I just got my first review of Tank Talbott’s Guide to Girls. It’s from Booklist. I like Booklist…they’ve been kind to me. They even gave me a starred review for My Mom’s Having a Baby, and made it an Editor’s Choice book for 2005. But still…I can’t help but feel a little anxious every time a new review comes out…

I don’t even READ them when I first get them…I SCAN for “danger words and phrases.” And I found one of those danger phrases at the bottom of this one…”Serious issues aren’t always smoothly incorporated into the story,” (fortunately, there IS a but…) “but kids will like Tank and also understand his hope to demystify the opposite sex.” Despite the but, I clung to that “serious issues aren’t always smoothly incorporated into the story” a while longer (Which serious issues aren’t smoothly incorporated into the story? Where? How many instances? Can I go back and fix it, Wendy?), then I started at the beginning and read the whole review.

Not too bad…that “serious issues aren’t always smoothly incorporated into the story” was the worst line in there. There’s even a pretty nice sentence that I can probably use as a blurb on my website: “Butler’s follow-up to Trading Places with Tank Talbott (2003) is a satisfying, often humorous read (Tank’s explanations for girls’ behavior are particularly creative), which touches on such matter as Internet safety, changing friendships, and anger management, especially as it relates to Tank’s older brother.”

Is it just me, or do all writers dwell a little longer on the negative than the positive? (I did that with the fan letter I posted earlier today, too…it really WAS a nice letter…) Maybe I need to go back and reread Stephanie’s piece on changing my story/changing my life? My “story” is that I got a POSITIVE review here… (“That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!”)

The first review is in…

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