Two Reviews of Foreseen – A Contrast in Perspective

You can’t write for everyone.  I’ve always known that, but this week, I’ve discovered you can’t even write to entirely please people who LIKE your books!

This past week, the book reviewer for “Hey! Have you heard?” loved Foreseen, saying:  “I couldn’t put it down! I felt like I was sixteen again, devouring books instead of hanging out with real people!” Nice!  Makes me feel good about the amount of time I spend on crafting the stories and characters. But she started her review with a “disclaimer” saying she wished I would have written less swearing and sexual connotation.  Nevertheless, it didn’t seem to detract from her enjoyment of Foreseen. You can read the full review here.

I have to admit, the “disclaimer”  made me think.  You see, I’d prefer less swearing and sexual innuendo as well, but to me, it seemed necessary for the realism and personalities of the characters. But perhaps there is some way to characterize how frat guys talk to each other, which wouldn’t include the words in the book but still keep the settings and characters realistic. 

But a day later, a review of Foreseen appeared on Goodreads that responded to the disclaimer. While this reviewer had a hard time initially getting into Foreseen, she said: “There came a point in the book, I think when Greg is breaking up with Sasha over the phone, and then through text message. After that… I [had] a hard time putting it down.”  As for the concern of the “Hey! Have you heard?” reviewer, this one pointed out that “[t]he language and sexual innuendos in the book fit right in with the college scene. Most guys in college have ONE thing on their brains, and the language is that of college age people. I do agree that it is not appropriate for a younger reader, but I get a sense that the writer did not intend for the audience to be 12 year olds.”

Hmm… also very true and what I was thinking when I wrote the book. Foreseen is  not YA, since few twelve-year-olds would follow it or have any interest in the lives of these college students. It appeals to an older teen crowd (and up) who have heard guys talk the way they do once or twice in the novel – whether or not they like it.

The lesson?  I will keep writing the way the makes sense for the context, setting and characters. Sometimes that means using foul language when dealing with a bunch of frat boys. The fact that I and others don’t care for that language doesn’t justify making it less “real.”

And the bottom line is – both reviewers loved Foreseen!




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