Just got wind of the first official review of Beautiful Game, penned by The Rainbow Reader, a reviewer of lesbian fiction. In a Facebook post, she described my book as her latest “victim,” purchased in a post-Women’s World Cup frenzy. This characterization made me a bit nervous, I have to admit, particularly when I visited the blog and learned that she’d intended the book to be a guilty pleasure, not destined for public review. Gulp.
As it turns out, though, she decided to post a review because she liked the book so much! Fantastic news from my perspective.
Some salient points from the review:
[The main character] is more than a gay athlete lusting after another gay athlete. She has friends, some she genuinely likes and some she merely tolerates. She actually practices and plays a sport, and feels angry and hurt when people are disrespectful. She studies, goes to classes, and writes papers. She has a summer job in another state, and she drives a beater Tercel. She has a soccer tan. And, in spite of the reputation as a playgirl that everyone wants her to have, she is respectful of boundaries. In other words, she is a fully developed character – as a reader you really get to know her, and thus appreciate the journey you share with her. How utterly refreshing!
<snip>Beautiful Game is a complete story from start-to-finish – no overused plot devices, no convenient characters, and nothing left undone.
<snip>I don’t know why some books make a bigger impression than others; I just know that they do… To me, Beautiful Game is a beautiful story.
Waiting for strangers to comment on your work can be a nail-biting prospect for any author. Reading reviews like this one where the writer articulates exactly what you were trying to do as you worked on a novel for weeks, months, even years alone in your office with only your imaginary characters to keep you company–well, it’s a genuine pleasure. When the negative responses arrive (and they almost always do), I’ll be able to return to this first post to remind myself that book reviews are subjective, and with the bad often comes the good, too.