I was only partially right for which I am thankful. Can you imagine a tournament of TFioS vs Gone Girl? Ugh. Regardless of outcomes, the zombie rounds have provided two of my most enjoyed pieces.
Even though Judge Vargas-Cooper was wrong, I really enjoyed reading her judgement. I was getting really tired of everyone being so nice (and the commentators themselves claimed 2013 as the nicest year ever). I feel like the book world is like that because everyone knows everyone else and if they don’t they might meet them soon and probably want something from them, whether it be an interview, an event appearance or whatever. I myself have junked many an angry letter to a publishing house because some day I may want them to employ me!
So Judge Vargas-Cooper was a DELIGHT. She picked the book she liked better and said why it was so. Other judges have done the same thing with much less harshness and been applauded because ultimately the tournament is about making such decisions. But Judge Vargas-Cooper was harsh on a book because she felt it and people don’t seem to be cool with that. I personally thought her review was sassy and funny and call-it-like-you-see-it-y. Don’t take my word for it, though, read it yourself!
She also weighed in in the comments section and not just to blatantly defend herself either. Miles Klee did that the other day in defence of meanness and apparently they know each other so I like to imagine them hanging out and being really mean to books. Sometimes books deserve it! I can clearly relate. (Can I come hang out and be mean with you, Miles Klee and Natasha Vargas-Cooper?) Anyway as I said, she made the wrong call but she is totally allowed to not like graphic novels and it was refreshing to have someone say exactly what they thought rather than sugar-coat it to seem like a nice guy.
I went into the next round expecting the worst. Judge Grossman has a position on not giving bad reviews. That doesn’t mean (as some commenters have suggested) that he won’t say mean things if warranted, just that he would rather give good reviews to books that deserve them than put out hatchet jobs full of negativity. But I love negativity! Also he’s on record as being a big Gone Girl fan.
But I couldn’t have been more wrong because I enjoyed Judge Grossman’s zombie pick even more than Judge Vargas-Cooper’s! Not only was it intelligent, generous, fair, insightful and original, he also picked the right book. I’ve already talked about how I feel about The Orphan Master’s Son so I have little more to say on the subject but Judge Grossman really captured everything that I loved about it much more eloquently than anyone else has so far. If I started quoting him I’d never stop so you should just read the review. Then, if you’re anything like me, you’ll spend way too long reading his other reviews.
Not long to go now! Tonight we will find out whether the right book will reign supreme or whether I’ll never do any more TOB coverage again…