New Teen Review!

Posted May 6th, 2015, by Marie C. Collins


A Brief Stay at Earth Human Camp has been reviewed by a handful of readers since its release a few months ago. I’ve enjoyed every one of them — they all reinforce my credibility as an indie author, and I can’t emphasize enough how important that is. But Sunday I got an email from an anonymous UK blogger who goes by “TeenBookReviewer,” saying s/he had published a review of my book on his/her website. TBR agreed to read the book in March, but review requests often take this long to come to fruition.

TBR’s assessment of A Brief Stay at Earth Human Camp is special to me because it was written by someone in my target audience who loves to read. To people who write for adults, that may seem strange, but it’s harder to get reviews from the upper-middle-grade/young-YA readers my book is targeted to than it is to elicit them from older readers. Think about it: Between the academic demands of school, extracurricular activities, friends, and family, it’s a rare breed of young reader who is willing (1) to take on what some might see as “extra work,” and (2) to place his/her opinions under a public spotlight. And yet, these are the reviewers who matter most to me as a writer. They are the readers I write for.

This was a wonderful — and flattering — review for any writer to receive! I felt a similar boost when a good friend’s then-15-year-old daughter read and loved my book. It’s really quite gratifying to connect with any reader. But I think TBR’s anonymity gives his/her review another level of credibility. TBR is an unbiased reviewer of mostly YA books. I am grateful to have gotten a spot in his/her busy queue.

Here’s what TBR had to say about A Brief Stay at Earth Human Camp:

My Review

The first thing I can say about this book is that, particularly at the beginning, the novel has the feel of the work of Dr. Seuss or Roald Dahl. The similarities really are impressive, and it really made me think that the book really was going to remain that light-hearted.

At the beginning, the book feels amusing and light-hearted. Then it starts getting progressively more ominous. There are small climaxes everywhere, and more and more mystery builds. It is a race against time for Atticus and Anne, and a race against themselves.

Throughout the novel, the children are trying to discover new things about our society and how to fit into it, at the same time as learning more about themselves and the increasingly dark events at the camp.

Collins did a spectacular job on this novel, and it is really something that I would recommend for teens. Don’t let the synopsis make you feel like it is too young for you, because I honestly thought it fit into the YA genre very well.

It was an incredible book, one that makes me very excited to read the rest of the series. I commend Marie Collins on her spectacular work on this novel, one which makes you feel the stormclouds gather as you prepare for the storm.

You can read more of TBR’s book reviews on the blog s/he maintains. While you’re there, post a comment or two as a way of letting TBR know how amazing it is that s/he does this. TBR’s goal in writing YA reviews may initially have been to connect with other teens. But in doing so, TBR now also hobnobs with writers and publishers and supercharges his/her own writerly skills on a daily basis.

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