It's only SLIGHTLY mean because I refuse to name names. Here's the thing: Even before I became a rom-com author (ooh, check me out! Author, author!), I never wanted to post a less-than-five-star review. I respect the thoughtful criticism of a less than admiring review, I really do. But I don't want to provide that criticism myself.
I also don't want to walk up to someone on the street and say "Man--that's one ugly baby you got there!" even if that would be nothing but the painful truth. Usually when people shrug and say "I'm just keeping it real," what they mean is "I'm saying something kinda mean."
As far as I can remember, I've only posted glowing reviews, for things I honestly like. Things I don't, I shut up about and sit on my hands. (Publicly, anyway, she said with a mean grin.)
But I'm reading a novel billed as a "steamy contemporary" (which is my kind of romance!) and it has annoyed me. Rather than posting a negative review or telling you the name of the book or author, I'm just going to say this generically:
IF THE ENTIRE REASON YOUR HERO AND HEROINE CAN'T BE TOGETHER IS A MISCOMMUNICATION THAT THIRTY SECONDS OF HONEST CHAT COULD CLEAR UP, THEN YOUR STORY IS WEAK.
I can apply a conversation to the book I'm reading now that would wrap the whole thing up:
HER: You're the most important friend I have and I don't want to jeopardize that--but I'm in love with you.
HIM: Oh, God--really?? Me, too!
And they lived happily ever after. The End.
This slightly mean blog post is to make this point to all authors: DON'T DO THAT. Be better. In love with your best friend's brother, or your brother's best friend, or what have you--yes. Go ahead. That's a good and useful trope. But the whole reason for conflict has to be more than that the conversation would be mildly awkward.
Am I wrong about this?!