Charlinder and I can’t please everyone, but we do make an impression.

Week Two of Monster’s First Blog Tour has drawn to a close. I guess? The review that was scheduled for today hasn’t appeared, but there’s no time like the present to do the weekly roundup.

A.B. Shepherd’s Reinvented Reader assures us:

Charlinder’s Walk is really a thought provoking book about many topics including religion, ecology, sexism, racism, education, morality, sexuality, family, and ethics. But it doesn’t do any of this in a preachy or lecturing way. I’m glad Alyson Miers wrote it and I’m glad I read it.

(However, I do occasionally put nasty language in my characters’ mouths. It’s…actually pretty tame compared to the nasty language I use on this blog, come to think of it.)

M.K. McClintock soon figured out this was not a YA book:

What I liked most about this book was Charlinder’s journey and once he began his ‘walk’ the story drew me in a bit more. The author’s imagination and attention to detail cannot be missed. Charlinder is an interesting character and you’ll likely find yourself encouraging him along as he experiences struggles, adventures, and meeting new people. I’d have to say that his travels were the best parts of the book for me and what I found most engaging. The author does a good job letting you see the journey through Charlinder’s eyes.

Bex Brennan of Bex Book Nook says the book feels more like a fantasy than a dystopian, which she appreciates:

Ms Miers writing style is easy to read and understand, while not losing any of it’s descriptive qualities.

She concludes:

I would suggest Charlinder’s Walk without reservation to any dystopian fiction fans, or anyone interested in a well written coming of age tale with some really interesting and unique plot twists.

Suzanne van Rooyen found the book a bit outside her tastes:

It asks some really difficult questions particularly of religion while examining societal norms, challenging established gender roles and even family construction. I appreciate how fearlessly the author dived into this topics. It made for some interesting and thought provoking reading.

On the other hand:

I’m not a fan of stories with such strong religious and socio-political content. I found this book difficult to read, not because of bad writing but because of the subject material. The writing is actually very good, it’s the content I didn’t like although it did make me think.

Okay, the cat’s out of the bag. There is all sorts of socio-political content going on in my novel.

Martha’s Bookshelf gives us an embarrassment of attention. She starts off with a review in which she tells us about ALL the socio-political stuff:

If you like discussions on social issues, you would like this book.

She praises my writing flow as smooth and easy reading, she says Charlinder is likable if a bit odd (yeah, that sounds about right), and she gives us the full disclosure:

This is suitable for mature YA and adults but, in addition to social issues engaging some thought effort, I caution parents that there is some open sexual discussion and activity. I’d say this story is best read with an open mind that is willing to see and ponder the dilemma of cultural oppressions.

But that’s not all! She also interviews me and Charlinder:

This life and this world are all we have, so we need to make the most of the time we get on Earth and be good to the people and creatures around us.

–says Charlinder, the outspoken humanist.

Inga Silberg at Me and Reading gives some very nice feedback, such as:

Charlinder’s Walk by Alyson Miers was a book which surprised me positively. It was well-written with lots of thorough and detailed descriptions, interesting settings and it engaged me from the very beginning.

And…

I think that the strong side of the book was Charlinder himself. His thoughts and how he experienced the world, what he saw and how he acted actually created the whole book. Author did an excellent work with Charlinder’s character.

Finally…

Charlinders’ Walk by Alyson Miers is a book which you need to take time for in order to enjoy it fully. I think it was not very easy to read due to long and captivating scenery, but it was all worth it. The world which the author has created is unique, and there are surprising twists and turns which come along with the story!

Yeah!

Evangeline Han at Audacious Reader seems to have found Charlinder’s Walk perhaps a bit too audacious?

But then, the issues about society in the novel aren’t pleasant as well. Charlinder’s Walk is definitely a novel that goes all out at its approach of issues that aren’t in the comfort zone.

She likes the mystery and intrigue but doesn’t like Gentiola. She likes Lacey, though.

What I like about Charlinder’s Walk is that it doesn’t force you into thinking a certain way, it doesn’t propagate. It does, however, bring up issues and cause you to view them at different angles. Along the way, you’ll decide (or judge) your position on those issues. Charlinder’s Walk causes one to think, rather than make one view strongly prominent than the other.

[English teacher mode: by “propagate” I think she means “proselytize.”]

Her review has given me some gristle to chew on, so I’d like to make a couple of notes here. The first is that Gentiola is the closest thing the story has to a bad guy. Villain? No. Antagonist? Yes. I put some status updates on She Writes last year about how my antagonist was so viciously difficult to write that she was driving me to drink. Not that I need any encouragement to drink, but the antagonist in question? Gentiola. I also didn’t expect anyone to view the interaction between her and Charlinder as a romance.

I’m thinking about writing up some FAQs about Charlinder’s Walk, in which I’ll go a bit further into reviewers’ reactions, but it should wait until the tour is finished. I like to err on the side of thoroughness.

To finish up, here is a charming little graphic I found on Pinterest. Something about it bothered me, though…

Writers should know better than to abuse apostrophes.

Someone has not spent much time among Harry Potter fans.

The Dish quotes someone named Tamar Szebo Gendler who thinks she can tell J.K. Rowling what not to say about her own characters:

As far as textual evidence goes, it’s clear that “Dumbledore is gay” is not a primary truth in Harry Potter: that sentence appears nowhere in the 4,100 or so canonical pages. So the question is whether it is a secondary truth. … [O]ur best evidence here is what Rowling herself said. But why should that matter? As readers have complained: “If the series is truly at an end, then the author no longer possesses the authority to create new thoughts, feelings, and realities for those characters. And, indeed, this sort of view of authorial authority is held by a number of leading critics of authorial intent. They point out that language is a social creation, and that authors do not have the power simply to make words mean what they choose. By this reasoning, it’s not up to Rowling to say whether Dumbledore is gay: her texts need to be allowed to speak for themselves, and each of her readers is a qualified listener.

Oh, no, it’s not like J.K. Rowling created Dumbledore, or wrote the Harry Potter series, or anything.

In case you haven’t read the series and don’t have many friends who can’t resist talking about it, there are spoilers below the jump. Proceed with caution.

Continue reading