New reviews coming in for a new book is always a nerve-wracking time. Being invested in something you've poured months of work into is unavoidable, and every time you see a review, it's time to find out if you'll be greeted with the elation of hard work well done, or profound disappointment in a failed project. Both are inevitable; not everything a writer writes is good, even when they think it is.
Eventually it gets to the point on any given project where the elation dims and the sting of negative reviews fades. I like talking about my work in the past, but when I'm years removed and gotten thoughts from a hundred different people, the pressure is off.
Not so when a project is new, particularly when the review is coming from someone you respect. Sunshine Somerville, author of the science fiction novel The Kota and its sequels, published an in depth review of Petty.
I've known Sunshine since college, and she was self-publishing before it was cool. I'm actually not sure I ever told her this story, but I remember sitting in a journalism class in college in 2005, when a fellow student suggested we run an article on her book in the school newspaper. The professor (and also the guy with the final say on the content of the school paper) dismissed it immediately, insisting that self-publishing was "a fad, not worthy of note." Ten years later, I think it's fair to say he botched that call just a bit.
Anyway, here's what she had to say (in part):
"...Really, the thing I liked most about this book was how it felt like commentary on this type of girl, that type of guy, and the general approach of this generation towards smart phones and actual human interaction. "Petty" is the perfect title because the story is equally about the main character's thievery and the ways these people act in relation to each other."
- Sunshine Somerville (4.5 out of 5 stars)
You can (and should!) check out the full review on her blog, here.