Tuesday, July 17, 2007

First Get Well Soon Review

Well, it is here: an official review of Get Well Soon in a review journal (which shouldn't mean any more than the few great reviews I've gotten online, but it seems more frightening for some reason). I am pretty happy with it, although I wish the numbers were a little higher. It will be in the August issue of VOYA magazine. They rate their books on two scales, each out of five: Quality and Popularity. They also note the grade level appropriateness. Here it is:

August 2007
3Q · 4P · J · S
Halpern, Julie. Get Well Soon. Feiwel and Friends/Holtzbrinck, 2007. 208p. $16.95. 978-0-312-36795-4.

Anna records her twenty-two days in a mental institution through a series of letters to her best friend. Dealing with depression and panic attacks upon her arrival at Lakeland, lovingly referred to as Lake Shit by the residents, Anna goes from a confused teen on suicide watch to someone who looks forward to living her life. The people Anna encounters—handsome, mysterious Justin; Sandy, the roommate with the plastic doll baby; longtime resident Mike O.; and Lawrence, the follower of the Dark Lord—are fodder for observations that range from amusing to profound. Although Anna gets stronger, she definitely worries about continuing to feel normal in the real world.

This coming-of-age story just happens to take place in a mental institution. Anna becomes more confidant and comfortable with herself during the course of her stay. There is a lovely sweetness in the blooming relationship between Anna and Justin, one that would not have been possible for the Day One Anna. Halpern creates a narrative that reflects the changes in Anna with each passing day that includes self-reflection and a good dose of humor. Readers will cheer for Anna as she gains confidence in herself, dares to rebel a little, and gets well as she goes back to her life.—Erin Wyatt.

It's actually quite good (I have read it about ten times so far). There's nary a negative comment. 3Q means "Readable, without serious defects." I think that's what gets me. Again, it's not negative, it's just kind of "fine." Is it wrong of me to review a review? I'm not saying anything against the review itself, right? Just my feelings about how the review affects me. I've heard some horror stories about reviewers having personal beefs with authors after that author disses their review, so I don't want it to sound like I'm dissing the review. It is certainly a review without serious defects. Hee hee. But seriously, folks, this sounds pretty good, right? If you didn't already know and love me, you'd go buy the book, right? As a librarian, I know I would. Now we just have to wait for my next review. And the next one... By then I may have some serious defects.


a fan said...

Not a thing wrong with a "review of a review", sounds like inspiration for a great newspaper column if you ask me!! "S"

I, for one, who does not know you from Adam, or would that be Eve? will buy the book and read it. Just as I did Toby and the Snowflake.

Although I am well beyond the generation of your novel, probably more the generation of your parents, I work with many teenagers whom I watch and listen to as they struggle through those difficult years. I feel sure I will be recommending it to many of them.

Best wishes for a successful publishing of your first novel!!

zanna said...

Congrats on this and the other good reviews, Miz J! It's only just beginning. So exciting!


Julie H said...

Wow, thanks fan! It's nice to know there are people out there reading my blog other than the five people I know :) I appreciate your support!

Julie H said...

Zanna! Great to hear from you! I'd love to hear more about YOUR book exploits when you get a chance. Hope you and the man are doing well!

Tracy said...

Nothing wrong with reviewing a reviewer. They're only human too and thus, have their own defects. Great job, Jules!