Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Flamingnet Reviews

There is a fabulous book review website out there in Cyberspace, called Flamingnet.  I think its name is unfortunate, both because it's hard to pronounce and because the name doesn't give anyone a clue what kind of a site it is.  Even so, it has been found.  New books are offered for review on Flamingnet to reviewers - who are adolescents!  I honestly care what adolescents think of my book because I wrote it for them.  Yes, adults seem to really like it, too, but they are my secondary intended audience.  My primary intended audience is aged 12-18.

Here's how it works: a book is offered to Flamingnet for review (they prefer electronic copies, but paper will do).  Then, if a reviewer picks it, reads it, and writes a review, the review is posted.  But it's not as simple as that.  It's also a learning experience for the teen readers, because they are given guidance by adult volunteers as to how to write a review.  It's a wonderful program, something I would have loved to have been a part of as a young reader.

I submitted my book for review by Flamingnet at least nine months ago, and I was a little bit saddened to think that it hadn't been picked.  Actually, I was more than a little bit sad.  Because I want young adults to pick my book.  I wondered what they didn't like about it.  I wondered if the cover wasn't "sexy" enough to compete with attractive vampires and dystopian universes.  And then, when I had all but given up, I got an e-mail from Flamingnet that my book had gotten reviewed!  Not only that, but it got seven out of ten stars, and a smiley face.  Here's their content rating criteria:

 This smiley face stands for general readers, for any age. Our reviewers feel that these books are appropriate for the age level for which they have been written. Books with this designation were judged to contain nothing that would be considered offensive. These books are generally absent of violence, sex, drugs, swearing, and crude comments. The vast majority of books listed on Flamingnet are of this type. Assume that a book on our site has this designation if it does not have one of the next three content ratings.

 A smiley angel rating means that this book is faith-based and the story or content is written from a religious perspective. These books often stress morals and integrity, along with their message about the importance of faith and worship.

 A surprised smiley face rating means that we recommend adult guidance when considering this book. These books may contain some profanity, sexual comments, and can also deal with the issue of drugs and alcohol. Parents, teachers, and librarians may want to read these books before recommending them to a student.

 Books with this smiley face rating are suggested for mature readers only, and contain material that is deemed unsuitable for children to young teens. These books can contain sexual situations, extreme profanity, and extreme violence. 

I was thrilled to receive a smiley face. That's the kinda book I want to be writing.

And now, the review:


Flamingnet Student Book Reviewer  AScho
When 17-year-old Rachel Guo learns of an opportunity to spend the summer abroad in Turkey, the opportunity seems almost too good to pass up. She anxiously wonders if she will like her host family and whether she can assimilate to a completely different religion and culture. When Rachel meets her host family, especially her host sister Aylin, her fears are put to rest and she begins to experience a life very different to her own in Washington. As Rachel grows closer to Aylin, she discovers that despite a few differences in culture, the two teenagers are very much the same. As the summer progresses, Rachel finds new experiences, especially in her blossoming romance and Turkey s exciting culture.
Secrets of a Summer Village, a novel by Saskia Akyil, is a culturally rich tale that weaves American and Turkish traditions with love and friendship. I found the book to be engaging as well as enlightening, and I learned about Turkish customs, from reading coffee grounds to the many sayings for good luck. The plot held my attention at first, but could have been more engaging and tended to be slightly repetitive as the action progressed. I enjoyed learning about Turkey, and I could also easily relate to the two main characters. Overall, I would recommend this book to teenage girls interested in becoming more culturally aware, as well as anyone looking for a unique summer read.
Reviewer Age:16
Reviewer City, State and Country: Bayside, WI USA

Here's a direct link to the review on Flamingnet: http://www.flamingnet.com/bookreviews/newreviews/newbookreview.cfm?title=Secrets%20of%20a%20Summer%20Village%20(eBook)

Thanks, Flamingnet reviewer!

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations. This is a good review. As you already know, I loved your book.