Author: Wesley King
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Reviewer: Yolanda Ridge
I’m a very strong believer in the phrase “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. I also think that if you DO have something nice to say, you should SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS (especially on Valentine’s Day)!! This world view totally informs what books I review on this blog – if I like it, you’ll hear about it; it I don’t, you won’t.
I recently entered a Goodreads giveaway for Wesley King’s new middle grade novel, A World Below, because I LOVED his book OCDaniel (see my review). Unfortunately, I did not enjoy A World Below nearly as much, mostly because it’s just not my kind of book (see my Goodreads review).
The reason I’m posting about it anyway is because I do have something good to say about A World Below. Despite the fact that it is not my kind of book, I think a lot of middle graders will like this action packed adventure with an element of fantasy (including my own sons, who are reading it now). This brings up an idea I’ve been thinking about a lot lately in terms of book reviewing. First, that it is highly subjective. Second, that most reviews of books written for kids are done by adults. And finally, that expectation can totally influence your enjoyment of a book. In this case, I had very high expectations because I enjoyed the last book I read by this author and because the blurb makes it sound contemporary. In retrospect, a lot of Wesley King’s other writing has not really been “my kind of books” and the title art does imply some kind of fantasy element.
I hope readers of this blog have enjoyed some of my book reviews and are perhaps following me because we have similar taste in literature. I will continue to post about the books I truly love – my version of shouting from the rooftops. But I will also try to go into future reads with a more open mind. Today, my local library is offering blind dates with a book (where you pick a book wrapped in brown paper and give it a try) and I think I’ll see what enjoyment I can get out of a book where I have zero expectations.
ALSO – as a form of unconditional love for myself and my art – I will try to remember how subjective a business this is when reading (or avoiding) reviews of my own books.
In the meantime, Happy Valentine’s Day and happy reading!!