A few weeks ago, my debut novel, 22 Scars, passed a significant milestone. Since its publication a little over 2 years ago, I’ve been giving away free copies through Voracious Readers Only, as well as a few copies sold here and there through Amazon, Apple Books, and local book stores. I can safely say I have a reader base of over 1,000 people, and whilst that isn’t a great deal from a sales perspective, or in terms of ‘making it big’, it’s a big deal to me because it means that a pretty decent number of people have actually read my work.
Of those who have, some have deigned to leave a rating, or a review. Sometimes on Amazon, but mostly on Goodreads, these reviews are my connection to my readers; they’re how I know how well I’ve done, and whether 22 Scars was what I intended it to be or not.
These reviews mean the world to me, and not just the positive ones. Even middling or negative reviews are wonderful, because it means that even if someone didn’t exactly like what I had to say, they nonetheless read it, and it touched them to some extent. And overall, more people seem to have liked it than not (Goodreads currently puts the positive ratings at 81%).
Well, as I mentioned, a few weeks ago 22 Scars reached a milestone: 100 text reviews on Goodreads.
To me, this is simply incredible. To think that, out of the thousands of copies I’ve sold or given away, 100 different people felt strongly enough to write out a review, is almost incomprehensible. These aren’t friends, nor family; these are strangers I’ve never met, never known, and probably never will. They’re just people, walking the earth as I do, who happen to have come across my book and thought it was worth checking out.
To honor this milestone, I’m placing the 100th review below. Thank you to Jennifer for your thoughts, and thank you to everyone who made this book worth writing!
I received a copy of 22 Scars from Voracious Readers in exchange for an honest review. When I first started reading 22 Scars I was not sure what I would think about it as the reviews of the book have been pretty well mixed overall. After I finished reading the book, I took some time to think about what I thought, and I decided I didn’t mind the book after all.
22 Scars focuses on the protagonist Amy who is a student in high school trying to navigate her debilitating depression. Amy started suffering from depression very early in her adolescent years and she practices self-harm through the form of cutting. The book certainly does not shy away from Amy’s cutting, but instead, more less spotlights it as one of the main plot points for the entire book; hence the title of the book “22 Scars”, so you definitely need to be prepared for this particular aspect of the story.
Amy has unquestionably had a difficult time during her adolescent years and has undergone major traumatic events that no young person should have to endure. She has suffered through death, heartaches, abuse, and severe depression. She wants nothing more than to spend her days alone, in the dark, sleeping in her bed.
22 Scars is slow to build, but hits readers with a punch by the end of the story. My favourite part of the entire book was actually at the end of the story when we have the opportunity to read Amy’s diary entries. We then see how Amy’s depression began to progress and why she suffers the way she does throughout the storyline.
One other interesting component to the story is the character development of the young couple at the forefront of the story. I was able to figure out who the young couple was in relation to the story, so I wasn’t surprised when it offered the big reveal. Having this plotline included in the story definitely brought more to the book itself and allowed us to see why certain outcomes came about.Jennifer Bourque, Goodreads