A Kirkus Review is….
In Slate Magazine (online) Kirkus is labeled as one of four book reviews that matter.
“Kirkuk is all reviews, no gossip.”
On the Kirkus review site itself, it says…
“Since 1933, Kirkus has been one of the most trusted and authoritative voices in book discovery. When Kirkus was started by Virginia Kirkus (1893-1980), it was an innovation in the publishing field. Virginia arranged to receive advance galley proofs of books from publishers — only 20 or so at first, but eventually nearly every firm of any size in the industry. She read the galleys and wrote brief, critical evaluations of their literary merit and probable popular appeal. Initially, the reviews were sent only to subscribing bookshops in the form of a bimonthly bulletin. Bookstore managers were thus given an informed and unbiased opinion on which to base their orders and promotions. Two years later, the service was also made available to libraries. Now, 80 years later, Kirkus Reviews is distributed to more than 5,000 industry influencers, including bookstore buyers, librarians, publishers, agents, film executives and foreign publishers.” from the Kirkus Review website
On Blurb Stories, it says…
“Many authors turn to professional reviewing services like Kirkus Reviews. Kirkus is a big player in the book world—they’ve been in business since 1933. In exchange for a fee, Kirkus has a professional reviewer read the book and supply an unbiased review of 250–350 words. Reviews can be kept private or published to the Kirkus website and distributed to licensees including Google, Barnes & Noble, and Ingram. Over the years, Kirkus has established a reputation for independence and frankness. Earning a Kirkus star is a coup for any author, but the service isn’t cheap, and there’s no guarantee a review will be positive. Seeking a professional review, such as a Kirkus Indie book review, is a significant investment and your book needs to be ready to face the challenge.”
I was nervous to get a Kirkus Review of Love Spell as I had only seen them on Amazon.com in association with rather famous books. How could one of my books get a decent review, like John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars did? Plus they are far from free. But I felt very confident that Love Spell was a book with a creative and quirky presentation and a solid message. So I went for it.
And so, here is my very first Kirkus Review…
Kerick, Mia CoolDudes Publishing June 1, 2015
A teenage boy has a crush on a fellow student in Kerick’s (The Red Sheet, 2014, etc.) first-person YA charmer.
High schooler Chance César is no shrinking violet—not with his “hair dyed the flamboyant shade of a Cheez Doodle” and most certainly not while wearing “a scandalously snug-in-all-the-wrong (right)-places orange tuxedo and four-inch black pumps” while strutting down a fall-festival catwalk for the title of Miss Harvest Moon. He’s come to terms with being gay, but he’s still confused by some gender-related issues. Instead of owning up to having a feminine side, for example, he acknowledges to his best friend, Emily, that he has a “soft side.” He’s also told her about his romantic interest in Jasper Donahue, another student, whom he nicknames “Jazz.” The two boys eventually become friends, but Chance can’t figure out if Jazz is gay as well. As he tries to get Jazz interested in him, he first relies on an online list (“Ten Scientifically Proven Ways to Make a Man Fall in Love With You”) and later follows a website’s instructions on how to cast a love spell on “The Target.” Kerick devotes most of the book to sassy fun and first-love desire, but her depiction of the loneliness caused by apathetic parents, the insecurity of extra pounds, the stress of college applications, the meanness of bullies, the importance of forgiveness, and especially the uneasiness of being “stuck in the gray area between girl and boy” make this novel thoroughly enjoyable. The book not only hits upon all manner of teenage angst, but also on the significance of true family values and on the joys of such simple pleasures as high–thread-count sheets, sharing homemade pizza, and playing card games instead of “head games” on a Friday night. The characters are memorable and the dialogue is consistently bright and believable, featuring authentic-sounding teenspeak. The author even defines Chance’s invented vocabulary words (such as “Randatorbs” and “Dooza-palooza”) in a back-of-the-book glossary for readers who can’t keep up.
A comical, thought-provoking YA novel for those who believe in the magic of love without all the hocus-pocus.
I am happy I decided to get this review. I will post it on Amazon and Goodreads and here! I’m not sure if I will do it again with another book, but it was validating for me with Love Spell.
Thanks for checking it out!!