If you're an author, you'd have to be pretty masochistic to read all of your reviews, let alone believe them. All you can really do is write as well as you can, hope you get a great editor, and remember that the life and love you poured into your story is the point of the enterprise. That's time well spent no matter what happens.
But it's still pretty darned incredible to get your first review and have it earn a star from Kirkus, the self-proclaimed "world's toughest book critics."
When I was writing DEVINE INTERVENTION (which was then called TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR THE DEAD), I knew it was my story to tell, that I was breathing the measures of pain, sadness, fear, loneliness, love and joy I've experienced into characters who felt real to me, even as their situations are decidedly, uh, fantastic.
Because some weird stuff happens in the book, I was prepared for people to be unable to relate to it. And certainly, I'd encountered at least one agent who not only couldn't relate, but hated the story.
So far, though, that person's been the exception. My wonderful editor, Arthur Levine, sent a long and unforgettable note when I handed in my revision. Do you know how good it feels to write a book that makes the editor of Harry Potter happy?
Then, a bookseller who got an ARC pullled an acquaintance of mine aside--without knowing that we knew each other--to tell her what fun she was having reading it.
And while I can't talk about everything good that's happening behind the scenes (yes, there's more), I can share this review, which describes the book I intended to write. I'm incredibly lucky the book fell into the hands of the right reader, and it's something I hope continues to happen.
DEVINE INTERVENTION [STARRED REVIEW]
Author: Brockenbrough, Martha
Review Issue Date: April 15, 2012
Online Publish Date: March 28, 2012
Price ( Hardcover ): $17.99
Publication Date: June 1, 2012
ISBN ( Hardcover ): 978-0-545-38213-7
Jerome is no teen angel.
A hell raiser when alive and killed by his cousin in eighth grade in an unfortunate archery accident, he has spent his afterlife in Soul Rehab assigned to Heidi in an attempt to win his way into Heaven. Not that he's very committed to the notion; he lost his "Guardian Angel's Handbook" pretty much right away, but he sort of tries. Heidi has more or less enjoyed Jerome's company, though he could sometimes be annoying. When Heidi, having experienced unendurable humiliation in a high-school talent show, ventures onto thin ice and falls through, Jerome does his best to save her soul-as much for her own sake, he's surprised to find, as for his. Brockenbrough devises a devilishly clever narrative, alternating Jerome's first-person account with Heidi's tightly focused third-person perspective. Tying both together are commandment-by-commandment excerpts (often footnoted) from Jerome's lost handbook, each stricture slyly informing the succeeding chapter. The rules governing Jerome's afterlife lead to frequently hysterical prose. He can't swear, of course, so he substitutes euphemisms: ". if I weren't so chickenchevy"; "It was a real mind-flask." Beneath the snark, though, runs a current of devastatingly honest writing that surprises with its occasional beauty and hits home with the keenness of its insight.
As the clock ticks down on Heidi's soul, readers will be rooting for both Jerome and Heidi with all their hearts. (Paranormal adventure. 12 & up)
Used with permission from Kirkus Reviews Online | © 2012 Kirkus Reviews