Every now and then I pay Amazon a visit to check on Reviews HUSH and HUSHED have received over a period of time. And I do this because it allows me to see how the books are rating; what areas the books need improvement in, and lastly, how the public feels about the books. Now I will admit that it is quite rare for me to respond to a Review or Reviews the books have garnished as I view the Reviews more as a public opinion rather than anything else. . .that is until this one crossed my eyes.
Over the weekend I paid Amazon another visit and came across the following Review which is Review #210:
“0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
ByOwlwingon August 8, 2015
First of all, this “piece of work” was downloaded by my 14-year-old daughter’s kindle over a year ago and it was purchased on my account more than once, which I understand isn’t to be done. I believe the book is Young Adult (and it shouldn’t be, if that’s the case). I attempted to access it again, but perhaps I deleted it and had to purchase it again. I don’t know. The ‘novel’ is little more than an apparently successful attempt on the part of the author to exploit a tragic and horribly sad reality in our world. The book is little more than a disguised attempt at titillating pornographic writing and nothing more. To say otherwise is disingenuous, dishonest and I would say, an outright lie. So many writers could write trash like this and guise it as helpful and representative, when the real intent is to get gullible individuals to purchase it. There are different ways to present material like this that may very well be helpful, but the graphic nature of the work is indicative of it’s true intent, again, exploitation, attention-seeking and whatever level of sales. Frankly, there is no need for the author to be so graphic in the telling of the story. Furthermore, as I recall, toward the end the lead character says something to the effect “that at least I got a BMW out of it”, which is a very telling quote because it further represents that the writer is exploiting a tragic situation (as if getting a BMW has any value next to the hell the character experiences). I’m not one for banning books, but this is hardly a book, it is simply garbage presented as something it is not. I am amazed that Amazon.com doesn’t police such writings given the destructive nature of this ‘text’. As impossible as it may seem, would it not have been possible for the main character to go to the authorities given such horrific treatment, as opposed to remaining in the situation, especially when she finds that there is intent to have her younger sister be a part of the exploitation in the future? Perhaps too much to ask, but I think that would have disrupted the intent of the writer, which is clearly to draw unsuspecting and impressionable individuals into the situation to increase sales. Not only would I urge anyone contemplating the idea of purchasing this trash to forego such a purchase I hope that a screening process of some sort could be implemented by Amazon.com to keep pornography off it’s list of choices.”
Okay, now that the Review has been read, ingested, and in my case, detested, I found I was compelled to respond to the Review with my own Review (and I do hope that this Reviewer will read this) simply because everything about it is. . .ahem. . .”TRASH”, False, and it clearly misrepresents what the book is all about.
When HUSH first came about (two years ago, to be exact) I made it a point to include an Author’s note which clearly emphasized on what HUSH was about. Today, that Author’s note no longer exists as it has been replaced with the following and in Amazon’s description box:
“**WARNING**17+ Readers Only**This book is beyond disturbing, and contains disturbing scenes and a disturbing outcome.**”
Does anyone not read before buying? It is clearly obvious that the Reviewer did not adhere to my Warning or she/he wouldn’t have gone out of their way to write such a callous Review, much less, buy the book. Now the only reason the Reviewer stated having to purchase HUSH was because she/he may have deleted it accidentally after it was discovered on their 14-year-old daughter’s tablet. Did the daughter not read the Warning label, as well? Does this family not read Warning labels? And I don’t ever recall indicating HUSH to be a Young Adult novel on Amazon? Nor have I ever indicated HUSH to be a “Pornographic” novel on Amazon, either. Where the Reviewer is obtaining their sources is far beyond me.
Now the allegation about Jane supposedly getting a car for prostituting with the Reviewer’s following quote: “that at least I got a BMW out of it” is entirely false. Again, it is clearly obvious that the Reviewer did not read the book but merely skimmed through the book because if she/he did read the book they would have came across the following:
“My father, along with my mother, took it upon themselves to buy me a brand new BMW for Christmas.
When they presented my gift to me Christmas morning I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to thank my unlucky stars, or cry? Instead, I turned an ungrateful heel and walked out of the living room. It wasn’t until later that morning when my father summoned me into his study. And when he began to interrogate my behavior toward the gift I honestly didn’t know what he wanted me to say, and so I apologized.
“Your mother and I went to great lengths to get you this new car,” my father surmised in great disappointment. “I mean, the least you could have done is looked appreciative. . .for your mother.”
I remembered glowering at my father for trying to pin his disappointment on me. I wanted so bad to rip out his fucking tongue and gauge his eyes with my fingernails ’cause I had saw the gift as an insult, a spiteful slap to my face, and not necessarily a gift from the heart. I plotted to put a bat to it once everyone went to bed but the idea got tossed out the window when my father tossed Josh the keys and told him to take it back to the showroom. I was glad that my father decided otherwise ’cause the car would only pose as a constant reminder to all the men I was forced to fuck just to have it.”
Further into the Review the Reviewer has made reference about the graphic nature of HUSH and I quote the Reviewer: ” Frankly, there is no need for the author to be so graphic in the telling of the story”. While I agree with the Reviewer I believe I was clear on why for the graphic nature of HUSH in a previous post: Why HUSH is Graphically Disturbing. Again, it is obvious that the Reviewer did not read up on this at the website. Maybe she/he would have grasped a better understanding for HUSH instead of making it out to be: “The ‘novel’ is little more than an apparently successful attempt on the part of the author to exploit a tragic and horribly sad reality in our world. The book is little more than a disguised attempt at titillating pornographic writing and nothing more. To say otherwise is disingenuous, dishonest and I would say, an outright lie.” Is HUSH really an “outright lie”? I’m sure if the Reviewer would have taken the time to research the issue here in the U.S. prior to writing their Review I’m sure she/he would have felt otherwise and restrained themselves for slandering HUSH.
Now as far as “Sales” is concerned in which the Reviewer also emphasizes on: “attention-seeking and whatever level of sales” and “clearly to draw unsuspecting and impressionable individuals into the situation to increase sales” is far from me getting rich. If that were the case, HUSH, HUSHED and JANE. would all read flawless as most traditional books read in part of a good Editor in which I do not have; HUSH, HUSHED and JANE. would cost more than .99 cents if I did have a good Editor; I barely make enough sales to cover my electric bill; and unfortunately I still have a day job.
Now, I also understand that the Reviewer has expressed two issues with Amazon: One, to take a better interest in their “screening” process; and two, I honestly did not know Amazon promoted Pornography as “a list of choices”? I mean, who in their right mind would go searching for Pornography on Amazon? I mean, I’ve heard of searching it over the Internet, but Amazon? Thanks to the Reviewer, now I, along with many others, know.
Last, but not least, and again I quote the Reviewer: “I am amazed that Amazon.com doesn’t police such writings given the destructive nature of this ‘text’.” If Amazon ever got to the point of “policing” such “garbage” (now referring to HUSH) then they would need to police ALL books pertaining to Teen Prostitution and Child Sex Trafficking, and unfortunately there are hundreds across Amazon’s platform as well as others. I mean seriously, just don’t single out my book when others are clearly addressing the same issue but in different scenarios whether in Fiction or Non. All is fair in Love and War, right?
In closing, and in my honest opinion, I believe the Reviewer/Parent got extremely upset over their daughter’s indiscretion and decided to take the route she/he had taken with the writing of their Review. Mind you, the Reader and the Reviewer, I’m not upset, just disappointed that one, I cannot delete the Review; and two, I felt that HUSH was misrepresented by the Review, and I felt it was my job to defend it.
Thank you for reading.