If you have seen my tweets from last night (they’ll be in the next block) then you have an idea as to what I’m going to talk about. I found out that the author of a book I was supposed to review is in hot water because of something they had said over the internet and has sparked attention from a lot of people.
A little over a month ago, I was contacted by an author on Instagram to review their book (please note that I’m going to use they/ their even though it’s grammatically incorrect for the sake of this situation). I heard what they had to say and read to synopsis to the book and was intrigued enough to read a book that I normally don’t. I looked this book up on Goodreads to make sure that the author and book was legit, and it seemed like it because the book had more than 3 and ½ stars. I sent over the link to my review policy to make sure the author knew how my reviews work, and the author sent me an ecopy through a service similar to NetGalley (although I have never heard of this particular service).
Fast forward a few weeks to June 2nd when I picked up this book to start reading because the review wasn’t due until the 11th. Well I spend most of the early part of the following book trying to read this book, but my 8 hour Monday/Wednesday had just started so obviously I didn’t’ have mush free then add an online class and think “What even is free time?!”. I spent most of Thursday and Friday evening reading this book. Last night (Friday Night) I finished a book that I have spent all my free time reading to review, and when I was going online to pull the synopsis for the review, that’s when the flood gates opened.
I saw that the book only had 1.6 stars on Goodreads, and based on what I read in the book, I thought that something was odd, so like any good reader/reviewer I go to the comments. And, OMG the comments weren’t even about the book, but what the author did. At this point, I didn’t know that anything happened, so I went to google and typed in the author’s name, and the tea was SPILLED. Short story as to what happened: the author made a comment on Twitter about an employee eating on the subway and wanted the company to do something about this because apparently the employee couldn’t eat there. I have no idea what has happened to the employee regarding their job, but I do know that the author lost their contract with their publisher over this, and this article was published on May 10th, shortly after I received the book. I mean this article wasn’t only on BuzzFeed (which you could take it or leave it depending on the article), but it was also on the BBC, The Washington Post, CBS, NBC, The New York Post, and many other big name news companies, so I knew that this was big.
I continued typing my review after finding out this information, and I had passages from the book highlighted ready to go into to my post. But, as I was typing, I was initially thinking that I should be find because my review was solely on the book itself (which I would have rated it 4 stars). However, I concluded that I couldn’t support this author by releasing a positive review after reading their book about people of color in the US, and being a young Chinese-American woman, I couldn’t in my right mind support this author in any way after how they reacted in the situation. I went back to the website where I got my ecopy of the book and decline my review basically saying that I could not release my review after the current events.
A red flag on my part is that I noticed on Instagram the author had “unfollowed” me because I have once of those analytical apps, and the profile picture for this person was the grey circle which normally indicates that the account has been deactivated. Then about a week later the author “refollowed” me so I thought no more of it. All of the author’s social media accounts have since been deactivated.
The biggest problem that I have with this reviewing company is that they didn’t tell me that the book was being pulled. I had to find out through other news sources than straight from the publishing company (or middleman in this case), and this particular service sends out notifications if you haven’t posted the review 2 days before publication. So, I’m thinking they can hound me over a review for a book that is being pulled, but they don’t have the decency to enlighten me over what the author has done. I don’t know how NetGalley would have acted in a situation like this because I don’t request eARCs unless it’s one that I really want to read.
After I went in and declined my review, I felt guilty for about 2 seconds because I wasn’t posting it. But I can’t support an author that tried to get an employee fired for eating on a subway (once again there is more to this story that I’m not getting into). And after reading the book about a Jordanian woman coming to the US for a better life and some of the author’s bio. I. JUST. COULDN’T. DO. IT.
Please note that I’m not going to say in the comments who this author is, but the the book is on my Goodreads account under the ‘Read’ section.
I want to thank for reading this and hopefully understanding as to why I’m not going to post my review. I also want to apologize for not post a review this week because I was anticipating to post the review for this book.
Happy reading until next time,