So last Saturday, I saw that Saving Maddie had been reviewed by Kirkus. I waited patiently–waited for my editor to send me a copy, waited for the review to be posted on B&N (PW and SLJ are already there), waited for the issue to be available via the online journal database at my university.
On the third day, I caved and bought a one-month subscription.
But I’m so glad I did. This is arguably the best journal review I’ve ever received–and here’s a snippet:
“Johnson avoids heavy-handed messages with nuanced characters and a realistic treatment of Joshua and Maddie’s complex relationship.”
In fact, here’s the only “negative” thing the reviewer says:
“Unfortunately, the cover condemns this book to Girls Only.”
I’d actually been thinking about this before seeing this review, after recent online discussions with Collen Mondor about After the Moment and after seeing the comments in Edi’s wonderful review. I realized that during the cover design process, I was so preoccupied with the skin/lip-tone of the cover model, I didn’t think about if the cover was “anti-boy”. And I’m NOT saying that the cover is or isn’t boy-friendly–but I am admitting that I didn’t put as much thought into this as I should have, and will hopefully do better in the future.
(Although I think it was due to unusual circumstances–i.e. the Liar Controversy–that I was even consulted on this cover. And yes, for those that are interested, I have seen all the comments about “is she or isn’t she black” and will respond at some point…probably after I see the final cover.)
All that being said, this is still a great review. And how am I celebrating? Well, by giving away my last ARC (Advanced Reader’s Copy) of Saving Maddie.
Looking at my office floor–I mean, bookshelf, I realized that I don’t own ARCs of any of my previous books, which in a way is fitting. The ARC isn’t for me. It’s for librarians and reviewers and booklovers and people like YOU.
So if you want an advanced reader’s copy of the book before the real thing hits stores on March 9th, just make a comment on this post before 12:00 Midnight CST on Tuesday, Feb 23rd (if you’re reading this on Facebook, Livejournal, MySpace, etc–you’ll need to go to my webpage blog to officially enter). Don’t put your email or snail mail address in the comments–just your name–and check back on Wednesday evening to see if you won.