Our Wolves: Readers’ Thoughts

Our Wolves has received some lovely and “interesting” attention that I thought I would share with you.

There are some wonderful reviews on Goodreads (and Amazon), including those by veteran reviewers Elizabeth Gauffreau, Suanne Schafer, a couple of Library Things reviewers, etc. I also received my first one star rating ever!!! Yes, “Donna” wrote: “An interesting take on Red Riding Hood. Dark and shades of abuse. Might be someone else’s cup of tea but not mine.” Apparently, even though it’s an interesting take, because it’s not her cup of tea, it warrants a one star.

Read the reviews here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/111018194-our-wolves

You can purchase a copy here for $10.99: https://www.amazon.com/Our-Wolves-Luanne-Castle/dp/B0BTKNP31D/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1Q5U4FV04LXCI&keywords=our+wolves&qid=1683584909&sprefix=our+wolves%2Caps%2C142&sr=8-1

Little Red-Riding Hood's Meeting With the Wolf
Little Red-Riding Hood’s Meeting With the Wolf by John Doyle is licensed under CC-CC0 1.0


Filed under #OurWolves, #poetrycommunity, #writingcommunity, Blog Tour, Book Review, Fairy Tales, Poetry, Poetry book, Poetry Collection, Writing

36 responses to “Our Wolves: Readers’ Thoughts

  1. Gotta let reviewers review and if they don’t like your stuff let ’em walk. You have many folks who love what you do.

    • True that. Kind of funny though as I did not feel what she wrote was a criticism of the book. Lol.

      • I don’t think what she wrote was a review either. No analysis, no supporting evidence from the text, and no consideration of the purpose, audience, or context for a book reveiw. I’m feeling a teacherly rant coming on, so I’ll quit.

        • I’m clapping in the wings! I agree. Of course, people can and do write what they want on Goodreads, and we need to accept that (heh). And maybe I’m nutty but I feel like the one star doesn’t really fit with what she bothered to write. I am grateful that she DID write something to explain her rating.

          • Since the book wasn’t to her taste, I questioned why she’d bother leaving a rating and a “review.”

            • I know heh. I suspect that she was an early reviewer, and so it seems she might want to follow standards for that after asking for and receiving a free copy that I personally mailed to her. If I am wrong, and it wasn’t an early reviewer then it might be more understandable that she would leave what she did.

              • Look what came across my email this morning: http://blog.janicehardy.com/2015/11/the-difference-between-writing-problem.html Interesting timing, eh??

              • YES! Wow, she narrowed in on the exact issue, I think. Why any reviewer thinks that a 1 star is for anything but something full of errors and glaring issues, I don’t know–since it pulls down the overall rating so much when a book (like poetry) gets so few reviews.

              • Yes, she did. I’ve saved the post as a resource. To me, there is an ethical standard that reviewers need to follow. I think where Amazon, et al. are getting into trouble is with conflating “readers who rate books” and “reviewers who review books.” Every reviewer is a reader, but not every reader is a reviewer. And authors are the ones who have to suffer for it. (Sorry, I’m getting teacherly again.)

              • You are so right. It seems that these platforms should actually be providing some kind of guidelines for people to review books. I mean, maybe it’s ok to give a one sentence review, but it needs to support the rating. Then again I have probably given a 5 and not a review on Goodreads.

              • What’s most unfortunate to me is how authors are so dependent on starred reviews. I think the paradigm needs to change–but to what, I have no idea.

              • Maybe it is the responsibility of the platforms that offer reviews to set guidelines?

              • Amazon does have review guidelines, but from what I’ve seen, the bots can’t enforce them.

              • Yeah, and they might not be the right guidelines.

              • The guidelines are basically to prevent abuses, including not posting reviews for anyone you know, not exchanging reviews with other writers, not posting paid reviews as reader reviews, and not giving someone a one-star review because the delivery truck driver threw your book into the rose bushes.

              • I don’t like the “for anyone you know.” Are you kidding me?!

              • No, I’m not kidding.

                “Conflicts of interest
                It’s not allowed to create, edit, or post content about your own products or services. The same goes for services offered by:

                Business associates

      • I get that too. Maybe she should have passed on a review.

  2. Bet she never thought she’d be quoted!

  3. Knowing the effort involved in writing and publishing I never leave a one or two star rating.
    Initially, one or two bad reviews obliterated all the good reviews my book received. I went into an emotional hole. Over the years I have become philosophical.

    What I have noticed though, is there seems to be a market for trauma “porn”. I recently received a 3-Star review which read:
    “I found Gwen Wilson’s memoir riveting. The writing flowed well making it an easy read. However, I didn’t think the life she portrays in the book was that harrowing, or much different to any low socioeconomic families of that era.”

    I wasn’t setting out to drown the reader in emotion, or to suggest that my life was harrowing. In fact, it began as a tribute to the very strong women who stood by me. I find the idea that there is a competition for who had the toughest life quite confusing. Several other reviews have also gone down this path – as if the reader is looking for horrifying true-life stories, like the Austrian man who locked his daughter in a cellar for years and fathered her children. It disturbs me. Leaves me feeling there is a market for vicarious titillation.

    • Ugh, I feel for you. I think it’s the worst with reviews of a memoir because it’s hard not to take it personally. And I know just what you mean about how it’s a trauma contest. In fact, years ago a memoirist whose first book was about a big trauma in her teen life (made her parents look like monsters) didn’t think I had a story because it wasn’t high enough on the trauma scale (not her words). Yet now I only put one salt kernel in Our Wolves and it’s too dark with abuse hahaha. So I agree with you about that “market for vicarious titillation.” And the writing advice about it’s not the story, but how you tell it must be bogus.

  4. Luanne, can I purchase a signed copy of Our Wolves
    if possible? 🙂
    I’d still like to buy a copy, thought I’d ask if you can sign it
    and I will send you my address in email, ty:)

  5. Ignore the one star. She didn’t get it.

  6. I think you’ve taken the right attitude about it. As Liz has pointed out, it isn’t a review. I have to wonder why anyone would bother posting something like that.

  7. Pretty interesting conversation here. I wouldn’t leave a review if a book simply wasn’t “my cup of tea.” In fact, I probably wouldn’t bother to finish reading and, in that case, I really wouldn’t write a review. I’ve tempered some review ratings when the book has too many typos and grammatical errors, but, these days, if I can’t give at least a 3-star review, I’m not inclined to publish one. And, as everyone else here has already said, just ignore the bad reviews and embrace the positive ones 🙂

    • I am with you on the 3 stars. I really don’t even like giving less than a 4. I always think that if I liked the book well enough to finish it that the author deserves a 4 or 5. Really, though, I hate rating with a #. Because are all 4s equal? All 5s? Of course not. And if all the books I think are 5s, then what is War and Peace or Jane Eyre? A 5 also? Or a genius category that doesn’t exist? It just seems such a stupid system. I think a written review is so much better–without a corresponding number.

  8. If I was going to give a one star review, I probably wouldn’t leave one at all, unless I really wanted people to know that I really objected to something! Fortunately you have brilliant reviews from others!

    • Yes, fortunately! I wouldn’t either. I have not reviewed when there were egregious issues but this seems ridiculous to me especially since she admitted it’s not her cup of tea.

  9. You know my opinion of Good Reads.

Leave a Reply