First, let's meet this lovely looking woman, shall we?
Christina Baker Kline is a well received author in the serious book reading community. Like many authors, she enjoys interacting with her readers, fans and friends. You know, engage in friendly banter regarding her books, their plots, and characters. Nothing unusual there. Her books have also been getting some rave reviews. And some not so rave. Nothing unusual there either. No book on this planet is going to please everyone. Trust me, us authors know this. We are not as naive as the bullies would lead you to believe. Despite their many fits of rage and hate claiming otherwise, saying that we seriously look upon our work as our "kids" or something. We understand fully that our books are just that, books. And essentially, products that we market for readers.
I also believe that readers understand that not everything we write reflects who we are, or what we believe. Sometimes, we simply write stories that are appealing to us, or was inspired from something in our lives, or something we saw, read, or heard. Sometimes, we just like the idea of a thought and put it down on paper. We create characters as interestingly as we can. Sometimes, our characters are inspired by someone we met, knew, or otherwise learned about in some fashion, and figure our story could use a character like that to serve some kind of purpose in our story.
I like to think that real readers understand this. Unfortunately, the bullies do not understand this. And this leads us to the attack on Christina Baker Kline.
Christina wrote, what appears to be, a somewhat controversial book called, "Orphan Train".
From what I can tell, it seems to be pretty good. Many people like it. But the bullies don't like it, and that's okay. Provided of course, that they read the book. Not liking something you never read is like not liking a food you never tried, asinine. Maybe even obtuse.
But when a bully does read a book, why then do they have to attack the author in their book review? Why is it so important to them to insult the author? Humiliate them? It doesn't make any sense. And today, I am not only going to tell you why these bullies attacked Christina Baker Kline, and how they did it by baiting her, but I am going to show you the difference between a sincere one star rating / review of a book, and a bully rating / review of a book.
You are going to see here today on this blog post, two one star ratings and reviews of Christina's book "Orphan Train" and see for yourself what I, STGRB, Author Jack Eason, and author Rick Carufel (and many other authors) have been trying to show you about what it is that makes these bullies of whom we all have been standing against, bullies in the first place.
You won't have to take my word for it, because you'll be able to see it for yourself with your own eyes. As they say, seeing is believing, and believe me, you are going to see what it is that makes these bullies what they are.
First, it is my understanding that one day, while engaging with her readers online, Christina was fielding questions about her book(s). Little did she know that lurking in the crowd of her readers, fans and friends, were a few of the bullies. When one of the bullies decided to set her up with a "bait" question, and when Christina responded, the attack was on.
As we're all aware of here on The Glass, the bully belief system (or code) is that authors should be read, not heard. In other words, "us readers (bully variety) will read your book, and say whatever we want to about it and you (the author) are just supposed to shut up and take it. Period! However, from my my knowledge of the situation, this was a planned event of Q and A from Christina and for her readers. (Serious readers actually enjoy this kind of event, but the bullies don't.) So essentially, when the bullies penetrated this event, they more or less baited her with a question(s) to which they knew she was going to respond to because that was the whole idea for this event.
Please note: I am unsure as to where this Q and A took place. Whether it was GR, Twitter, Facebook or some other social website.
Anyhow, this is how they (the bullies) were led to attack her for "comments" she made by addressing their baited question(s). And of course, when Christina did this, the bullies took to slamming her, and, her book, "Orphan Train".
Feeling nauseated and disgusted yet? Well hang onto your hats, we are now getting to the meat and potato's of this story.
In the next screenshot, and as I promised earlier, you are going to see a one star rating on Christina's book, "Orphan Train". You are also going to see the review. Most importantly, this rating and review by "Monika330" is a legitimate one star rating and review. Maybe because "Monika330" is a legitimate reader of the book. You will notice in this review that the review focuses in on the story itself, the characters, and the plot. NOT THE AUTHOR!
Now, whether "Monika330" is a bully, a member of Bully Nation, or a supporter of the bullies is insignificant. What is significant is that she appears to have honestly read the book, and her review does not attack the author on a personal basis, nor insults the author, nor tries to humiliate the author. Again, it remains focused on the book. Take a look.
Did you see it? It's a pretty well written review, wouldn't you say? And after reading it, I was thoroughly convinced that "Monika330" read the book, and honestly didn't care for it. I have no problem with this review, even if "Monika330" is a bully, or not. And I know of no author who would have a problem with this review either. She stayed true to what book review is all about. The most important part of this review is the fact that "Monika330", based on her review, appears to have actually read the book.
Now, I want you to suck that information all in because next, we are going to see another review of the same book, where the reviewer gives the same one star rating. The difference that you are going to see is how this particular reviewer, "Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship", a bully in her own right, reviews the book, "Orphan Train". You are going to see how, instead of her reviewing the book, she reviews the author, insults the author, tries to humiliate the author (Christina Baker Kline) and on top of it, how "Emma" admits not reading the book, but in fact, her whole entire review is based from reading one chapter. Not only that, but she misleads people into thinking that she "bought" the book instead of confessing the truth, that she actually read the "free sample chapter" on Amazon.
So, in essence, "Emma" not only failed to buy the book, she writes an entire book review based on the free chapter she read off Amazon. This does not make her an "actual" reader, now does it?
I know we have heard (and still here) from the bullies that they are readers. And guess what? maybe to a lesser extent, they are, however, they are not "readers" of the authors they attack. A good example can be found on my book "Children Of The Flower Power" where some bullies actually make an attempt to "review" my book when in fact they only "review" the free sample chapter on Amazon. Another bully tries to pass off an actual review of it and totally gets the whole thing wrong where the story and plot is concerned. They seem to think the story is focused on one character when in fact, it focuses on several characters.
Be that as it may, what we see in this next screenshot is very similar. Take a look.
See the difference?
And on "Emma's" update, next to the word "Highlight", she makes the comment: "Kline thinks pointing out bad writing is "silly", which tells you pretty much all you need to know about the quality of this book. That's it, I'm one starring this baby."
What "Emma" is referring to is when the bullies sabotaged her Q and A with her readers, fans and friends that I mentioned earlier. The "comment" Christina made was in response to a question regarding the "bad writing".
Yeah, I know, right?
But this is what I mean about the bullies. They look for anything, anything at all, to go after an author for. Even to the point of "setting them up" if need be. One would think in the confines of your own space with your readers, fans and friends, engaging with them, you wouldn't have to worry yourself about whether or not there are "bullies" in the crowd. Yet when one asks her a question about the "bad writing", Christina addresses it honestly, and probably, nonchalantly, never realizing that her answer was going to be held against her by the bullies. And held against her it was, to the tune of 35 one stars! (Talk about a carpet bombing party)
But this is what I wanted to address. I wanted to tell you and show how the bullies operate. To demonstrate how they (the bullies) function in their thought process. While they may actually read a book every now and then, (as they claim) one thing we all know is, they do not read the books of the authors they attack. This is what makes them liars, and bullies. They one star books they don't read, and attack authors in book reviews for the sole purpose of trying to humiliate them, and hurt their book sales / career.Their attacks have absolutely nothing to do with "free speech" or censorship issues with GR, but rather, their self entitled right to humiliate, and bully authors, as well to outright lie about actually reading books by giving fake ratings and trying to pass off some of their reviews as them having read or bought the book when in fact, all they do is read the free sample chapters of books offered by Amazon.
Don't be fooled by them!
And now you know the truth.
I'm Carroll Bryant .... and yes, this is The Looking Glass.