I didn't announce on this blog, but in early February, I entered Miss Midas into the Amazon Breakout Novel Contest. I figured, what the heck? I've yanked it out of the query system. This can be Midas' swan song.
Well, I made the first cut, the top 2000 out of 10,000, but then got axed as they narrowed that down to the 500. I shrugged it off, figuring that since I had to enter my YA novel in the General Literature category (there was no YA section, so I had no other choice) that I probably got reviewers who were expecting Love in the Time of Cholera, but got a light, cutesy YA story instead. But yesterday, for a lovely birthday present, I got the reviews of my excerpt back.
Let's just say, now I know why I didn't make the cut. Two "expert" Amazon reviewers (otherwise known as Amazon customers who do lots and lots of reviews) scored my excerpt and then wrote a response. One was quite enthusiastic, the other . . . I'll show you. (Bear in mind that these two were my only two judges for the second round. So, yeah, this one person pretty much ruined my chances of going on.)
I've titled this post: Oh no she didn't! A Catharsis.
From the first line, I knew I was in for a good time. And I quote, "Usually, I address a work's strengths and weaknesses. Unfortunately, I have nothing positive to note about this excerpt."
So, I've actually gotten one, my first Amazon 1 star review, complete with all of the snarkiness and insults we've come to know and expect. Aside from one, generic suggestion on how to improve (tighten up the grammar.) The rest of the fairly lengthy review consisted of the numerous reasons why my writing was so bad it was "an insult to teens," "ridiculous," "annoying and sloppy," or, my favorite, the review called my use of actual product names (Coke, Xerox, etc) a "horrendous faux pas."
It looks like my fears were confirmed. I think, perhaps the most telling line of the review was this, "When I was at YA age, I was reading Achebe (as were all my friends)." Kinda says it all.