I'd like to thank Entertainment Weekly for undoing the work of lots of great book reviewers out there in their review of Catching Fire. Concerning this review, EW's incompetency is simply astounding.
Honestly, I don't care that EW gave the book a "C." The letter grades that EW assigns books, movies, and music are really more a ballpark estimate to me than anything else. What ticks me off is that the reviewer doesn't appear to have read The Hunger Games OR Catching Fire, yet complains that the book lacks "the erotic energy that makes Twilight, for instance, so creepily alluring." (I wish I could make that up. I'm a little skeeved out just reading it.)
Really, EW? That was low. It's a comparison of apples and pineapples. Catching Fire isn't meant to have erotic energy. It's a post-apocalyptic adventure. It's not meant to be "creepily alluring." I'm willing to bet that the reviewer, Jennifer Reese, has never read a YA novel other than TSVB. Of course, she doesnt need to, because TSVB is representative of the entire genre, right? I mean, according to her review standards, I can give Julie and Julia the same letter grade/review that I give Methland because they're both memoirs, right? And I can say that Methland is an inferior book because it's not happy and about food, yes?
I'm all for comparing similar books in a review. That's good reader's advisory and it's an essential part of developing a book's marketing plan. What brings down the quality of a review is expecting one book to be representative of an entire genre, as EW has done, and complaining when books in that genre aren't all the same. It's not fair for to give Catching Fire a bad review because it's not what Ms Reese wanted it to be. You might as well get mad at a pair of pumps for not being a pair of Wellington boots.
Now I need to go shoe shopping.
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