A Writer’s Defense of J.K. Rowling

Rowling is under extreme scrutiny for “retconning:” adding details that weren’t in the books via tweets and interviews. This has ruffled many people the wrong way. Some fans say what’s written is law and Rowling shouldn’t add to her own canon. Some fans claim she’s forcing detail in an attempt to complete a diversity checkbox because, let’s face it, Hogwarts is very white. Now, I don’t agree with everything Rowling has said or done. I was not a fan of The Crimes of Grindelwald for many of these “retconning” reasons (not to mention its bloated spaghetti plot). But Rowling – while a personal inspiration and someone I’d very much like to have coffee with – has never been a literary god to me. I don’t believe in literary gods because writers, like me, are human. We forget this too often and crucify our idols the moment they stumble. Rowling has stumbled for sure, but I think there are a few literary areas where the criticism surrounding her is inappropriate at best and harmful at worst. I’d like to talk about four of them.

Girl, Wash Your Face

I haven’t read enough self-help books to offer an opinion on the genre, but Girl, Wash Your Face caught my attention because of the controversial reviews and the promise of a “cut-that-shit-out” narrative that would shock me into motivation. It was motivating, but probably not in the way Hollis intended it.

Nova

Margaret Fortune’s young adult, science fiction debut novel, Nova, opens with a bang – or at least the promise of one. Lia Johansen is sixteen, a refugee, and a human bomb.

Once Upon a Kiss

*I received an advanced readers copy (ARC) of Once Upon a Kiss . The following review does not address any potential grammatical or formatting errors as I did not receive a final copy.*

The Female of the Species

You should read this book if you’re seeking reprieve from rose-colored literature and star-crossed lovers. The Female of the Species is neither pretty nor sweet. Its aftertaste is bitter, and its plot will leave you shifting uncomfortably in your seat, replaying memories of your adolescence under the harsh fluorescent lighting of retrospect.

Turtles All the Way Down

There are those books that grab you by your collar, pull you beneath their pages, and drown you in adventure before you’re fifty words in.

The Glass Spare

My review of The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano as featured on Goodreads.com.
Two out of Five Stars

Don’t Shut the Wardrobe Door

I love to revisit the childhood classics that have shaped my writing and my life. Over the years, I have returned to C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia many times, enjoying the familiar, fantastical world of magic and adventure. But I wasn’t prepared for how different Narnia felt when I wandered through the wardrobe holding my daughter’s hand.

The Hearts We Sold

The Hearts We Sold by Emily-Lloyd-Jones (great name!) took me by surprise. Lately, I’ve been working my way through piles of Owlcrate books I’ve yet to read. I promised myself I’d be pickier about reviewing new books, and I have. After a few titles that left me yawning, Lloyd-Jones’ YA novel about demons, deals, and (literal) heartbreak felt refreshing.

The Adventures of Nick and Billy by Michael Hoard

My review of Michael Hoard’s The Adventures of Nick and Billy: The Mystery of the Rougarou: a fun, face-paced adventure set in the swamps of South Louisiana. It follows the mis-adventure of two young boys whose love for exploration leads them on a journey through the wilderness where they face not only the dangers of nature, but the darkness of humankind.*