The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
November 2013

Friday, March 28, 2008

Feeling Like an Idiot

I just read this book. It's called "Someday My Prince Will Come," by Jerramy Fine. It was kinda fun, I have to admit that it kept me reading. However, it also kinda drove me crazy. This is not a novel, it's the memoir of a woman just a few years younger than myself who was raised by a set of very bohemian parents in Colorado, but she was totally obsessed with England, royalty, and marrying a prince. It definitely had its charming moments, ...well, here's the review I wrote about it on my goodreads page:

"It's hard to know what to say about this book. The author definitely has a fun writing style that keeps you turning pages, and in some ways I sympathized with her plight because it was so real to her. And in other ways I wanted to slap her silly and ask her what her problem was. She came off as being pretty obsessive, slutty, alcoholic, psycho and a credit card maniac. Two hundred thousand dollars in debt? Get a hold of yourself! Also, her parents were the target of much sarcastic humor that began to feel cruel to me. She gave them a little credit in the end, thankfully. Her big statement at the conclusion of the book about everything she had learned was full of things that I felt were obvious from the beginning, that any rational creature might already have been aware of and that I was internally screaming at her throughout the book. Now that I've trashed the book I must say that I did get caught up in her story and that I have some interest England myself, so it had its good points. I loved her footnotes."

I reread my comments several times before I posted them to make sure they were really how I felt, and they really are how I feel. However, this morning I received an email letting me know that I had a message from Jerramy Fine waiting for me in my goodreads account. Gulp. I guess when I so flippantly shredded her I wasn't expecting her to read my comments and then write back. Here's what she had to say:

790311 Hi Rachel,
Just letting you know that my debt was 95% higher-education-related! Overseas masters degrees cost a lot - especially when combined with four years of a private US university that my parents couldn't afford to fund on my behalf. Luckily, the American government gave me loans for the full amount of both schools - but sadly 200K is how much debt I racked up for the sake of a good education. I have many friends with MBA and law degrees that are in similar (or worse) financial positions.
Royally yours,
Jerramy

Yeah, I'm feeling like a jerk. I have to admit that I known the actual author would be reading I probably would have used words like "boy crazy" instead of "slutty," "sure drinks a lot" rather than "alcoholic"....and would have left out the "psycho" all together. I get a little passionate with my opinions sometimes and throw words out that are probably stronger than I mean them to be,. Sometimes I think I'm being funny. I'm sure it's kind of hard to have your very first book be a memoir of yourself and just lay yourself out there like that, and then get trashed. At the same time, I still stand by my feelings. She did choose a very expensive graduate school in London just because it was in London. I am certainly a little star struck. Why am I suddenly wanting to make a good impression on her? So I need a verdict - do I write a note back to her saying sorry I'm a jerk? Am I a jerk? Do I really want you to answer that?


Other random notes from the week:

Bitty has returned! Yesterday was the first day in over a week that Bitty was more herself. It was a wonderful day. She was happy, playful, silly and chatty. What a relief. She had been so miserable for so many days that we were all a little miserable. Of course, I think she's still got an ear infection, but if you think I'm going back for more antibiotics, well, I'm not. She said something kind of cute yesterday - she saw a square of light on the floor of the otherwise dim kitchen and said, "Look, a good-morning shadow!" She calls all things light "good morning" and all things dark "good night." When she wants the lights on she asks for good morning time. If she wants to get out of bed she insists that it is good morning time. Kinda cute, I think.

Stomper has been a real trooper this week as I've been so preoccupied with his sister. My favorites of his activities of the week have been him hiding all his remaining Easter candy behind the closet door in his bedroom, "to store it for the winter," as he told me. Of course, every time he came out of his room he seemed to be chewing and drooling strands of brown, so I don't think it will make it all the way to next winter. Luckily there wasn't much back there or I might have had to do something alarming like set limits or use parenting skills. I think three mini snickers won't do much harm. Also, he's been so sweet at bedtime. When I worked up at Brighton LDS Girl's Camp there was (and certainly still is) a song that the staff sings together every night to say goodnight. It's called Shadows Creep - when you're ready to sing it you say, "Let's creep!" Well, Stomper loves that song and this whole week has asked me to sing it. He says that he can't go to sleep unless I sing it, and has even said, "Mom, if you're ready for me to go to sleep then you should sing Shadows Creep." When I start singing it he instantly shuts his eyes and composes his face into the most peaceful state he can. It warms my heart. I'm a little tempted to start singing it at 7:15 tonight.

And one final note: any of you ever buy your kids Polly Pockets? Who...WHO decided that those little tiny dollies needed their own shoes? Shoes that are less than a centimeter in length? And what possessed me to be one of those purchasers? I had to ask this question as I found myself on my hands and needs, my cheek pressed to my living room floor frantically searching for the minuscule object as my daughter trailed behind me, weeping. Could the shoe in question at least been one of the pink ones? No, it was, of course, Cinderella's glass slipper, so it was a clear object less than one centimeter long and only a couple of millimeters wide I was searching for. Just so you know, I did find it, and now all the polly pockets are locked safely in their little box and are on the top shelf. Now that's logic for you.

14 comments:

tiffrsmith said...

You are definitely NOT a jerk. I can't believe the author reads reviews of her own books on goodreads, let alone responds to negative comments. I haven't read the book, but she does sound psycho. I think you are justified in your review.

Glad to hear Bitty is feeling better!

Michelle said...

No, of course you're not a jerk. And I knew there was a good reason I don't usually write a review on goodreads! :) You don't need to write back unless it helps you forget the whole thing.

ghd3 said...

Oh, Lila Pockets' shoes are always missing.... I'm with you on that one.

I say write her a quick (read: brief) note back telling her how much you enjoyed the book. As an author, I'm sure she appreciates all reactions to it, and hey -- you bought it and felt strongly enough about it to post a review. You could also amend the review from an editorial perspective to share the perspective around the $$, etc.

You're famous. I need you to review my Great American Novel.

ghd3 said...

Oh, Lila Pockets' shoes are always missing.... I'm with you on that one.

I say write her a quick (read: brief) note back telling her how much you enjoyed the book. As an author, I'm sure she appreciates all reactions to it, and hey -- you bought it and felt strongly enough about it to post a review. You could also amend the review from an editorial perspective to share the perspective around the $$, etc.

You're famous. I need you to review my Great American Novel.

ghd3 said...

p.s. I love the new profile picture!

Carrie said...

I don't think you are a jerk what-so-ever, obviously she didn't clarify the reason for her debt in the book, which could lead to tons of conclusions from the readers. I think it was silly for her to respond, I think she should take criticism and learn from it, isn't that what every public person has to do? She shouldn't go around and defend herself to every critic, I think she was very unprofessional.

Windybrook Spinner said...

I agree with Carrie. I'm sorry Bitty was so sick.

Windybrook Spinner said...

I agree with Carrie. I'm sorry Bitty was so sick.

Keersten said...

Ha! We have lost a glass slipper too. I have to say that Megan gets so much pleasure (and spends so much time playing with these) that they are worth it. She is old enough though that I could say "Let's just keep the shoes in this box." and she was fine with it. As for the book; I don't think you were a jerk at all. She does sound pretty psycho. I also agree with Tiffrsmith. It is confirmation that she is psycho that she is so concerned with defending herself on every review.If you write a memoir, you should expect that some people will think your great and some wont. The way she portrayed her debt was thought out. She probably wanted it to be more colorful, but she can't have it both ways and get offended when someone thinks it is extravagant. Brother, I am rambling. I'm done. ;-P

Sparverius said...

Speaking of memoirs, now you can write one too! I've tagged you to do a little meme. Come on! If I can do it, you can too!

Melissa said...

You are not a jerk. She made choices to rack up all her debt, and if she's so concerned, she should have clarified in the book. Anyway, I am not fond of polly pockets either. Girls toys have so many little parts - they make me crazy. At least with legos, if you lose one there are plenty other pieces just like it. Maybe they should include about 4 extra shoes with the dolls! But that might just give you the opportunity to lose that many more.

Brent & Kate Jefferies said...

I am so glad that Bitty is feeling better! Hooray!
I just had to laugh and laugh about your encounter with the author responding to your review. I think you are fine. You will laugh about it in years to come.
About little toy pieces: I feel your pain. I thought that with having boys I would be able to avoid the "girl toys" with all the tiny pieces. However, Joshua just received many Star Wars action figures for his 6th birthday and those things have almost as many tiny accessories as I remember Barbie having. Ug. Yes, lots of searching for tiny missing pieces.

Kath said...

I echo the sentiments of the previous commenters. The author put herself out into the public eye when she decided to write her memoirs. She should grow a thicker skin or not read reviews of her book at all. As ghd3 said, you could write her a quick note back telling her that luckily you bought her book and are helping her pay back her monstrous debt.
Also, goodreads is a public forum for us "regular" people to post our feelings about books. You should not feel like you have to hold back on your comments because the author might be reading. I'm sure many authors don't have time to peruse the comments left about their books. I have read many a good book from your recommendations and also skipped a few because of your review. I love your reviews! Keep on doing what you do!!! And, no, you are not a jerk!

Anonymous said...

It's very easy nowadays for students pursuing a graduate degree to accumulate a debt such as Ms. Fine has, especially when one is studying at such a fine institution as LSE and has debts from undergrad. So Ms. Fine does not get any criticism from me about her debt.