My friend Lauren thought she was sending good news when she emailed: “The Clique is on Business Insider’s list– 37 Best Books We’ve Ever Read! ” Good? I think nawt. My first thought was, “37? How random. I kind of like it.” My second thought was, “It’s a sign! Here I am contemplating a Clique follow-up and it appears on this list! I heart your mysterious ways, Universe!!!” Then I read the blurb:
[The Clique is] definitely complete trash, but at the time I totally loved and related to the savagery of the girlfriend group the plot revolves around. They also had the best clothes. — Caroline Cakebread
Needless to say, my third, fourth and fifth thoughts were not as upbeat as one and two. Out of 37 novels, why was mine the only one that got dissed? Would I ever be good enough to sit at the adult table? And why did Caroline put it on a “best books” list if she thought it was complete trash?
Had it been an unkind review (of which I’ve had many) I would have accepted it with grace because critics criticize. That’s what they do. But this wasn’t supposed to be a critique. It was supposed to be a praise-fest. At least that’s what the title inferred.
Lauren said I should be grateful I made the list. My friend Amy wondered if Caroline downplayed her praise because The Clique isn’t very “literary” and she was ashamed of her pick. I agreed with both of them. But it wasn’t enough. I needed to hear it from Ms. Cakebread herself. (Oh yes I dzid!)
Keep in mind, I am not one to track down my detractors. But I do believe everything in life is either a gift or a lesson. And since this didn’t feel like a gift and I couldn’t figure out the lesson…
Behold Monday’s Twitter exchange:
ME: Thank you for including me. I was confused by the “complete trash” comment since you chose it for the list. I’m going to blog about this on Wednesday. I’d love your take if you’re interested.
CAKEBREAD: Ah yes, I hope I didn’t insult you. By ‘trash’ I meant the subject matter–wealthy teenager girl drama–and not the plot-lines, which I actually think are excellent and well suited for the audience you are trying to reach.
ME: It did not read the way you intended.
CAKEBREAD: It might have just been poor word choice on my part…Very curious though, are you planning to ‘trash’ me back?
ME: I would never do that. I look for life lessons and silver linings. Your words felt like a sucker punch to the gut, I’d rather learn from it than punch back.
CAKEBREAD: Oh, ok, I am so sorry about that! I sincerely am a big fan of the series and think they taught me a lot during my own tumultuous pre-teen years if that lessens the punch at all. 🙂
While the series may have taught Ms. Cakebread “a lot”, she failed to learn that words matter. They are the wardrobe of our thoughts. We must dress them accordingly.
And what did I learn?
- When someone hurts you, take a moment to consider what might be going on with them. Most times their behavior has more to do with their shortcomings than yours.
- Blog don’t bitch. Not everyone is going to act, say, do, or write what you want. In fact, most people won’t. Find a productive way to make sense of it. For me, that’s writing. What is it for you?
- Caroline Cakebread was very kind to respond to my texts. I believe she is a good person (with a great last name). Caroline, care to chime in? We’re all friends here. Anything to add? FYI- Nothing says I’m sorry like a stellar review of The Dirty Book Club. 🙂