I was pretty shocked to see a tweet this morning that Kirkus would be no longer. Honestly, my emotions are rather mixed. My authors’ books have fared well (I had two author make their year-end round-up of the best young adult books), while others, who shall of course remain nameless, haven’t been so lucky. Though many different people wrote the reviews for Kirkus, there was always a very particular snarkiness about their bad reviews. I don’t think any other publication can make an author cry the same way that Kirkus did. On more than one occasion I have warned an author before the review to be prepared, because if you’ve never read one of their reviews and they go after you, it can be soul-crushing.
But when they did give an author and book a good review, it always meant that much more. Pleasing them wasn’t easy, so doing so was all the more satisfying. And if you were lucky enough to get a star, well, then you knew you’d written something not just great but truly worthy.
So even though I told authors again and again that Kirkus and those negative reviews didn’t matter (and they didn’t), I’m sincerely going to miss complaining about the harsh reviews and secretly cherishing the positive ones. Farewell, friend.