I'm still waiting on the Midwest Book Review corrected review, but the Kirkus review is here. Am I thrilled with it? No, unfortunately. It's not all good, not all bad. There are some quotes I can use from it for promotion, however. To read it, click here: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/saskia-e-akyil/secrets-of-a-summer-village/.
Well, what do you think? Does it make you want to read the book? I'm not sure if it even makes me want to read the book. What this whole experience of reviews makes me think is that so much of it is the luck of the draw. There are books I hate that others think are masterpieces (examples? Dostoyevski's Crime and Punishment, Dan Brown's The DaVinci Code, the former is well-written and miserable, the latter is terribly written, but a good story). It's not different with reviews. The people writing those reviews are individuals with their own tastes and preferences, their own life experiences that create filters through which they interpret the story.
Is this reviewer an anti-feminist? He or she seems to have really taken issue with an imagined dichotomy of girls being interesting and strong, boys being either good or bad. Which is funny, because that was neither intended nor true in the story... the reviewer calls the boys in the story one-dimensional and either "good" (and traditional) or "bad" (and westernized). WHAT??? Cem, Rachel's love interest, is neither one-dimensional nor traditional nor very westernized. He is absolutely a mix between "traditional" and influenced by the US. Aylin and Leyla's father is, to be fair, fairly one-dimensional and he doesn't play a big role in the story. Rachel's father, however, is very important to the story, and I'd argue that he's not one-dimensional at all. But that is what the reviewer felt when he or she read the book, and he or she really seems to have felt very strongly about this point to have written so much about the supposed dichotomy.
But a review is a review. Kirkus reviews gave me the option of posting the review or not, and I chose to have them post it. So please go over to their site and rate the book. Now let's see what the Midwest Book Review says........