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So, I discovered my first one-star review today. High on the joy of finishing another chapter in The Wedding (just skipped past 90,000 words), I made the mistake of going to look at Goodreads…and there it was. My first review with only one star, it was left two days ago.

To date, all reviews have been either four or five stars. To think, just last week, I lamented a four-star review that said they thought I could become one of their favourite authors. This review…oof. It got me right in my feels. They literally marked it DNF (Did Not Finish), they couldn’t get past the sexist comments that Sebastian and Gabriel made to Ariana the night they met her.

They also did not like the format of the book (although, they seemed confused between past and present in their review). Okay, I get that. The way I wrote The Album was weird. I could probably have written it another way, switching chapters between past and present instead of “this is what’s happening now, let’s go see what this song is about”.

Mild spoilers in here. Click the + to read them!
Ultimately, the entire story is really about what happened in the past, about their love story and what caused Gabriel to write Heart Wide Open. The present-day is a juxtaposition of how Ariana is now, in comparison to how she was in the past and how her thoughts change throughout the show, based on the reflections she has on their relationship as each song passes.

Anyway, naturally, I had a completely sane response to this…I messaged the person who left the review. Because of course, I did. Instead of accepting that this person simply did not like my writing or book, letting them have their opinion and move the fuck on with my life, I messaged them to discuss further.

Even knowing that some of the issues they have with The Album will almost certainly continue on to The Wedding. Like, why even try? Sebastian is a misogynistic asshole, that’s literally his character arc. The people around him don’t call him out on his shit enough, although I actually pulled back on Gabriel’s defence of him on their first date because I didn’t want it to seem like he condoned Seb’s behaviour, because he doesn’t. He’s also guilty of not hauling Sebastian into line, though.

So, yeah, instead of spending the last hour doing something constructive like writing more of The Wedding (which is now down to seven chapters left to write, it was eight that I had left to write, in the end), I’ve been dwelling on my first one-star review. I figured that I should let out my feelings here, stay far away from Goodreads and Amazon for a while and focus on my goal. Finishing the sequel to The Album…a book so terrible that some people couldn’t even finish reading it…sorry, please allow me to wallow for just one last moment, thanks! 😘

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