If you publish with Amazon, you can be pretty certain that at some point or another you’re going to get a review that will make you scratch your head in confusion. The thing I like the most about these odd reviews is that it’s considered very bad form to ever answer one – I would hate to ever have to answer a rotten review. It’s not a good idea to answer any review for your book whether good or bad actually. Amazon reviews are a free forum type thing, and anyone who has read your book should be free to say what they thought about it without any fear of either a rant or a lot of fawning gratitude from the author. Poor old Hannah. One of the first reviews that my Fly Birdie got was a two sentence one star clonker, where the reviewer said, “I was disgusted by the actions of the “heroine” of the story.” After the initial shock wore off after reading it, I had a good chuckle because it didn’t make any sense to me at all, and I realised that now I really was part of the scribblers club – you have to get bad reviews now and then. It was a rite of passage that all of us writers have to go through at some point or another, traditionally published or indie. Stephen King gets one star depth charges all the time, like this one for The Stand – which was one of the best books I’ve ever read by the way. 1.0 out of 5 stars BORING AND SICKLY, LIKE A NEVER ENDING BAD DREAM, December 28, 2013 By Detective – See all my reviews This review is from: The Stand (Kindle Edition) Why so many 5 star ratings is a mystery to me. What this book reminded me of was a series of bad dreams like you get after eating too much bad food and trying to sleep it off in an over heated bedroom. Problem is this bad dream (book) doesn’t end at dawn, instead it goes on and on and on forever resulting in boring and sickly never ending reading drudgery. Makes me feel better to know that it’s not just me who will be blasted, although I think that possibly the above guy should eat more veggies and invest in aircon. Still, I take what reviewers say very seriously, and any valid point (valid to me that is) that they make about any of my scribbles that they don’t like, I’ll do my best to work on in future. I also think that it’s fair enough to say so if a story grosses you out that badly, so I’m not likely to get all Stanley about the whole thing. But if you’re going to give a negative low review, at least make sure you have your facts straight, because these low stars bring a book’s overall ratings down, and tossing them about willy nilly is irresponsible. In Fly Birdie, an ancient, massive tree is totally ripped up in a storm – roots exposed to the air, and left dangerously hanging over a house. Never mind the rest of the story – although Hannah’s sadness and helplessness at the death of the tree was fairly obvious when the story got to that point, but it’s absolutely not possible to save a tree in that state, that old, or of that size, no matter how much you want to. So this review started out as a bit of a head scratcher to me. 3.0 out of 5 stars An unkind woman, September 21, 2014 By marcia riley – See all my reviews Verified Purchase(What’s this?) This review is from: Fly Birdie (Kindle Edition) Everyone loves how kind she was to the bird, but what about the tree? When she learned the tree had feelings and went out of its way not to harm her, she let it be chopped down anyway. She showed no compassion whatsoever for the stately tree. That was not something a nice person would do. For shame…… But then it occurred to me that the story had actually got to this reader. Maybe not in a good way – it clearly upset her. All of us writers want our readers to be emotionally invested in our books, so maybe this isn’t really a “bad” review after all. Everyone has strong feelings for different things. And many people – myself included – have a deep and abiding love for certain types of life, be it trees or dolphins, or any other critter. My judgement has often been clouded in the past by these feelings, where logic hasn’t even come into the equation before the words come out. So to me, even though this seems to be just a negative review, what I get from it is that the reader was moved enough by what she read about that poor old tree to have some pretty strong feelings about it – and that, I reckon, is a very large compliment – when anything you write evokes such a reaction. So – I’m happy with it.