up to it, keep reviewing, Wendy!

  48. Jennifer Messerschmidt

    I’m so sad to hear this has continued to escalate and has interfered with you being able to enjoy reviewing. I love your reviews and hope you will continue to write them. I understand the need for a break. Reviewing should be fun and not something to dread. I’m sorry this has made it that way. Lots of love and support :-D

  49. Sandy

    Love you, Wendy, and your reviews.

    Thanks for always being truthful. I appreciate both positive and negative reviews, as long as they’re honest opinions, which yours always are. Thank you for all your hard work to always write such informative reviews.

    Hugs to you!

  50. MollyMcB

    Thank you for taking the time to share this with all of us. I hope that what you take from these many words of encouragement is to continue sharing your well written reviews with us. You make Goodreads and online book blogging enjoyable and inspiring. I could contribute to the negative comments about Elana Roth, but I don’t think it is necessary. You reap what you sow, and I believe that you have just powered up on your karma points. Keep sharing your well rounded and insightful reviews, because we will eat them up no matter how many stars are involved.

  51. Mel

    I can’t believe that after 5 months this issue us still going on strong. I have to admit that I hadn’t keep up with the discussion of the review, but it came up in a thread I’m currently following on Goodreads and I trully can’t believe the magnitude to which this has blow out.

    I’m sorry this is still happening to you. It certainly makes me (a blogger) feel like I have to thread carefully when writing my own reviews, since yours wasn’t hurtful at all and look where it has gotten.

    You helped me greatly when I needed book suggestions for my sister’s gift and I often come back to read your reviews if I’m looking for another book for her.

    I really which you the best and that this finally blows over!

  52. Alan Tucker

    I can think of one other “silver lining” aspect of this whole fiasco. It’s a shining example of what NOT to do as an author, agent, or anyone else who wishes to consider themselves part of the publishing world.

    I admire your courage and honesty. I watched this (and some other similar dust ups) from the periphery and just shook my head. There’s evidently a host of people out there who need lessons on how to be professional.

    Lastly, I’d like to thank you for bearing this burden of bad example. I hope, in time, you can rediscover your love of reading and reviewing.


    Thanks so much, I’ve posted this in my writer’s group to remind all the new kids they must never indulge in a public author meltdown. Never. As you put it, “Every time an author meltdown occurs, someone, somewhere, feels less inclined to write a review–even a positive one.”

  54. Leanna (Daisy Chain Book Reviews)

    I’m so sorry you’re still dealing with the fallout of this, Wendy! Honestly, I can’t believe all this happened in the first place, and I really can’t believe it’s still going on! I always enjoy reading your reviews. It’s clear that you spend time on them, and while you are always honest, you are never nasty, so I’m sorry this happened to you. I think you handled the situation really well. I just can’t believe what has gone on here – I mainly read reviews on blogs rather than Goodreads so I had no idea all of this was still going on.

  55. Katy Sozaeva

    Did you know that she-who-must-not-be-named is running all over the web claiming she “left* GR? Seriously, there were 3 comments by her on the PW article, all saying she “left GR due to the drama” and I saw a comment from her on another blog I follow saying the same thing. *shakes head* Like *that* isn’t going to rise up and bite her butt…

    I’ve only partially followed this drama – I have been reading about all this stuff for close to 2 hours now when I should have been either editing or sleeping – how exhausting all this drama is! If only people would just … STOP and THINK and then keep their mouths SHUT life would be much better.

  56. ivanova

    Wendy Darling, I really enjoy your reviews here and on Goodreads. I’m pretty sure I read your original review of The Selection at the time (or possibly, a very similar review by someone else?) and thought it was informative and quite severe but not out-of-the-ordinary. I never heard a word about any of this controversy until now. So maybe it can be a comfort to you that although you got a lot of unwanted attention because of the writer/agent’s unfortunate reactions, there are probably even more people who never even knew about it and are still bumbling along happily, reading book reviews, and just don’t care about any of that stuff. I hope this debacle doesn’t keep you from writing reviews. Knowing that you stayed classy throughout this experience makes me have even more respect for your reviews.

  57. Cara

    I am so sorry to hear that there has been so much controversy over your review Wendy. I just can’t believe somebody was go as far as to get into your personal life. I am one of your goodread friends and you have been a class act through the whole thing. Thank you so much for not giving up on the community all together and hopefully the authors can learn something from this, and you’re right that a book can stand on it’s own and author’s need to believe that readers can make up their own minds. Like many others have I’ve said the same thing but I just had to give you a virtual pat on the back.

  58. dsmoen

    Wow, I’m sorry you went through all that. When I went to Clarion, there was someone who loathed my work. It happens. One of my instructors took me aside and said, basically: congratulations, you’ve arrived, you have anti-fans of your work. Since that moment, I’ve taken anti-fans as a given and a badge of honor; it means you’re being read widely enough to reach people who disagree with you.

  59. Fall Into Books

    I cannot believe this is still going on, and I’m pretty sure that what that unpublished author did is considered illegal. That’s just awful. I’m so sorry that you’re going through this, and that it seems to be never ending. I know I don’t know you extremely well, but I’m here for you if you need to vent or if you need help with anything. *hugs* It’ll get better. We’ll all stand by you.

  60. Wendy L. Callahan

    As an author, I don’t respond to reviews.

    As a reader, I post negative reviews too.

    It would be hypocritical of me to rant and rave if someone did not like one of my books, since there are plenty out there that I do not enjoy.

    Art is subjective and everyone has a right to their personal opinion. People (especially authors) need to stop taking everything so personally.

    I’m well aware that I can’t please everyone, and I’m fine with that. That’s called self-awareness and maturity, two things that seem to be especially lacking in the YA author community. :)

  61. chachic

    Wendy, I’m so sorry to hear about this fiasco! I’m really clueless about it until I read this post. I feel bad that you’ve gone through so much because of this issue. I really think you’ve handled it well and I admire you for that. Just know that you have my support and I love reading your reviews. I hope your enthusiasm comes back in spite of everything that has happened.

  62. Jennifer

    Definitely a well thought out blog post. I think you handled that with a lot of class.

    I just finished The Selection today and was checking out some reviews on Goodreads. So obviously i came across yours (since it is the first review).

    I don’t think it was your review that caused the problems. Your review was well thought out, even though you did not like the book (I totally appreciate how much effort you put into the review).

    But I think it was the 1 star and the fact that you did not finish the book. I think if you had given it 2 stars, or did not rate it but simply put DNF that things would have not reached this outcome.

    Obviously what the author and her agent did was not right. And i’m glad they apologized. But i do understand why they were upset. I personally do not like that so many people have rated the book 1 star and not even read the book. I get that they are mad at the author/agent. But to me it’s not right.

    • The Drifting Bookworm

      The point is: why should she have had to finish this book in the first place? If, to her, she found it to be tedious and just didn’t want to finish it, then she shouldn’t have to. At the VERY TOP of this review she places a disclaimer saying she did not finish the book. From that point on, the reader can then choose whether or not they should read this review. It is at the TOP. It’s not like she hides it at the bottom.

      Also, I have not read the book and don’t agree with people placing one star reviews if they haven’t read it either. Wendy tried and gave it a fair shot. Hell, she gave it more than a fair shot, getting 50 percent of the way through and even taking notes. If she could not finish it because she disliked it, then it deserves a one star from her because that is her opinion.

      The point is, whether or not she finished it, this outcome should have never happened. I don’t think that just because she didn’t finish the book that this review means less than any other. I was interested to hear why she didn’t finish it and her honest thoughts. DNF reviews are just as helpful and needed as fully-read reviews.

  63. Natalie (Mindful Musings)

    There are a lot of readers who have already voiced what I had to say, but I just had to drop in and give you virtual hugs and say that I love your blog and your reviews. And I think you handled this situation like a champ. This could have gotten a lot uglier than it already was, but you acted with professionalism and maturity and set a wonderful example for the rest of the book blogosphere.

  64. Yahong Chi

    Just know there will always be people who see the truth and will stand by you and support you, Wendy. <3

  65. Yahong Chi

    Just know there are always, always people who will understand the truth in these situations and support you through the hard times, Wendy. <3

  66. Lee @ Rally The Readers

    I’m so sorry to hear that this happened to you, Wendy. Your reviews are always written with such honesty and fairness. I truly hope that you’ll continue writing them. All the best to you. :-)

  67. Suz

    Wow! I am sorry to read that you were treated this way! As you say, there are a lot of bloggers and casual reviews (like me) who post their opinions (good or bad) on many books. I always try to be respectful even if I don’t particularly care for a book and I would certainly hope that other readers and the author would respect my opinion. I am disappointed that you were called ugly names and now I think differently about an author who would condone that kind of thing. I say to you – keep up the good work and don’t be afraid to voice your honest opinions!

  68. Jennifer

    Wendy. I am so sad that this happened to you. And I’m angry. Really, since they attacked you, I’ve just been in complete shock. I couldn’t believe they were mad with you out of everyone on goodreads. YOU. The most nicest person and reviewer on there. You are always so fair. And these current actions are just disgusting, the way they have gone after you.

    All I want to say is: I have followed your reviews on goodreads and spoken to you on there and you’ve always been so generous and nice to me. And I always seek your reviews first and just hope that this doesn’t make you stop reviewing. You rock and have such a a vast amount of knowledge on YA books and literature. I’d hate to see you stop reviewing on goodreads or blogging because of the immaturity of people who don’t understand that reviews are not personal attacks. Everyone has different tastes and not everyone is gonna love the same thing as you. Even classics that are considered to be masterpieces are hated by many people, all the time.

    And bad reviews do not deter people from reading a book. I’ve read tons of bad reviews on books and gone to read them anyway, for curiosity and sometimes, I actually like some of them, so for these authors/agents to have this crazy fear of bad reviews is just outrageous and bonkers.

    It’s 2012 for heaven’s sake. People have the right to their own opinion. They need to get with the program and stop attacking you.


    Jennifer @ Dream Reads

  69. Melissa

    Awww, Wendy, I am SO sorry to hear that this whole issue exploded on you. I value your comments and reviews more than words can say, and I always appreciate the time and care that you put into writing your reviews. Even your Selection review (which I found amusing) was so well written and eloquent — it was easy to see that you didn’t enjoy the book, but in no way, shape or form were you bashing it just for the sake of bashing the book (which I have seen done in other places on Goodreads when people post negative reviews just because they have no intention of even picking up the book). And the wonderful thing about reading is that not every book appeals to every reader. That’s exactly why we DO read, always searching for that book that’s going to captivate our hearts and secure a spot on our favourites shelf. A writer (and her team) should know that every book will have positive and negative reviews, just like a movie will. It’s reflective on the reviewer’s personal tastes, not the person. And for someone in the business to not understand that simple truth is just plain SAD. I’m so sorry that you’ve been caught up in the middle of all of this, but just remember that there are WAY more of us that love you for what you write and how you write it. I will be eternally grateful to you for introducing me to Wonder ;-)

    This ended up being much longer than I intended it to be, but let me end here with a BIG HUG for you. Hang in there. We’re all behind you all the way.

  70. Amy

    I had noticed you have been absent lately, and I know after that whole situation you took time off. It makes me sad that these type of things happen. I was so angry when it all first happened and I think you handled it very well. I hate that it has taken some of the love out of blogging for you. You should be able to enjoy it. Great post. I hope that you can get your full love of blogging back.

  71. A Canadian Girl

    Wendy, I’ve noticed your absence but I had no idea it was because of this. I just figured you were traveling or something.

    “No one book will be universally loved.” I think it’s so important that authors remember this. A negative review may hurt but at the end of the day, it’s a person’s opinion and I’m sure they’ve read books that they hated but that other people loved.

    Personally, I love reading your reviews – good or bad. Your thoughts often echo mine (or what mine would be if I read the book) although your reviews sound a whole lot better.

    You could have just rated The Selection a one star or written a paragraph explaining why you didn’t like it but you actually explained why you DNF’ed The Selection in a lot of detail. It’s too bad the amount of thought and effort you put into your review wasn’t appreciated.

    I hope you get back to reviewing soon!


    Wendy, I only got to know you because of this whole debacle, but you conduct yourself with amazing grace and integrity. If this was me, I’m sure by now I would have resorted to some overdramatic, unclassy actions, unlike you.
    I’m honoured to consider you a fellow blogging friend. I’ve noticed your absence lately with much sadness.
    I am so sorry that this is perpetuating, even when the original author and everyone else seems to have left it alone, for someone new to take up an attack is deeply saddening.
    I hope you return to reviewing, I love your reviews and honesty and I often get great recommendations from your reviews. I understand if you need a break though, I’m sure I would if I was in this awful position. I think I would be close to falling apart now.
    This latest development is highly disturbing, and if there is anything that can be done legally to stop her, I hope it happens soon.
    My thoughts are with you (and your family too, as I’m sure this is awful for them too)
    You don’t deserve the attacks, but I hope the outpouring of love and support you have received shows you people aren’t like that and you are a valued and respected person.

  73. Sashana

    Words cannot express how sorry I am that this happened to you, Wendy. I know there was some drama surrounding you and this author but I didn’t dig too much into it. I had no idea that it was so huge and UGLY. Thank you for speaking out. I think a lot of reviewers are scared to post low starred reviews which makes it hard to find a good reviewer (from a follower’s perspective). I really hope that you spend more time on the Blog. I’m having withdrawal symptoms. It is truly not the same with out you.

  74. Lisbeth Avery

    Your eloquence continues to amaze me. Great job! What happened here was jaw dropping (in a bad way). I hope this will never happen again, but I don’t know if the realistic.
    All I can say is keep reviewing! All my support goes out to you!

  75. Jamie

    Much love and support to you Wendy. Some of the agents/author’s friends/ whomever you’ve been dealing about obviously have some serious issues with self-importance and self-confidence.

    I’m so sorry this happened to you, and I can’t wait to see you back in action! I miss seeing you on GR :)


  76. Rusty Fischer

    So sorry to hear that this has affected you negatively. When you said you “flinch” when you get email alerts/notifactions about this review/book title/whatever, it made my heart hurt. You seem like a true book lover, lifelong and down deep, and to hear that something like this has adversely affected how you write and approach what you love so much, there are no words for the unjustness of that. Rock — and review — on! Bleep the haters! That’s all I’ve got!!!!

  77. Melliane

    you’re a wonderful person, and this story was a little too much. I was so sad when it happened. I hope everything will be ok for you darling.

  78. Sarah Strohmeyer

    This explains some of the cryptic comments I’ve been reading from YA twitterers about responding to criticism. As a veteran fiction author but newbie to the YA world, it’s a good reminder for me to keep my mouth shut, not that I’d ever bite back at reviewers. However, with “social media” the way it is, there’s much more interaction among readers/reviewers/authors and, I guess, agents than there used to be in the old days. This is not the first case like this and I’m afraid it won’t be the last.

    Coming from the POV of an author, just let me say that authors and publishers are grateful for any and all reviews. So many newspapers have eliminated their book review sections that, really, blogs like this are what’s getting the word out. That’s why Goodreads is so fantastic. As a reader I use it all the time to get unbiased reviews that can’t necessarily be found on Amazon. (Whole other story as you indicate above.)

    Finally, as in a lot of professions these days, there’s SO much pressure on authors to Rise to the Top or Die! Ironically, never before have so many “rejected” authors been able to publish their stuff via ebooks. The result is a mixed up, messed up world in which everyone’s trying to survive. In the end, all any of us wants are great books and honest reviews so don’t give this episode another thought.

    Thank you for your detailed post explaining what heretofore had been, to me, an utter mystery. Like my mother used to say, just put your nose to the grindstone and keep your eyes off other people’s wheels!!

    :) Sarah

  79. G. B. Miller

    I came over to this blog via a link from “Erotic Romance” and I just want to say that I’m simply appalled by all the crap tha you went through (and continue to go through it seems) over one honest and thoughtful reviews.

    Kind of sad and pathetic to see all of this P.C./pumping up the self esteem nonsense filter down to where book reviews are mercilessly attacked.

    Which to me is bullying at its absolute worse.

    Keep fighting the good fight and keep continuing to keep those toddlers at bay.

  80. HellyBelly

    I wrote a long comment, but the internets ate it..!!
    The conclusion was that mythoughts are with you and like others I do not wish you to stop reading and reviewing YA – your reviews are extremely appreciated and you -we- cannot the appalling behaviour of a few people give them the satisfaction of ruining our joy: reading and sharing the experience with fellow readers! Much love to you, Wen! <3

  81. kendra

    Wendy, there is a reason you are one of the most trusted voices in the YA blogging community. What happened to you for fairly speaking your mind about a book WAS shameful and your reaction to it has only further proven that you are a class act.

  82. Sandy Emerson

    All I can say is that I’m sorry that this happened to you and that you have shown you have true class – it’s a shame others (those who are supposed to be professionals) couldn’t have acted the same way. Authors need to realize that not everyone is going to like their book and to handle it with dignity.

  83. Kei Enjoji

    Wow…and again, wow. I’m so sorry to hear this, Wendy. But some people just thrive on hurting others. I’m an author and as such I’ve learnt to accept the good reviews along with the bad; it’s just another part of this industry. And, a personal rule, I never comment on reviews. Just as I’m entitled to write whatever I want, reviewers are entitled to say what they feel. Not everyone is going to agree. You just have to be thick-skinned.

    On a second note… if you choose NOT to review anymore, then Kiera Cass and people like her have won. Don’t let anyone dictate what you do, hun. Keep reviewing if you love it!

    All the best!

  84. Kei Enjoji

    Wow…and again, wow. I’m so sorry to hear this, Wendy. But some people just thrive on hurting others. I’m an author and as such I’ve learnt to accept the good reviews along with the bad; it’s just another part of this industry. And, a personal rule, I never comment on reviews. Just as I’m entitled to write whatever I want, reviewers are entitled to say what they feel. Not everyone is going to agree. You just have to be thick-skinned.

    On a second note… if you chose NOT to review anymore, then Kiera Cass and people like her have won. Don’t let anyone dictate what you do, hun. Keep reviewing if you love it!

    All the best!

  85. Kayla Beck

    Very lovely post, Wendy. You are ever the professional, and I admire the way you’ve handled this debacle. Your classiness shines. :-)

  86. Mocha ღ Latte(Cupcake and a Latte)

    This whole situation is ridiculous and you don’t deserve this at all! It all makes me so angry…

    I appreciate your taking the time out to write out this post, and I’m sending along my full support your way!


  87. Shelver506

    I was a little blogging baby way back in January, so I missed all of this stuff. Managed to miss it all until the beginning of this month, and that was only when someone commented on MY review of the book.

    You’re… awesome. I don’t think there’s any way I could be as professional and calm and level-headed as you have been.

    You’re my hero.

  88. Rachel

    Oh no Wendy! I noticed you were absent but I figured you were taking an awesome summer vacation! Looks like after this you need one! It’s horrible that this won’t just go away. I don’t know why people can’t move on with their lives. I can understand why reviewing would lose it’s appeal with all the drama. I’m so sorry you have to deal with this. Seriously, you need an awesome vacation! Hugs and kisses!

  89. kate

    you’re such a good writer. i honestly didnt think i was going to read all of this post when i started, because this issue doesn’t really interest me. but your post is so classy and interesting i couldnt stop. so refreshing

  90. Heidi

    Wendy, I realize that there isn’t much I can say right now in support of you that hasn’t already been said, but I have to say something nonetheless. I understand and respect entirely how you have handled this situation, and feel that you have acted with professionalism and maturity. I am horrified that anyone would needlessly post private information (whether accurate or not) of any other person, and can only see this as a way to further damage their own career. Your taking the time to write this post and state again your opinions reiterates your level head and complete fairness as a non-professional reviewer.

    I’ve missed you being around, but I completely understand your withdrawal. The fact that this continues to affect you and your ability to do those things that you enjoy is horrible, but please know the support you have around you, whether you choose to stay highly active in the blogging community or to take sometime for apart yourself. *Hugs*

  91. usagi,

    Dude, you deserve ALL THE AWARDS when it comes to this entire mess. I respect you, and think you’re generally awesome.

    Many hugs,
    a certain golden witch.

  92. usagi,

    If anything, you should be getting ALL THE AWARDS for your patience on this whole mess. I heart you muchly.

    Your golden witch. <3

  93. Linny @ Linnys Literature

    Wendy, I found you when I first joined GoodReads and was trying to find a reviewer with well-writen reviews that had simular taste in books as me. I found you and followed your reviews from there. The Selection trouble had happened before I found you, and when I heard of it I was so disgusted and astounded that that sort of thing could happen to a humble book reviewer just sharing their thoughts on a book. I was so shocked, I told the story to my family, my friends, and fellow book lovers and they were all equally as floored by this incident. At least 90% of them have vowed not to read the book of their own accord because they were so disgusted.

    You’ve kept your cool through it all as you’ve been name-called, insulted, and beaten down and that is amazing. I admit I’m a pretty weak person with these sort of things, and I would be in tears and off of the book reviewing for a long time if something like this happened to me. I actually was just starting to make friends with a new blogger when an author attacked them with “Anonymous” hateful comments and messages on one of their 1 star reviews. Me and her other new friends backed her, but I haven’t heard from her in about a month. Very sad. Reviews should not be bullied like this. Like many other have said, it’s these reviewers that help market and promote so many books for nothing in return. I’m so sorry that you’ve had to go through this. We’re here for you!

    I hope authors and their “friends” with anger managment issues that can’t take constructive criticisim learn their lesson over this and that the The Selection drama dies down.

  94. thepix

    Wendy!!! *hugs* You have handled this wonderfully! You are a class act, lady.

    And every professional author knows that you never comment, or use minions to comment, on negative reviews. It’s a very large NO-NO!

    The fallout from this immaturity is very unfortunate. And infuriating! And should be a lesson for ALL authors out there: Every voice should have a chance to be heard. And if you don’t like all the negative reviews of your book, then next time write a better book!

  95. Vivien

    I love you!!! You have more courage than many people out there, including me. You shouldn’t have had to go through any of it, especially when she posted your alleged personal information.

    I read your review. And to be honest, negative reviews only make me want to read the book myself to make my own opinion. And while we didn’t share the same opinion in the end, I could completely understand where you coming from at times. But the point is, you have specific quotes to back up your opinions. It’s your review, and they asked for your honesty. They just can’t be upset that you didn’t enjoy it.

    I respect you and your reviews!!! Keep up the magnificent work :D

  96. veela-valoom

    Wendy you have stayed classy through it all. I don’t understand why this is the drama that just won’t die. I’m glad I knew you before The Selection drama and am glad to still know you.

  97. Richard

    Wendy, we are not GoodReads friends, but this brouhaha has left a deep impression on me. Your blog post is a lovely example of grace and graciousness under pressure. It speaks well of you. (As does your perfectly fair review, but leave that aside.)

    One thing I’ll call you a liar about, though: “I don’t have any grand words of wisdom to impart about this overall…”

    Horse pucky! Every word of this post is wise from the heart to the head. You do the readerly community proud, ma’am.

  98. Vegan YA Nerds

    Wendy, you are one of my favourite reviewers, I know I can always trust you to give your honest opinion on a book and all of us love you for that! Don’t let people like that bring you down, you’re a big part of the community and I hope your interesting in reading and reviewing return ;) xox

  99. Randi

    Wendy, I’m not a book blogger, but I follow many book blogs. I actually found (and followed) yours via the Selection debacle. I just wanted to say I admire and appreciate your honest reviews. :) Keep it up!

  100. Krista Ashe

    Wendy, I love your reviews bc of your honesty. You are an amazing reviewer and person. Please don’t let this get you down or keep you from reviewing.

    There is freedom of speech in this country, and people have the right to say the things they want to about the books they read or the movies they watch or the music they listen to.

    Most of all, there is no excuse for an author or an agent to behave so badly. This is a business, and you have to behave professionally. You do not take it to twitter to call people names. You also do not try to “fix” the system. Where’s the integrity in that?

    You just keep on keeping it on, girlie!

  101. Melissa

    Wow! And all that for an honest review. I commend you on standing behind your review and not giving into the author and thse associated with book.

  102. Josin L. McQuein

    I didn’t know you had this blog until I saw a mention of the latest Selection-related mess from the unnamed author on Absolute Write. A line was definitely crossed when she displayed your and your husband’s public information, and I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with such childishness in retaliation for voicing your opinion. I’ve read a great many of your reviews and always find them to be well thought out and detailed, even the ones for novels you don’t like. As an author, you’re the sort of reviewer we hope for.

    You’ve handled yourself better than most under very trying circumstances.

  103. Book ♥ Soulmates

    I’ve come across your GR profile before, prior to all this madness but this is actually my first time visiting your blog. I may not know you well, but I wanted to commend you for handling this situation as professionally and diplomatically as you have. It’s so unfortunate when bloggers are attacked for simply expressing their opinion(s).

    I especially loved your note: “If authors want the free publicity and marketing tools that come with social media and citizen reviews, there must be an understanding that GoodReads, Facebook, Twitter, etc. users have a right to express their opinions, whether they’re positive or negative.” THOSE WORDS ARE TRUTH!!

    There are a lot of really great authors out there who understand the [potential] consequences of commenting on “negative” reviews but every once in a while you get that one who likes to stir shit up! They failed to realize that by criticizing bloggers, they have not only brought more attention to the negative review but in turn brought negative attention to themselves.

    Bottom line, kudos for handling this with class and honesty and this was a great post! There may be bad blood between you and the folks behind the book, but you have the support and respect of your fellow bloggers.

    Warm regards,
    Isalys / Book Soulmates

  104. f9959aa8-ab62-11e1-9826-000f20980440

    This sounds like a really dreadful thing to have happen to you. It also sounds like a really dreadful thing to have happened to the author — who was not responsible for what her agent said OR capable of preventing her agent from saying it. Honestly, it seems that both you and Kiera handled the situation in as dignified a manner as possible. Both of you had to deal with fallout from other people’s actions and I hope that everyone will drop this for BOTH of your sakes.

  105. Flannery Anderson

    I knew that if you ever wrote a post on this subject it would be very articulate and well reasoned, and it is. You know my feelings on these issues and I’m just so sorry that it is still going on. There is absolutely no excuse to post personal information online and I guarantee that that particular author will continue to lose potential readers with unethical actions like that.

  106. Annabelle Marie Veronica

    Oh, Wendy, you deserve a thousand hugs! This entire situation has been absolutely awful, and you handled it so much better than I probably would have. It’s always okay to have an opinion, and it’s really a shame that some people cannot see that. I had an author comment on my three-star review of his book once, and while I am grateful that he corrected some things for me, I was annoyed because he automatically assumed I didn’t like the book because it was three stars, and I wonder if he would have corrected me if my review rating had been higher. My extremely negative, bordering-on-scathing review of Juliet Immortal is popular on both Goodreads and my blog but I have luckily never received any trouble because of it, at least not from the author. I have received some grief from others, but nothing like this. Because of this I actually decided to read the sequel, Romeo Redeemed. I respect this author for not trying to change or ridicule my review. It’s far more because of this author, her publicist, and the behavior of these reviewers than because of negative reviews that I will never read The Selection or anything by this author, ever. I fervently wish that none of this had ever happened, and frankly, it sucks. It’s got to be crazy-hard to find the strength to keep reviewing after this whole thing; I know I would struggle. Everything about this situation is terrible and hopefully blows over sooner rather than later. I know this might sound kind of lame and cliché, but if you ever need anything, I’m here for you.

    ♥, Annabelle

  107. Desiree

    I could not believe what I was reading when I found out about this vanity author on cuddlebuggery book blog. My mouth literally fell open and I gasped. I cannot fathom what would cause someone to sink so low. I am so sorry that this has not only happened but that it has put a temporary damper on your passion for reviewing books. I know that I speak for a lot of people when I say that I look forward to reading your reviews and I appreciate all the work that you put into them!

  108. Randi Black

    Wendy, I’m so sorry this happened to you. You have my utmost respect for handling this in such a classy, eloquent manner, and for not calling more attention the perpetrator.

  109. Randi Black

    Wendy, I’m so sorry this happened to you. You have my utmost respect for handling this in such a classy and eloquent matter, and props to you for not calling more attention to the perpetrator.

  110. angel6171

    It’s a shame Wendy that you are getting so much backlash from this one review. Your reviews are well put together, detailed, and thoughtful. Authors need to realize not everyone is going to like their book and when they don’t just ignore it or take it out in your private time but to get on a reviewer for writing an honest review is childish. It’s a bad look for her and she’s getting as much backlash as possible. Wendy you’re a great reviewer don’t let people get you down. :)

  111. April (BooksandWine)

    Wow. Just wow. How awful that you had to go through so much over one review.

    Seems like all the comments above have said it better than I can, but we miss you and hope you come back to blogging soon. I know the other day I thought I accidentally deleted your feed from my reader or something, because I hadn’t seen a post from you in awhile. :-/


  112. Missie, The Unread Reader

    *Texas sized hugs* Thanks for taking the time to explain this WD. You’re right. The negativity from the authors/publisher/agents definitely affects a reader’s enthusiasm for sharing their honest opinion or even reading their book.

  113. thebookwurrm

    I appreciate you taking the time to write out your thoughts more for the sake of your audience than your own. I didn’t think we’d ever come to a point when people sunk that low but I guess I was proved wrong. It’s a shame that it happened but the silver lining is that it displays the class you have and the strong support system you have. It’s an honor to be your friend.

  114. maggieflynn49

    Just jumping in to say that this author’s behavior is beyond unprofessional. Don’t let her get you down, and continue being honest. I don’t know if this helps any, but finding out about how you stuck to your guns through this has gotten you a new reader :) Stay strong!

  115. Melissa Ward

    Strangely, I’ve never read your blog before but Bookalicious Pam linked this post in her post today (very meta!). I should be reading you, though *adding The Midnight Garden to Google Reader*.

    I’ve heard only bits and pieces of what happened (YA isn’t a usual genre for me and my attention is currently held for ransom by Regency Romance Renegades (har, har)) but I just want to commend you on your commitment to maintaining a professional attitude in confronting these bullies. The “facelessness” of social media and the ease of Internet use make it so easy for people to use it to denigrate others. Bravo, *highfive*, two thumbs up, and props to you.

    And a *hug*, because all those mean words from all those trolls had to hurt. To paraphrase Benedick – they write poniards, and every word stabs.

    Keep doing what you’re doing – the bullies might be loud, but they’re in the minority :)

  116. Jennifer @ The Bawdy Book Blog

    Wendy, this is an excellent post. I had already requested and read the book when I read about your debacle, and while I did enjoy it, Cass’ and her agent’s actions were disappointing, to say the least. You have been the epitome of grace throughout this entire ordeal and they could both take lessons from you.
    I 1-starred a somewhat popular book around Christmas time last year and the author “liked” it on GR, then went on to directly quote from my review on Twitter, snarkily making fun of what I had to say, mentioning that I was the only person to really dislike the book. Of course, I’m not now and who knows how she reacted to the others, but I guess because I was the first… When will authors understand that book blogging is completely subjective?

    Thanks for this great post. And I hope you get back into the swing of things, comfortably.

  117. Katie Edwards

    I’ve just heard about this whole fiasco. Sounds like you’ve handled the whole affair very wisely and maturely – I think few of us could do so when faced with such personal attacks. Just earlier today I was discussing on another blog whether it was a good idea or not for authors to respond to reviews of their work. It’s their right, of course, but if they can’t do so respectfully then they’ll do their reputations a lot more harm than one person saying, on their little corner of the internet, “I didn’t like this book and here’s why.” And it is NOT their right to get abusive about it.

  118. Jenny

    Wendy, I heart your reviews because I can trust you to be honest about your opinions and clear about the reasons for your feelings regarding a book. I think this is probably true of everyone who follows your reviews. And I totally miss you on GR.

    I have never understood how any of these people who’ve attacked you in this matter can have the audacity to act this way. It’s absurd. It’s disgraceful. It’s sickening. Please don’t let them get to you. You are way better than they are. I’m sure you know this. But just know that many of the rest of us know it, too.

  119. aboutthestory

    Thank you for posting this. I apparently live under a rock (I’ve named it school :D ) because I didn’t know about this whole thing until now, but as one of those fledgling book bloggers you mentioned, it’s important for newbies like me to know that there is this dark underbelly. It’s sad that it happens, but hopefully it’ll strengthen us as a community to stand up against authors and not be bullied into reviewing how they want us to.

    That isn’t the direction I imagined this comment to go, but thank you for your honesty and you have a new subscriber because of it <3

  120. Katy

    I just wanted to say that I am so impressed by the way you have handled this horrid situation. You have handled it with grace and class. I adore your reviews. It is evident that you are genuine and incredibly thorough. Looking forward to seeing much more from you! Thank you!

  121. Jenna D.

    I applaud you for writing this post, Wendy. I am sure that it was difficult to make a statement on the whole matter, and I am sorry it ever happened to you. Your post above was done in good taste and was quite professional, despite the fact that you “are not a professional”. ;) Kudos!

  122. Miss Vain's Paranormal Fantasy

    When the whole controversy happened to you in January I was shocked and appalled and then (this is exactly how little you discussed it) I completely forgot about it. So when I received the ARC I was ecstatic until I remembered that this was the book where the author and agent said hurtful things to you. I immediately decided I would not be reviewing it and I stand by that decision especially with what happened to you and also when my friends at Talk Supe blog received troll comments on their 3 star review making nasty derigatory comments that questioning their intelligence and correcting one misspelled word due to an autocorrect mistake. The funny thing is that they have one of those wiggets on their blog that tells you where the commenter is coming from anywhere in the world. It’s very fun when your city pops up. I found it amusing that the “anonymous” commenter was from I believe Santa Barbara where the author lives!! LMAO!!! Coincidence!;) Cheer up Wendy!! Your reviews are awesome and I love you!! XOXO

  123. Unknown

    Hi Wendy!

    *Full Disclosure: I am both an author and a lit agent. You have, in fact, reviewed my books in the past, and your 1 star review will forever remain the first review seen on my book (RIPPLE)’s goodread page, due to the 108 likes it has compared to 10 or 11 on every other review. It also garnered 182 comments. (I looked it up just now, I don’t have that memorized, I swear.)*
    Your review was blunt. It was 1 star. You didn’t like the book. But you know what, that’s okay. Some people won’t like my books. Some will. That’s just how it goes.
    I still read my goodreads reviews because I find it heartening that my books even exist out there for someone to discuss, regardless of what they think. Yeah, there are days it’s painful and I wise up and stop reading, and go read a couple of bad reviews on books I think are flawless to remind myself that every book is hated by someone, but mostly, I like to see that people care that my books even exist. And hell, sometimes readers catch things I never realized, and neither did a few critique partners, an editor, and a copy editor. Like how Kayla, in YOU WISH’s last name is McHenry. Except her dad is Italian, like was born in freakin Italy. And brilliant me didn’t actually, you know, give him an Italian name.
    Hell, I even laughed out loud when you were all, “the mermaid is vacuuming the shag carpet,” and someone was picturing a chick standing upright on her tail, trying to vacuum. You pull out some line like that without context, and it is funny.
    I just wanted to chime in because there’s a lot of things going back and forth between reviewers and authors (and even lit agents), with a lot of accusations and such. And I wanted you to hear from an author/agent that you can keep right on doing what you’re doing, that we don’t all sit and gather at the bottom with our torches waiting to storm your castle for posting honest reviews.
    So while maybe I didn’t love your review, I still respect you as a reviewer. There are about a million other things I could say on this topic but they’re all moot, because what it comes down to is that it’s your right to write the reviews you do, and it’s clear you love books and aren’t out just to rip apart everything you can find. But sometimes mermaids vacuum the shag carpet and you just can’t help but mock it. I’ll put on my big girl panties and move on to writing my next book, just like you’ll move on to reading the next one, and that’s that.

    Mandy Hubbard
    Author of that one book with the mermaid and a vacuum.

  124. starryeyedjen

    Wendy, this is a truly disappointing situation, but I’ve been amazed at how well you’ve handled yourself throughout the entire mess. I have to commend your efforts because I don’t think I would have been able to handle things so gracefully. I’ve had this book on my TBR for awhile, and I had thought to give it a try to see if I had the same misgivings as you and many others, but I just can’t fathom supporting someone who could maliciously attack you as this author did.

    I’m sorry this happened to you, and I’m sorry that there are those out there who were never taught to accept criticism. But it is absolutely unscrupulous to post personal information in a public forum, whether it be legitimate or not. This whole situation weighs heavily on my heart, and I wish there was more I could do for you, aside from offering my support, but it is my hope that the author and her supporters will see repercussions for their actions sooner rather than later.

    Best wishes to you, Wendy, and I sincerely hope that this is the last time you’ll have to deal with this unruly author and her subterfuge, but if the last few months are any indication, I won’t hold my breath. Regardless, I know I can always count on you for an honest review. :)

  125. Unknown


    Your remarks above, like your reviews, are cogent, fair and dignified. I’ve missed your reviews on GR and look forward to seeing you “back in the saddle” again.


  126. Stephanie Sinkhorn

    Just wanted to stop by and say that I’m sorry all of this nonsense happened to you. Regardless of circumstances, it was immensely uncool, but given that you’ve been (in my opinion) pretty classy about the whole situation, it makes me that much more frustrated on your behalf. Keep on keepin’ on, lady.

  127. Joyous Reads

    You are a beautiful person, Miss Wendy. Your reviews never fail to inspire me. Please don’t ever stop.



  128. Krista@Cubicleblindness

    I for one would be heartbroken and very saddened if you stopped writing your thoughts on books you read. Although I rarely agree with your opinion on books I have always admired your well thought out and intelligent way of writing them.
    I myself have been going through a period of not wanting to write reviews on books recently either. The stress of always thinking that you can be attacked for posting your opinion scares me, and I for one do not want to be intimidated to say my thoughts publicly about how I honestly feel about something.
    I really admire you for this post, I hope that you do not disappear forever, or stop sharing your thoughts with us, you have no control over how others react to your work, but it sure does sting a little doesn’t it?
    I think from the beginning this whole thing went down hill and for one person to point fingers at another is just messy, it’s all a black hole at this point, but guess what people are still buying the book. I bought the book and for the next couple years many more will buy the book, and I actually had you to thank because there were things in your “review” that got me to want to read it-for the right reasons, no intention to laugh or attack anything, but for pure enjoyment of reading.
    Keep your chin up babe! I hope the authors and agents do as well, it’s just messy and this too shall pass.

  129. b311scram

    Wow, that’s just such a shame that everything went down like it did. I really appreciate you sharing your story, especially as a fellow blog reviewer. I’m still relatively new on the scene and your whole situation is something that never even crossed my mind. Terrible that they handled that way, but kudos to you for handling it the way you did. Definitely not fair to complain about completely honest reviews. Not everyone will like every book… Just doesn’t work that way. Thanks for sharing! I know you have a lot of support behind you :)

  130. Ellie Warren

    After reading this I’m glad my review of The Selection went unnoticed, although it was somewhere in the middle, lots wrong with it but somehow I ended up enjoying it on a superficial level.

    I am so wary of accepting review requests from sources unknown to me these days. I don’t draw undue attention to negative reviews and the publicists I chat to online are lovely, but you never know when someone will just flip out.

    Hope this blows over quickly for you and you can get back to doing what you love, reading and talking about books!

  131. Kelly


    I am so sorry this happened to you! How terrible!

    I read The Selection and I was not blown away by it. This kind of behavior, however, has ensured that I will never read another word this author writes.

    How despicable!

  132. Chrisbookarama

    I can’t believe an author and her agent would have such a convo publicly on Twitter. Really not a good idea, especially since they are promoting a book for young people. And the whole thing with the self-pubbed author, I don’t know what to say about that. Crazy!

    I can see why this would make a reviewer reluctant to get back on the horse, but honest reviews are always needed and I’m glad you’ve decided to keep on giving them. :)

  133. Kelly


    I am so sorry this happened to you! How awful!

    I read The Selection and wasn’t blown away by it. This behavior, though, has ensured that I will never read another word this author writes.

    This is despicable!

  134. leslie

    so eloquently and thoughtfully written; not unlike the many reviews you write that I love to share with my YA reading friends.

    I hope that you will find your enthusiasm for reviewing very soon–I can understand why, and I love your inclusion that the will to write good reviews is lost in the fall-out of these debacles, too.

    Reading this post brought a quote by Aristotle to mind, one that I recently came across, “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” In publishing reviews that may be negative, that may stem from a DNF (which I find valuable as well), not only reflects your integrity/beliefs, but I believe they reflect a respect for your readership’s abilities to be discerning–something the antics of the industry seems to reflect a cynicism toward; whether rightly or wrongly, I am not interested in arguing, because the short of it is: I just want you to know that I appreciate you.

    L (omphaloskepsis)

  135. contemplatrix

    so eloquently and thoughtfully written; not unlike the many reviews you write that I love to share with my YA reading friends.

    I hope that you will find your enthusiasm for reviewing very soon–I can understand why, and I love your inclusion that the will to write good reviews is lost in the fall-out of these debacles, too.

    Reading this post brought a quote by Aristotle to mind, one that I recently came across, “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” In publishing reviews that may be negative, that may stem from a DNF (which I find valuable as well), not only reflects your integrity/beliefs, but I believe they reflect a respect for your readership’s abilities to be discerning–something the antics of the industry seems to reflect a cynicism toward; whether rightly or wrongly, I am not interested in arguing, because the short of it is: I just want you to know that I appreciate you.

    L (omphaloskepsis)

  136. Tina G

    Wendy, this is simply outstanding. Though I love everything you’ve said, this quote really stood out for me;

    “Every time an author meltdown occurs, someone, somewhere, feels less inclined to write a review–even a positive one.”

    …that is so true and it’s actually what happened to me. I feel less enthusiastic about reviewing books on Goodreads these days and only write very brief reviews and/or just stick to rating. I love reading but since I’ve seen so much drama on GR I just don’t have it in me to bother. I’m not half the reviewer you are or even half the reviewer most of my friends on GR are, and that’s okay with me, since it was fun and I enjoyed it anyways. But for the past few months now I’ve lost my passion for it.

    Your made of awesome!


  137. contemplatrix

    so eloquently and thoughtfully written; not unlike the many reviews you write that I love to share with my YA reading friends.

    I hope that you will find your enthusiasm for reviewing very soon–I can understand why, and I love your inclusion that the will to write good reviews is lost in the fall-out of these debacles, too.

    Reading this post brought a quote by Aristotle to mind, one that I recently came across, “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” In publishing reviews that may be negative, that may stem from a DNF (which I find valuable as well), not only reflects your integrity/beliefs, but I believe they reflect a respect for your readership’s abilities to be discerning–something the antics of the industry seems to reflect a cynicism toward; whether rightly or wrongly, I am not interested in arguing, because the short of it is: I just want you to know that I appreciate you.

    L (omphaloskepsis)

  138. contemplatrix

    so eloquently and thoughtfully written; not unlike the many reviews you write that I love to share with my YA reading friends.

    I hope that you will find your enthusiasm for reviewing very soon–I can understand why, and I love your inclusion that the will to write good reviews is lost in the fall-out of these debacles, too.

    Reading this post brought a quote by Aristotle to mind, one that I recently came across, “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” In publishing reviews that may be negative, that may stem from a DNF (which I find valuable as well), not only reflects your integrity/beliefs, but I believe they reflect a respect for your readership’s abilities to be discerning–something the antics of the industry seems to reflect a cynicism toward; whether rightly or wrongly, I am not interested in arguing, because the short of it is: I just want you to know that I appreciate you.

    L (omphaloskepsis)

  139. Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings

    Wendy, I have been womdering why I haven’t been getting blog emails and seeing you on GR. This whole situation is nasty but don’t ever let it get the best of you. She had no right to post your personal info and your photo on her blog and then berate you. You hold your head high and keep doing what you love to do. Take a break clear your head do what you need to do, but you make damn sure that you come back in full force and start reading and reviewing again. If you don’t they will have won. Your voice is missed. You hang in there and let me know if I can help you in any way. Hugs…

  140. Savannah Valdez

    Wendy, I had to literally pull over while I was driving to read your post. Let me say that I applaud you. I think the way you handle this whole situtation is incredible. You did not lash back nor did you stoop down to their level. You are honest in your words and I know if the situation were to happen to me, I do exactly what you did.

    On the other hand, I can’t believe authors. Why? Can’t they see that this effects them? That it looks bad on their part. This is why every time I post a review, I am careful with my words. Though I am honest, I do not bash the author. I always try to find what I enjoyed about the book and focus on that. Still, I have not been called out yet, but I hoping it will not happen to me.

    And you are right. I trust your review because of your honest opinions. I will not buy books from authors who disreguard their readers. I may be a blogger, reviewer, what ever you want to call me, but I spend my hard earned money on authors books. I buy them, promote them, give them away, etc. It brings up a good question in my mind, why would they bash their own consumer? I mean really, why? *SMH*

    So for an author, agent, publicist, fellow
    reviewer, to call you out like that is simply WRONG!

    With that said, keep your head up and keep reviewing! You are amazing and no matter what other people say you keep writing your opinions!

  141. Sisters Unedited

    You handled it great. A similar question was just recently asked for a blog follow about reviewing books and I was actually shocked by some responses.

    Thank you for being honest in your reviews. I do not enjoy wasting my time(as you have seen with some of my reviews) and reading reviews from people I trust helps me steer clear of books I probably won’t like.

    Hopefully, all this will die down and certain authors will be ignored b/c let’s face it she just wanted attention. This was a blatant disregard to integrity and a two-year-old like tantrum.

    As everyone has said, please keep reviewing. :o)

  142. KM

    It would be totally easy for me to tell you to forget those jerks and keep reviewing, but I’m not the one who got attacked. Just know that lots of us love your reviews and think they are pretty much made of awesome. I know I do. :-)

  143. Kaye M.

    Wendy, can I just say that I love you? I’m so sorry all this happening to you, and that people cannot just interact with each other in a reasonable, no-boundaries-crossed manner. I was wondering why I didn’t see you on GoodReads for a while, and I hope this means that you aren’t going to stop writing reviews. They are really the highlight of the book blogging world. <3

  144. Avery Flynn

    “If authors want the free publicity and marketing tools that come with social media and citizen reviews, there must be an understanding that GoodReads, Facebook, Twitter, etc. users have a right to express their opinions, whether they’re positive or negative.” – Bingo

  145. Avery Flynn

    “If authors want the free publicity and marketing tools that come with social media and citizen reviews, there must be an understanding that GoodReads, Facebook, Twitter, etc. users have a right to express their opinions, whether they’re positive or negative.” Right on the mark.

  146. Kelley Lee

    You put a lot of heart and soul into that post. Your words rang very truthful. I wish you the very best, and just know the community loves you and your honesty.

  147. Jen

    Wendy, I commented over at Goodreads, but wanted to add a note here after reading your blog post. I am so, so sorry for all that you have been through. I generally steer clear of the controversies that inevitably occur on-line, because I’m really just here to talk about books. However, as someone who spends a LOT of money on books (print, electronic and audio,) I also like to know my money is well spent. I have no desire to support authors who act like this. One of the things I have so admired about you is how welcoming, supportive and positive you are to other members of the YA community, myself included. Attacking you (and your resulting reduced participation in the YA community circles) harms us all. I have purchased and read a number of books that I would not have otherwise noticed, based on you highlighting them on Goodreads or here. Thank you for that! And I hope that you will continue to enjoy reading and recommending. Please don’t let these badly-behaved individuals steal your joy. To quote one of my favorite cult movies, “Pitch Black”: “Whatever those things were, they seem to stick to darkness. So if we stick to daylight, we should be okay.” :-) Hugs!

  148. Sarah

    I’ve noticed that you aren’t around as much, which is a shame because I really enjoy your reviews and tend to love many of the same books that you love. I hope you regain your enthusiasm for it at some point, but I understand why you might want some time away from all the insanity.

  149. Bonnie Regan

    Oh, Wendy. I’m so terribly sorry you’re continuing to have to deal with all of this. Bottom line, it’s unfair as you have handled the situation with the utmost professionalism. I applaud you for that but also completely understand your absence (even though I miss you terribly, I hope you know :D).

  150. Johannah

    (My comment didn’t post so if this is a second post I am sorry. Just delete it). Wendi – please do not stop reading or writing reviews. Then the bad guy wins!

  151. Johannah

    Wendy – do not give up on reading or writing reviews. Because then the bad guys get what they want.

  152. Rachel @ Unforgettable Books

    Hi Wendy!
    Thanks for explaing why you have been offline these last few weeks.
    I missed you.
    I always felt that everyone should be allowed to speak their opinion, so you made nothing wrong to write a negative review.
    I think you handled the whole situation fine. Like today, you could have mentioned the self-pub author’s name, but you kept it private- very smart and good choice.
    I hope you find it fun to read and write reviews again soon.
    I’m looking forward to all your future reviews!

  153. Jessica

    (I hope this isn’t posted twice, but I wanted to make sure you saw this!)

    Wow. This is incredible for so many reasons. I can’t believe you have had to go through this ridiculousness. Know that you have earned yourself another follower and friend in the YA reviewing world.

  154. elena

    Oh, Wendy! As I’ve told you before, I have missed seeing you around but I didn’t know it was because of this reason. I absolutely hate that so much drama was brought over one review, especially as you said you do soften your language and it was a fair review. I can’t believe the lengths that vanity author went just to be vicious. I really admire you for being so thoughtful and eloquent on this subject matter because I definitely know I wouldn’t be able to deal with it. I’m sitting here, absolutely appalled. I am so, so sorry this happened to you. You have done so much for the community and I really appreciate you. If you ever need to talk or anything, I’m here for you, Wendy. ♥

  155. Jessica

    Wow. This is incredible for so many reasons. I can’t believe you’ve had to go through this kind of ridiculousness. Know that you have earned yourself another follower and friend in the YA reviewing world. Thank you for standing up and speaking out.

  156. Nicole

    I can’t wait until the dust settles and you can dust yourself off and roll your shirt sleeves back up. I did not know of this debacle or meltdown until now. The magnitude is horrific. You handled it with such grace. I’ve been a fan of yours for quite some time on GoodReads. You recently accepted my friend request and I was so relieved. I didn’t just want to be a followers of you, but a friend. I think that your reputation speaks for itself. They can’t change that even if they try. I trust your reviews and find them fair and a breath of fresh air. Never be afraid to be honest. I don’t want to live in a robot society or where Big Brother is in control like 1984. This is 2012 and you keep rockin’ girl. Thanks for standing you for what you believe in. You did us all a favor as well.

  157. MamzelleRoxanne

    When you write a book you must understand that a lot of people won’t like it. When someone write a negative review you can learn from it or at least ignore it and put your energy on the good reviews, on your fans.

    You did not tried to ruin the reputation of the author or something like that so they have no rights to do what they did. I hope you will continue on this blog and goodreads because I like reading your reviews.

  158. Juju at Tales of

    One last question: Who called you a b*tch? The author or her agent?

    For the record: Don’t they know negative reviews are more likely to get the book read than positive reviews?

  159. Juju at Tales of

    Oh my gosh Wendy.
    I’m so outraged for you.
    I’m so sorry you’ve had to go through this.
    I do hope you’ll continue to do what you love and ignore all the drama.

  160. Alessandra Kelley

    I’m one of the people on GopodReads who friended you after the January kerfuffle. I’m not even much of a YA reader these days, but I really enjoy your reviews and respect your insights.

    The bullying behavior of the author and her supporters is offensive to my sense of fairness and reason.

    I am sorry this is weighing so heavily on you. I think you do a terrific job of reading and reviewing, and as I have said elsewhere, you do a great service for the readers of YA.

  161. gnouh

    Just read that self-author’s blog post and had to roll my eyes at her attempt to distort everything.

    Stay strong Wendy! I appreciate all the reviews, positive or negative, that I read from you and many of the other awesome GR reviewers.

    PS: Amazon currently has her latest book for free and even I (biggest cheapskate ever!) wouldn’t download that drivel.

  162. kaye (paper reader)

    There’s not much else to be said, but, you’re right why I blog, at least. The best part of this is the interaction between people who love books and characters and everything therein. The fun is in the discussion, the “ah, I would never have thought of that” perspective someone else shares.

    I’m glad that you’re here to share these things, Wendy.

  163. Ems

    I stumbled across this debacle this morning (I missed the original drama, because I’d had no plans to read The Selection & didn’t pay attention to anything surrounding it) on Twitter, and feel completely sickened that you’ve been subjected to the worst case of Internet bullying that I’ve ever seen. I went back and read your review of the book, and while negative, it was in NO WAY disrespectful or rude. I found it enlightening and it only solidified my original choice not to read the book. I’ve since read several of your other reviews, both positive and negative, and found them to be well though out and respectful.

    I suppose that if I’m looking for one teensy positive thing that’s come of this (for me, anyway), it’s that I’ve now discovered your blog and am following. I’ll be a regular reader from now on. I’ve read enough of your reviews this morning to know that I’ll trust your input.

    For what it’s worth, you have my support. *virtual hugs*


  164. Brigid Gorry-Hines

    I’m so sorry Wendy! I remember before this self-published author was banned from Goodreads, and seeing her ugly behavior all over the place … But this is just utterly disgusting, even for her. I can’t believe she would go so far as to try and stalk you, and then try to post personal information on her blog. Obviously what she hopes will happen is that her troll friends will send you hate mail or something. Ugh.

    Thank you for posting this and letting us know what really happened. It’s horrible that this author went and told blatant lies about you just to try to make you look bad. But I think it’s pretty obvious that you have far more supporters than she does, and we all know you’re telling the truth. (I mean, a lot of it we saw with our own eyes…) Don’t let the trolls get to you! Your one of my absolute favorite reviewers on Goodreads; your reviews are always both fair and entertaining. Keep writing your brilliant reviews! We all love you! xoxoxoxoxo

    – Brigid (aka Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!* on Goodreads ^_^)

  165. Jasprit

    Wendy I didn’t know you were dealing with so much backlash from your Selection review still. It’s such a shame, because you are one of the best reviewers out there, your reviews are honest and passionate and I know I can always trust your reviews fully! No one should have to sugar coat their reviews and yours aren’t even that harsh, I’ve seen some out there that proper bash a book and the author. I absolutely love your reviews, I will always be here and on your goodreads eagerly anticipating your reviews! I’m just so sorry you had to be put through so much! *hugs*

  166. Bookworm1858

    I thought it seemed like you weren’t posting much lately and, being kind of selfish, I was wondering why-I want more reviews! Now that I understand some of what you’ve been going through, I’m appalled. The things people have done and said to you are just awful.

    I want to add my voice to those in support of you, your writing, and your right to voice your opinion. I think your reviews are fabulous and whenever I’m checking out a new book on goodreads, I always look to see if you have anything to say about it.

  167. meinterrupted

    What the author and her agent did were extremely unprofessional. I’m so sorry that you had to go through this, and I hope that you feel up to reviewing sooner rather than later. Though I don’t always agree with your reviews (Graceling! You must finish Graceling!), your insights are always welcome. :)

  168. Jessie

    Major props to you, Wendy. You are a consummate professional and a lovely human being. I’m sorry this has affected your reading and reviewing for the last few months, but it’s completely understandable.

    Big hugs and hope you get your groove back soon!



  169. Katie Tuccelli

    Wendy, I appreciate your reviews and your view-point. You are eloquent, fair, and honest. That is all I could ever ask of you.

    I actually read your review of The Selection before I read the book, and even though the book didn’t blow me away, I semi-enjoyed it for what I believe it is: fluff. I agreed with many of your points, but the fact is, even though you weren’t crazy about it, you didn’t influence me NOT to read it OR to align my thoughts with your own.

    As you said, “No one book will be universally loved … Books should stand or fall on their own merits.” Period.

    If I lived nearby, I’d take you out for a nice glass of wine/tea/coffee/whatevs :-) Keep your head up girl! ::hugs::

  170. Bookish Sue

    Wendy, your point here, “Most of us who blog about books do so for the sheer love of it.” is paramount to this whole fiasco. I love books and review them because of my love for them. So, keep reviewing, as I often follow your recommendations (but not always, and that is perfectly fine too!)

  171. lissawrites

    I try to stay out of these messes because of what happened to me but I want to leave a message of love and support for you, because quite frankly YOU ARE AMAZING. The way you’ve handled this is amazing, and your reviews are amazing, and you, yourself are amazing.

  172. Carl V.

    It never ceases to amaze me when authors do things like this. I guess I expect more from someone who put the effort into writing a story, getting it published, etc. I sometimes wonder when they stoop to this kind of behavior if it is a sign that they don’t feel very confident in their work and so they are operating on the “any press is good press” assumption, fueling a fire that their novel would not have sparked on its own.

    I can understand your frustration and like others would encourage you to not let it affect your passion for sharing your feelings about the books you read. If I was in your shoes I’d feel the same way you do, and probably most angry because my honest thoughts on the book, and its subsequent reaction, probably sold more copies than it would have otherwise sold. Now THAT is frustrating.

  173. Birgit

    This really leaves me speechless (good thing I can still type, eh?) …
    Hell, what are some authors thinking!? That everyone’s going to love them unconditionally and that they are absolute geniuses who deserve to be among the likes of Stephen King and JK Rowling??? Apparently so. But acting out like some little brat running into its over-achieving “Mommie’s” arms? Boohoo, poor you!!
    Alright, getting a little carried away here. And yes, I’m allowed to say such not so nice things about authors who can’t handle the fact that every person has an individual opinion and different tastes to boot and I feel that dealing with such a thing in a mature manner definitely should be in every author’s job description. Oh, long sentence, now you might wonder why I of all people am allowed to say this? Well, I’m an author too. And THAT behavior is just really LOW … nuff said! Awesome post!!

  174. Blueicegal ♥

    oh wendy. it saddens me how much this has affected you. to the point where you are even on goodreads less. i hope everything dies down so that you can move on from this and be happier *hugs*

  175. Elena

    Oh, Wendy, that’s awful! *hugs* I knew about the initial attack on you, but had no idea things had snowballed this much. I am totally aghast, since as far as I am concerned you are the damned nicest reviewer on Goodreads. You always go out of your way to be fair and not do any name calling, both with authors and trollish reviewers. I do hope this whole thing blows over and your enthusiasm for the site returns–I’ve missed seeing you around as often!

  176. Elena

    Oh, Wendy, that’s awful! *hugs* I knew about the initial attack on you, but had no idea things had snowballed this much. I am totally aghast, since as far as I am concerned you are the damned nicest reviewer on Goodreads. You always go out of your way to be fair and not do any name calling, both with authors and trollish reviewers. I do hope this whole thing blows over and your enthusiasm for the site returns–I’ve missed seeing you around as often!

  177. Kate

    I’m glad to hear that the agent apologized to you. Having worked in HR for almost 10 years, I’m not sure I agree that an author can always “control” their agents, but neither Kiera nor her agent should have engaged in any attempt to down-rank a review. I read this book and liked it, but whether someone likes or does not like the same books that I do in no way makes me think less of a blogger. Different opinions help the community and inspire discussion. I am continually amazed that my review of this book on Amazon still attracts people warring over marking it as “helpful” or “not helpful”. A big part of me wants to scream “GROW UP!!!”

    Episodes like this make me cringe because I find myself constantly trying to defend YA and when the authors and agents who are supposed to be its biggest advocates engage in this type of behavior, it hurts everyone in the community. I appreciate the way you handled things and I hope you come back soon….

    Kate @ Ex Libris

  178. Sarahbotbonkers

    Oh Wendy. Let me just say that you’re one of the reviewers I look up to. Every reviews you write are wonderfully written and I can tell that you really put your thoughts and heart into it. I love what you do and those people mean nothing–at least to me. I’ve been missing you, Wendy. Don’t ever stop reviewing. *hugs*

  179. nat

    Dont let this interfere with your love of reading!!! Your review was an honest one and not at all bad. Ive seen people reviewing books on goodreads and they attack and mock the author, book etc. You in no way did this and shouldnt feel bad or wrong or anything!! The way the author and publisher handled it is wrong and no way should they have called you a name!! Thats what makes me furious about this, that they would stoop so low and do that.
    Continue doing what you are doing and I hope this doesnt affect your love of books or blogging.

  180. kelseysclutteredbookshelf

    I didn’t hear about this until now, that’s just crazy, I didn’t think an author would actually do anything like that. I’ve only just started following your blog, but as a fellow book blogger I support you, you were only being honest and others need to learn to take criticism or they will never grow.

  181. Linda

    Big hugs your way Wendy! I don’t know and I don’t even want to try to understand why someone thinks it is right in any way to post what they believe is someone elses personal information on the internet.

    A lot of us do use a pseudo, and we are allowed to do that. And it is really very important that other posters respect that.

    I love reading your reviews, and I truly hope you will continue to write them. Hopefully this whole debacle will finally die down, and we can all get back to reading books, chatting about them and sharing our experiences.

  182. Christina

    Oh, Wendy, I am so sorry that the response to this review has impacted you this way. It’s sad that they’re scaring off an honest reviewer. I haven’t been a regular reader of your blog for all that long, but I can tell from everything that I’ve read that, whether we have the same taste or not–and we don’t necessarily, I know where I stand with your reviews. They will your honest opinion. You will state the good and the bad, and it’s for the reader to decide whether they would feel the same about those things.

    I did read and comment on your review of The Selection (on your blog…the GR thread is insane), although I now kind of wish I hadn’t since it brings you that moment of ‘not again’ when you see that there’s a new comment on that review.

    All I can say is that I think pretty much everyone has your back on this, except for a coterie of trolls. These authors that have publicly spoken out against you have done worlds more to damage their own reputations than to in any way tarnish yours.

    I do get, though, why it would still be damaging to your motivation with regards to blogging. I know I’ve been seriously concerned with attracting trolls. Thankfully, I’m just not all that popular a blogger, and most of my readers follow solely for giveaways or because they know me and have similar attitudes. I don’t think my reviews are usually near the top of a GR page, so trolls leave me alone. Still, I definitely worry about it. I recently wrote a top ten list of books everyone else loves that I don’t think deserve it, and I was really afraid a troll would go to town. Actually, everyone’s been supportive, even if they didn’t agree about one series or book.

    I hope you’re able to overcome your new…apathy (this doesn’t seem like the right word precisely, but I’m struggling to find the right one). I would hate to see the trolls win.

    Much love and support!

  183. Sarah (saz101)

    Oh, Wendy, I really, truly wish I could say or do something to help or ANYTHING.

    You are a wonderful reviewer. Thoughtful and intelligent, and NEVER even remotely harsh. I can’t explain how much I admire how well you’ve handled the debacle, or how much I admire and respect you as a reviewer and blogger.

    I know this must be so hard, and effect you offline, too, but, if it helps at all, I think you’re AMAZING ♥♥♥

  184. Giselle

    Wendy, first – everyone knows this author’s post is full of lies. I’m so sorry this happened to you and in know way will it affect your credibility as a reviewer. Your reviews are always the very first ones I read to decide if I should get a book or not. I think the way you handled this drama is admirable and I’m hoping some day this will blow over – sooner rather than later.

    Anyways, I could writ a super long comment about everything you said, but I’ll just leave it at this. We all support you so don’t ever think you’re alone in this!

  185. Andrea K Höst

    This kind of negativity would wear down anyone. It’s like having all the fun and positivity stolen away from something you love by the Bad Cess Fairy.

  186. Roos

    That a grown up author who should be an example for children and teens are behaving this way to reviewers is baffling.

    You’re a class act Wendy. Please keep on writing your reviews :)

  187. Rachel @ Unforgettable Books

    Hi Wendy,
    Thanks for writing this post explaining why you been offline for the most part the last few weeks.
    I missed you. I hope you can get back into the pleasure of reading and reviewing soon.
    I always find that everyone is entitled to their own opinion so it was not wrong to write the negative review.
    I’m glad that you decided not to mention the self-pub author’s name- smart choice!
    Anyways, hopefully ths controversy is over soon. Thanks for clearing out the facts!
    :) have a great day!

  188. Tina

    I can’t believe this is still happening, and I’m so sorry it happened to you. :( You’re one of my favorite reviewers, and I always like it when your reviews pop up on my feed. I really and truly hope things get better. *hugs*

  189. ahz1

    Wendy, I’ve missed your thoughtful reviews. I think you handled the situation with grace and poise. Hugs.

  190. Tanja

    i have not read your review, but i heard about the fiasco and was interested in the story, a friend of mine told me…i have the selection on my stack of unreads books and im looking forward to reading it and whenever i like it or not, it has something to do with respect and noone, not a author or an agent should call a blogger bitch…we are not in elementary school anymore and everyone has a right for its own opinion, i, myself write bad and sarcastic rewievs from time to time, with hate in my heart for such worse books, but what a author are you, if you would take every single opinion on your book for real? thats like book suicide…it makes kiera cass a very weird person thinkin so hardly about one damn bad review! ;P

  191. A Story Untold

    Wendy, thank you very much for the post. The way you handled all this idiocy (drama is too light a word) is phenomenal and admirable. You are a much better person than me, I’ll tell you that!
    You want to take out your frustration? Do not do it publicly. For Elana to insult someone on twitter knowing all too well that everyone will see it, speaks volumes for her character and her professionalism. It was in every way intentional and even though I liked the book, for me, what both she and Kass did was nothing but an attention-seeking stunt.

    I hope we’ll get to see you more on GoodReads, although your reluctance is completely understandable now.
    Don’t you stop writing and saying what’s on your mind!! xxx

  192. papalbina

    seriously, i learn so much about reviewing books from you… i would be very sad if you choose to stop doing it because of… of… of stupid people.

    *bear hugs*

  193. Rebecca Lindsay

    I’m really sorry this happened to you Wendy, I always value your reviews on Goodreads and I know you write honestly. You handled this situation in a really dignified manner.

  194. DDS @ b00kr3vi3ws

    Oh well! I for one am not going to read this book. Not because of your review – but because of the Author/Agent reaction. Never know – they might just plan to hang me for not reviewing it ;)

    Following you!

    DDS @ b00kr3vi3ws!

  195. slayra

    It seems they never, ever learn. I think they have the right to be pissed at negative reviews… in private. In private the author should rant, swear, hit punching bags, complain, whine, cry. Whatever. But in public (in this particular case, the Internet)? They’re asking for a public cry of indignation. Don’t they get that these things always go viral, that they can’t hide a spur-of-the-moment comment on the Internet?

    And really where do they get at, calling names to people whom they never met? I mean… guh. Last time I checked everyone’s entitled to their opinion… so you didn’t like the Selection; I’m pretty sure thousands would like it but will now not buy it or read it because of this.

    I’m sorry this happened to you Wendy, these people are so unbelievably rude and mean. :P If they can’t handle negative reviews they shouldn’t be writers. :P

    Sorry for the rant.

  196. Braiden

    For me, being male, I read the first chapter of The Selection and choked – probably due to the fact that I am male and the whole concept of the book is blatantly horrible from my standpoint as a 19-year-old male. And put that with the horrible writing, sure, there was nothing for me to like. Even I can predict how this book/series will finish.

    Sorry if I sound scathing above. But the point of this comment is that I agree with you wholeheartedly: The author and editor do not deserve their limelight and the opportunities they’ve been given just to be derogatory to others. I see so many 5 star reviews of The Selection coming up and I want to vomit and laugh at the… stupidity? (not right word I know but I’m going with it) of these reviewers, which in most cases only read to be swept away and I guess that that’s what the book does – in the worst way though. But I don’t go and slander those reviews and be derogative because I don’t agree with them. I let them be because it’s their opinions and the world is better without the negativity.

    I don’t know where i’m going this but I love you Wendy.

  197. Kate

    I am so sorry this happened to you. I am pretty new to the blogging world and something like this is a real fear to me. I was sent a copy of The Selection and read your review just after I had finished it. We had pretty similar views on the book. (I think we ‘liked’ each others reviews) I saw everything blow up around your review and was terrified to post mine. I did in the end but I waited nervously to see if something happened. Luckily it didn’t.

    I think what happened to you and the actions of some people in this situation is terrible, but you handled everything with grace and dignaty. I hope that this doesn’t keep you away from the interwebz or reviewing, goodreads would not be the same without you.

  198. Best Tan

    Dear Wendy, I didn’t know about The Selection thing until this blog post. Please know that you’re one of the best reviewers out there! I respect and trust your opinions and reviews. I’m sure a lot of people here agree with me. Don’t let them bring you down. I’m sending my heart out to you! <333

  199. Max Cio

    I’m really sorry that you had to go through this trouble, and just because you posted a review that showed your honest opinion. Honestly, you probably reacted better than most people would have done. Heck, if I were in your shoes, I would’ve stayed off the web entirely! < .< Either way, I hope you don’t feel too fatigued from the whole debacle. Hopefully, this situation can be forgotten, and you can move on. Maybe you could take a break for a few days? You seem rather stressed, and although I know lots of people would miss you, I think you deserve a short break to unwind. *hugs and hands a plate of cookies and cupcakes* Again, I hope that everything turns out fine in the end!

  200. Kara_Malinczak

    Wendy, I love you. For real. No one writes as eloquently as you do and I agree with every word you said. Frankly, I don’t know how you have managed to keep it together and not go batshit crazy on these dumb*sses. But it just shows how much of a professional you really are. Please don’t ever stop reviewing. I know it’s hard now, but it won’t last forever. And you have no idea how many people stand by you. And how many books you sell! It would be a shame to lose you and your contributions to the book blogging world. I am so sorry this has happened to you. And if you ever need to vent or whatever, I am here for you. You know I am. <3

  201. Sam

    Wendy, I wish I could give you a big hug! I’ve noticed your absence around the web and I had no idea it was because of this. I hate that this situation was responsible for your loss of reviewing enthusiasm. Thanks for explaining everything and I hope this is something that everyone can leave in the past.

    • Wendy Darling

      I would accept that hug if I could! It seems this sort of thing still isn’t over, and sadly it’s even escalating and affecting far more reviewers than I thought possible. It helps to have friends who write lovely notes, however. Thank you.

  202. Marie

    I stumbled on your review on GR when I was posting mine and I was shocked at Kiera’s reaction. I’ve been following her since TwiCurls and it was just disappointing. While I liked The Selection I was almost tempted to not post my review. But I was obligated to. I was going to write a discussion entry about if it’s “okay” or “right” to post DNF reviews on ones blog but I haven’t gotten around to it yet.

    It sucks that this happened to you and it sucks that it cause such big attention that is totally unnecessary. You voiced your opinion on a book you read. Last time I checked you were pretty much entitled to do that. You shouldn’t had been harassed for it.

    I admire how you handled the situation. I know it sucks, but don’t let it stop you from doing what you love doing!


    • Wendy Darling

      Thanks so much, Marie. This sort of thing definitely brings up a lot of different issues, DNF reviews being one of them. I find it helpful to know why a reviewer doesn’t finish a book, and clearly many other people do too. But when people have an axe to grind or they’re somehow invested in something, there’s always some reason to cry foul, you know?

      Thanks for your comment. The hug is gratefully accepted.