Review copies and revisions

I kind of feel all over the place today.  I got another not-so-great review today.  I've noticed something with this tour and all the reviews.  People either love or hate Branded, Jessica, and the relationship between Alex and Jessica.  It feels like one extreme or the other. 

If you don't remember, a while back I did some revisions to Branded and added in a whole new element to the book with a bunch of flashbacks to Jessica's past while she was growing up.  Unfortunately timing worked out weird that all the review copies for the blog tour went out before I had the revisions uploaded for publishing.  I'm wondering if this might be part of the problem why people aren't liking Jessica very much.

Back when I was trying to get an agent for Branded, the only thing they didn't seem to like about Branded was the fact that they didn't relate to Jessica.  I didn't think much of this for a while and made no changes.  After re-reading through Branded myself again I started to understand what they were talking about.  I love her myself but there's a huge part of her life that we don't see at all.  So that's what the revisions are, talking about Jessica's past, how she came to be in the place she is now. 

With this said, I am wanting to get a few more review copies out to book bloggers with the second edition of Branded.  So, if you're a blogger in the US with at least 300 followers, please contact me about a review copy.  Me email is me(at)kearytaylor(dot)com.

That being said, I think now would be an appropriate time to post an excerpt from Branded with one of Jessica's flashbacks.  Here you have it:

I gave a soft groan and flopped onto the couch. This was bad. How could I possibly make it work to have Alex here? Things were going to get too complicated for me. And this was his house now. It could get really awkward really fast.

Or it could be really nice…

Stop it, I scolded myself. I couldn’t let those kinds of thoughts surface. I couldn’t let myself develop feelings like that again. No matter how just being around him these two short times felt like rain falling on a long dried out desert. I couldn’t allow feelings like this to continue any longer. Relationships for me were impossible. I had learned that the really hard way once before. And besides, why would Alex ever be interested in someone as crazy as me?

My locker vibrated as I finally managed to get it open. The thing had never opened easily since I had been assigned it last year. I dug into my backpack, pulling out a book from my last period.

I heard the snickering across the hall, despite the steady flow of students that trudged through the halls of Bonneville High School. Two girls stood together, the queen bees of the popular crowd, whispering to Steve Fenn. My chest filled with flutters as his eyes met mine momentarily.

“She’s so weird,” he chuckled as his eyes darted away from mine, back to the Barbie’s at his side.

“Doesn’t she ever sleep?” one of the girls sneered. “Talk about bags.”

I buried my head in my locker, pretending to be looking for something. Pretending like I hadn’t heard their cruel words.

The wings on my back suddenly felt like a beacon. I felt sure that everyone in the hall could see them through my shirt. They might as well have been a billboard attached to my forehead stating FREAK.

I shook the memories off. This wasn’t high school. The past was the reason why I had chosen my solitude. I could scream in peace here.


Jamie - I'm a guy, btw! said...

Excellent excerpt! Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to create 133 blogs so I can follow myself to reach 300 for ya!

Rane Anderson said...

Well, that counts me out--I only have 12 followers LOL:-) But the number is growing everyday!

If you check out the reviews for the other YA books out there like HUSH, HUSH or FALLEN, they all have tons of negative reviews. I've read both of those books and had some issues with certain plot aspects, etc. But, then look at how many people absolutely loved them. (I preferred Hush Hush over Fallen). I think if you had a tally of the likes vs. the dislikes, you'd have more likes!

Eleni @ La Femme Readers said...

No need to stress bad reviews hun. Your book was creative and definitely stands ground next to other YA books.

I didn't have a problem connecting with your protagonist. Eh, different strokes for different folks -- that is the saying right? :P

Cheer up tiger! At the end of the day, your awesome!

Keary Taylor said...

Thanks you guys! You make taking all the bad stuff worth it!

Jamie - you'll get there quick! Thanks for the support!

Rane - you'll get there too! You've got a very nice blog btw, and one more follower now ;) I prefered Hush Hush as well.

Eleni - thanks for the encouragement. I went through a bunch of my other positive reviews today and yours was one of the ones that made me smile and feel good about my work again.

You guys are amazing! Thanks for being there for me!

Christie (The Fiction Enthusiast) said...

Try not to let it get you down. You created an amazing book without the help of a publishing company, editors, etc. That is seriously impressive! I lliked Jessica, and didn’t have issues connecting with her. With that said I’ve loathed books others have loved. To each their own I suppose.

Perri said...

I am not at the bad review stage, but I can imagine how hard it'd be to not take those opinion to heart. I might get 20 good comments, but remember only the negative one.

No worries. Your book looks wonderful.