YABookgate -

AnOminous

But I'm not mad at anyone.
True & Honest Fan
Retired Staff
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If this is a new book I have a stronger feeling it's shit writing if people are complaining. Especially if it's just that they didn enjoy it, not that it was badwrongthought.
Opposite. I think it's more likely to be actually good writing if the scum who attack good writing in general attack it.
 

Piga Dgrifm

Pita Griffin
True & Honest Fan
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More lunacy lately (the YAcow/Book Twitter milk supply never runs dry!)

There's some book out called The Poppy War that apparently some people don't like or think is all that good. As always, it seems to be more people bitching about someone disliking it than people actually openly disliking it.

The pitch of the book is:

"A grimdark fantasy, draws its plot and politics from mid-20th-century China, with the conflict in the novel based on the Second Sino-Japanese War, and an atmosphere inspired by the Song dynasty."

But because some people don't like it, Twitter is absolutely sperging, claiming that the book is "smarter than its readers" and too complex/intellectual/Chinese/MuH CULTURE!1 for the normies to get and appreciate. It's pretty insane so I've included some key screenshots.
"I don't like this book, let's harass the author until they pull it."
"YASSS QUEEEN!"

"I don't like this book, it's just not for me."
"You are literally worse than Hitler."

I don't understand the rules of Book Twitter.
 

Elwood P. Dowd

Turned Normie. Bye.
kiwifarms.net
More lunacy lately (the YAcow/Book Twitter milk supply never runs dry!)

There's some book out called The Poppy War that apparently some people don't like or think is all that good. As always, it seems to be more people bitching about someone disliking it than people actually openly disliking it.

The pitch of the book is:

"A grimdark fantasy, draws its plot and politics from mid-20th-century China, with the conflict in the novel based on the Second Sino-Japanese War, and an atmosphere inspired by the Song dynasty."

But because some people don't like it, Twitter is absolutely sperging, claiming that the book is "smarter than its readers" and too complex/intellectual/Chinese/MuH CULTURE!1 for the normies to get and appreciate. It's pretty insane so I've included some key screenshots.
I am curious what prompted this bit of outrage. This book is beloved on Goodreads, beloved by all the most popular BookTubers, and AFAIK received nothing but praise in traditional media.

Looks like it sold pretty well, too, especially for a debut novel. Did the sequel bomb, perhaps? :geek:
 

Elwood P. Dowd

Turned Normie. Bye.
kiwifarms.net
Did the sequel bomb, perhaps? :geek:
Went to sleep last night wondering about this. The answer appears to be...maybe. Sure looks like it underperformed at any rate. At least by this crude spreadsheet I made up, and if you assume the GoodReads ratings/reviews can stand as proxy for the whole market. And you assume the series' I'm comparing the book to make sense. Neither may be true, both may be true, but, eh, it helps pass the time. And, of course, Book 3 of the Poppy War comes out this November whereas the series' I'm comparing it to are all complete, I think. So Book 3 will possibly create some residual interest in the first two, hard to say.

Anyway, looks like you expect/hope to see a drop somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 the GR reviews/ratings from book 1 to book 2 in any series. The Poppy War dropped by 70%/75%, at least as of the time I did my crude analysis. So that ain't good. Interesting how the Mark Lawrence series started from a lower base, but as of now has double the ratings, though not reviews, on Book 2 vs. Book 2 comparison.

I put the Maggie Stiefvater series in there mostly because she did some chicanery to try to hold back ebook piracy during one of her book's "release window," whatever that might mean. She claims she was afraid the series was going to get dropped by the publisher due to piracy, which I personally find hard to believe, but that's her claim. I also saw a lot of negative stuff about the last book in the series, the most vocal people seemed to have not cared for it.

My sense is that the Poppy War books are just too grimdark for the average YA reader (rape, murder, drug abuse, animal abuse, a heroine who is kind of an anti-hero and who becomes a drug addict herself) but that everybody is too terrified to come out and say this, 'cuz the author is a Pee Oh Cee who set a book in her pseudo-Chinese head canon. They're apparently kind of heavy in world-building explanations, too, from what I saw in the reviews. Hence the complaints of boredom, I suppose.

tl;dr - Wouldn't surprise me to find out the preorders for Book 3 of The Poppy War are tanking, given how interest fell from book 1 to book 2 of the series. Possibly this is causing the Twitter screeching, I guess time will tell. EDIT "We're too evolved for our audience" has been claim of failed creators for centuries now, I'd imagine. I'm not so sure about this, now, since it isn't the author saying this. In fact, by Twitter standards her tweets are pretty mild. Not a single whine about Drumpf I can see. This is all her orbiters.

Also, I think I found the tweet that set this off: White chick called it boring....who might be a part-time troon?
{she/hers/him/his} pronouns? WTF does that mean? Maybe why they're not getting cancelled at present? 🤔
Archive is not working ATM, but here's a screenshot of the thread.

poppy-war.pngsarahjmaas.PNG
 
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Aaa0aaa0

Internet Sticker Enthusiast
kiwifarms.net
My other thought was that "sino-Japanese war" might make one side look extremely bad or was PoC on PoC racism. The dense worldbuilding and grimdarkness makes sense.
 
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alreadyhome

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I forget who I heard this from, it was years ago, but they said that the concept of having literature for older children (not very young children, but the age that would generally read "YA" titles) was strange, and that there should simply be literature, and that way young adults will not be handicapped intellectually by reading things at their presumed "level" or lower but will develop intellectually by always reading things that are "for" adults. You can see by the state of things that "YA" fiction is a blight, and retards mental growth instead of advancing it.
 

SpeedOSanicRee

Gotta Scroll Fast
kiwifarms.net
New day, new YA Bookgate chimp out!

This one is over a rom-com book about Hawaii and hulu dancing written by a white woman, and it's made LOTS of the SJWs on Book/YA Twitter very, very upset. The fallout is still on-going, and even though the author was culled into an apology, the mob remains enraged that she exists and that her book will presumably still be published.

It's a bit complicated and autistic, so I'll break it down as best I can. So basically this woman named Jordan Marie Green recently sold her YA novel, announced it on Twitter, and absolute insanity ensued when people found out she's not a PEE-OH-CEE but dared to write about Hawaii.

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Apparently she had pitched the book years ago through a Twitter diversity pitch competition called DVPit, which is meant for marginalized authors or something. People got Big Mad because she's white and submitted to a contest "not meant for her."

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People were also Big Mad that her main character had a rough childhood and lived in poverty, which apparently is a harmful stereotype to Hawaiians.

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The mob, as they like to do, attacked Jordan's announcement tweet directly. Hilariously, Jordan ignored everyone except the people congratulating her, which just made the mob even angrier. She later apologized and explained why she hadn't responded to all of the exceptional tweets, but as expected, the chimp out continued onward.

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To save themselves, some of the authors that had congratulated her originally backtracked and later condemned her to save face.

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I've attached screenshots of the offending post from years ago about DVPit, as well as general spergery from new and old favorite YA Twitter lolcows that are at Level 90000 rage. People have been sperging and tagging her agent and editor. I believe the editor, Emily Settle, posted some long, rambling thread as an explanation, claiming she dindu nuffin and didn't know the author was white, etc.

If you want to read more lunacy for lulz, just search "hula book" on Twitter.
I knew one person who was from Hawaii. He was ginger and thus very, very white. He was definitely from there, his name was Hawaiian AF. It feels vaguely racist to say that it's only ethnic people living there.
Because white people don't live natively in Hawaii, I guess.

She shouldn't have caved in and apologized, ignoring them was working, apparently, but she lives in California so there was no escaping it for her. Even claiming she lived there at one point doesn't work because she's the wrong skin color.

I might just buy this book out of spite. Also it's in Hawaii and I like learning more about Polynesian culture, so might as well take a look.
Agreed on all counts, I'm pissed the book got pulled.
At this point, I'm thinking you should just publish anonymously. They can't bitch that you ain't #OwnVoices if they don't know what minority points you do/don't have. Hell, you could say in the back of the book you had to be anonymous because you were afraid of backlash from bigots and they'd believe it... And it wouldn't exactly be a lie, either.
Yep, pretty much. And honestly, tradpub isn't worth it anymore. At all. You have to sign away your creative rights and a morality clause? Fuck that.
Ugh. Why does anyone cave to these people?
 

Piga Dgrifm

Pita Griffin
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Presenting, one of the dumbest YA book reviews I've ever read. Decided to bring it here since the review begins with whining about a character's skin color:

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Screen Shot 2020-09-11 at 11.43.35 PM.png


(Aside: It took five days in the real-life experiment too. The book is just accurate to the actual event.)

Lol:
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Anyway, let's take a look at what fantastic pieces of literature are coming our way this month!

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Wow! Can't wait for a few hundred pages more of that stunning writing!
 

Discarded Whopper

too tempting to resist
kiwifarms.net
Presenting, one of the dumbest YA book reviews I've ever read. Decided to bring it here since the review begins with whining about a character's skin color:

View attachment 1590405

View attachment 1590406

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(Aside: It took five days in the real-life experiment too. The book is just accurate to the actual event.)

Lol:
View attachment 1590419

View attachment 1590420

View attachment 1590421



Anyway, let's take a look at what fantastic pieces of literature are coming our way this month!

Wow! Can't wait for a few hundred pages more of that stunning writing!
I saw a review for an ARC of a book about US president complain that the main character wasn’t female. They had to request the book to read, which means they have to read the description and title and ask for the book.
 

Elwood P. Dowd

Turned Normie. Bye.
kiwifarms.net
Good on her, I guess. Much to my surprise I don't see anything on Twitter about this white woman crowding out Pee Oh Cee with her multi-million advance. I thought that was pretty much mandatory these days.


A 28-year-old first-time author from Canterbury has landed what is believed to be the world’s largest ever book advance for a debut children’s writer, with a fantasy series about “bloodthirsty unicorns”.

Annabel Steadman, writing as AF Steadman, was paid a “major” seven-figure sum by Simon & Schuster this week, following a hotly contested multi-publisher auction for three books in her fantasy adventure series for children, Skandar and the Unicorn Thief. Set in a world where unicorns are deadly, and can only be tamed by the rider who hatches them, the series follows Skandar Smith, who is preparing to become a unicorn rider. When the most powerful unicorn in the world is stolen by a mysterious figure, becoming a rider becomes a lot more complicated than Skandar ancitipated.

“Unicorns don’t belong in fairytales; they belong in nightmares,” writes Steadman as the series opens. The unicorns in her books are “not at all like the unicorns we know in shops, these fluffy unicorns with rainbows, they’re different and exciting and magical but also dangerous,” she says.

Simon & Schuster, which will publish the first book in the series in spring 2022, said the deal was believed to be record-breaking for a debut children’s author. Sony Pictures has also signed an “aggressive” seven-figure deal for the feature film rights in the series, which is aimed at readers of nine and over.


Steadman said she collapsed on her bed on hearing about her deal. “It kind of completely went mad after that. I was like, this isn’t real, this can’t be real,” said the author, who wrote down the original idea for Skandar in 2013, but set it aside to focus on her job as a lawyer.

“I just wrote some names of unicorns, and then I left it alone,” she said. “I was training to be a lawyer at the time, living in Oxford and commuting to London, so I had an hour every day to think about things.

Steadman, who attended King’s School, Canterbury, on musical and academic scholarships before going on to study at Selwyn College, Cambridge, left law in 2017. She then took a master’s in creating writing at Cambridge and returned to the story she’d thought of years earlier.

Steadman said she had wanted to be an author “for as long as I can remember”, but was “just so overworked”. “There was no room in my brain for anything other than cases coming up. I thought I didn’t want to do this forever, so I stopped,” she said.

She wrote her story “in about three months in 2018, and then I left it alone”, working on it again with her literary agent, Sam Copeland at Rogers, Coleridge & White.

“I knew the moment I first started reading this, I had found someone extraordinary in Annabel. This has been matched by the excitement from publishers and the world record-breaking offers for a children’s debut – with a number of publishers offering well into seven figures,” said Copeland. “This has been the most exciting auction of my career and to top it off with wildly exciting film news as well has left everybody breathless.”

Ali Dougal at Simon & Schuster said that Steadman had created “the most jaw-dropping new world we’ve seen in years”, and that “the instant, seething excitement about this series across S&S is unlike anything I’ve experienced before”.

“At the moment I’m not even sure I’ve really processed [the size of the book deal] at all. It’s so nice to be able to think I can just concentrate on this and make the books as good as I can. It’s a dream come true,” said Steadman. “ scribbled my first book aged 12 in two notebooks I was given for Christmas. As well as ambition, 12-year-old me had a lot of worries, so I wish I could go back in time to tell her that she’d be published one day. This has been a truly life-changing week.”
A 28-year-old first-time author from Canterbury has landed what is believed to be the world’s largest ever book advance for a debut children’s writer, with a fantasy series about “bloodthirsty unicorns”.

Annabel Steadman, writing as AF Steadman, was paid a “major” seven-figure sum by Simon & Schuster this week, following a hotly contested multi-publisher auction for three books in her fantasy adventure series for children, Skandar and the Unicorn Thief. Set in a world where unicorns are deadly, and can only be tamed by the rider who hatches them, the series follows Skandar Smith, who is preparing to become a unicorn rider. When the most powerful unicorn in the world is stolen by a mysterious figure, becoming a rider becomes a lot more complicated than Skandar ancitipated.


“Unicorns don’t belong in fairytales; they belong in nightmares,” writes Steadman as the series opens. The unicorns in her books are “not at all like the unicorns we know in shops, these fluffy unicorns with rainbows, they’re different and exciting and magical but also dangerous,” she says.

Simon & Schuster, which will publish the first book in the series in spring 2022, said the deal was believed to be record-breaking for a debut children’s author. Sony Pictures has also signed an “aggressive” seven-figure deal for the feature film rights in the series, which is aimed at readers of nine and over.


Steadman said she collapsed on her bed on hearing about her deal. “It kind of completely went mad after that. I was like, this isn’t real, this can’t be real,” said the author, who wrote down the original idea for Skandar in 2013, but set it aside to focus on her job as a lawyer.

“I just wrote some names of unicorns, and then I left it alone,” she said. “I was training to be a lawyer at the time, living in Oxford and commuting to London, so I had an hour every day to think about things.

Steadman, who attended King’s School, Canterbury, on musical and academic scholarships before going on to study at Selwyn College, Cambridge, left law in 2017. She then took a master’s in creating writing at Cambridge and returned to the story she’d thought of years earlier.

Steadman said she had wanted to be an author “for as long as I can remember”, but was “just so overworked”. “There was no room in my brain for anything other than cases coming up. I thought I didn’t want to do this forever, so I stopped,” she said.

She wrote her story “in about three months in 2018, and then I left it alone”, working on it again with her literary agent, Sam Copeland at Rogers, Coleridge & White.

“I knew the moment I first started reading this, I had found someone extraordinary in Annabel. This has been matched by the excitement from publishers and the world record-breaking offers for a children’s debut – with a number of publishers offering well into seven figures,” said Copeland. “This has been the most exciting auction of my career and to top it off with wildly exciting film news as well has left everybody breathless.”

Ali Dougal at Simon & Schuster said that Steadman had created “the most jaw-dropping new world we’ve seen in years”, and that “the instant, seething excitement about this series across S&S is unlike anything I’ve experienced before”.

“At the moment I’m not even sure I’ve really processed [the size of the book deal] at all. It’s so nice to be able to think I can just concentrate on this and make the books as good as I can. It’s a dream come true,” said Steadman. “ scribbled my first book aged 12 in two notebooks I was given for Christmas. As well as ambition, 12-year-old me had a lot of worries, so I wish I could go back in time to tell her that she’d be published one day. This has been a truly life-changing week.”
 
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UnsufficentBoobage

Atleast things I wanna fuck are 3D
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Set in a world where unicorns are deadly, and can only be tamed by the rider who hatches them, the series follows Skandar Smith, who is preparing to become a unicorn rider. When the most powerful unicorn in the world is stolen by a mysterious figure, becoming a rider becomes a lot more complicated than Skandar ancitipated.


“Unicorns don’t belong in fairytales; they belong in nightmares,” writes Steadman as the series opens. The unicorns in her books are “not at all like the unicorns we know in shops, these fluffy unicorns with rainbows, they’re different and exciting and magical but also dangerous,” she says.
It is simply too stupid to get riled up about. Seems like one of these gimmick series which could have been a "mon" rpg if author's talents laid elsewhere.
 

SpeedOSanicRee

Gotta Scroll Fast
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Presenting, one of the dumbest YA book reviews I've ever read. Decided to bring it here since the review begins with whining about a character's skin color:
I have a feeling she'd have been offended if they used pee-oh-sea as well for this.

I read the book in high school. It was pretty good from what I recall. It's always hilarious to me when white people get angry at fictitious white people for simply existing. It's like they are blind and have never heard of a mirror.
 

Someone in a Tree

It's the ripple, not the sea that is happening
kiwifarms.net
I have a feeling she'd have been offended if they used pee-oh-sea as well for this.

I read the book in high school. It was pretty good from what I recall. It's always hilarious to me when white people get angry at fictitious white people for simply existing. It's like they are blind and have never heard of a mirror.
A fair chunk of today’s racial politics seems to stem around people getting offended on the behalf of others.
 

PurpleEater

kiwifarms.net
Pretty funny shit went down today.

Apparently someone dug up racist (really she just seems kinda mouthy and based/possibly a troll) tweets from this literary agent named Tia Rose Mele. There's a lot so I'm only attaching a handful.

The YA cows I follow are chimping out, claiming this woman is the reason there's no diversity in publishing or something. Hilarity ensued.

She apparently resigned and did a Notes app apology. Also funny.
 

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PurpleEater

kiwifarms.net
Adding some lulzy tweets from the above drama. People are mad at the agency apparently and demanding they re-read their rejected manuscripts because of muh oppression and do intensive Twitter background checks on pair with a private detective?
 

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Tasty Tatty

kiwifarms.net
A little bit OT, but I was looking for some recommendations or reviews of a book I heard of, and I ended up in goodreads. Because the book was released about ten years ago, I thought that maybe, it could escape some shenanigans and have a more, erm, objective review (also, it was about white suburban people, written by white suburban woman).

I was correct, most reviews were moderated and fair, but... omg. I think 90% of people there have mistaken writing reviews with the website being their blogs. Sure, you can say "I like this book because it makes me nostalgic", but that's not the same as "this book makes me sad because, that one time, me and my mother...." The review shouldn't be about you or even about your emotions, it's about your emotions directly related to the book: I don't want to know about your life, I wanna know about the book. And this is from people who aren't into social justice... I don't even want to imagine what recent reviewers are.

Another thing, for a group of people whose hobby is literature, they suck at writing.

ETA: book publishers and authors need to understand that the audience of goodreads isn't the audience they should try to pander. These people couldn't recognise a good book even if it punch them in the face. I'm sure most publishers don't even know this hell of a website exists. If they knew, they'd understand all the hate their authors and book receive come from people who have no idea about actual literature and they can't even write properly a decent criticism.
 

Kari Kamiya

"I beat her up, so I gave her a cuck-cup."
True & Honest Fan
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Another thing, for a group of people whose hobby is literature, they suck at writing.
Ironic, isn't it. :smug: But admittedly, one can be a huge bookworm and recite how a story went cover to cover, but they may not be able to tell you the key turning points of the story, or how one such-and-such event was interwoven so gracefully into the story to not make it fillerish when it otherwise might've been. Storytelling is a technique that needs to be practiced on a regular basis, needs to have a lot of trial and error with an audience (critical eye preferred). Likewise, reviews follow the same logic in terms of having a way with words, but some people have a hard time with coherent thought in relation to whatever it is they're trying to talk about.

Or they could just be from readers who just needed someone to talk to about this book, but they don't know anyone else who has, and therefore no one is there to moderate them to keep them talking about the book and not their own book of life. Or they're also the same people who have a Facebook and therefore always bring up some personal things that they think it's totally normal to do elsewhere because "Well, everyone else is doing it!"

Sounds sad, but when compared to the screeching harpies that otherwise roost there, it's genuine and maybe even wholesome.
 

Flaming Carrot

kiwifarms.net
ETA: book publishers and authors need to understand that the audience of goodreads isn't the audience they should try to pander. These people couldn't recognise a good book even if it punch them in the face. I'm sure most publishers don't even know this hell of a website exists. If they knew, they'd understand all the hate their authors and book receive come from people who have no idea about actual literature and they can't even write properly a decent criticism.
I'm always pleasantly surprised when I read a review on Goodreads,and it's not full of animated gifs from Anchorman and Bridesmaids.
 

Discarded Whopper

too tempting to resist
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I'm always pleasantly surprised when I read a review on Goodreads,and it's not full of animated gifs from Anchorman and Bridesmaids.
I’m always pleasantly surprised when it isn’t littered with a thousand trigger warnings for every possible content matter and then says “book bad because no LGBTQ”. Previous point hits on a good point — it’s hard to review a book substantially, but I don’t mind when people say their reactions or feelings. Not everyone is going to be academic about it, and that’s totally fine. It’s just the ones that always have a thousand “BUT UM there was no GAY POC!” or “this book about a POTUS doesn’t have a female main?” that disappoint me. The reviewing community is starting to favor the latter though
 
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