Below is a post we published on July 20, 2012. It is our coverage of Wendy Darling and the attack she led on Kiera Cass. Remember in Apology Not Accepted when we mentioned the other case where an author’s apology wasn’t accepted? Well, this is it.
Over a year ago, Kiera Cass’s agent made a mistake and when Kiera saw the damage, she tried to reach out to the injured parties and apologize. She was completely ignored and then Wendy sent in the brute squad to wage a hate campaign against her. Check out the clipping we took from Wendy’s blog post toward the end. That screenshot says it all.
GR name: Wendy Darling
Real name: Mimi Guethe
Category: Godmother (of the GR bullies)
Level of Toxicity: DEFCON 1, Maximum Alert
We weren’t really sure where to begin with Wendy Darling as there has been so much already written about her and her infamous review of The Selection. Fortunately, Stitch found a terrific website called The Goodreads Follies (an informative site we highly recommend.) There, he found two posts on Wendy: Reviewer Wendy Darling Joins the Fray and Reviewer Wendy Darling – Part 2. These two posts document thoroughly the events that occurred back in January:
Today’s reviewer is Wendy Darling. She posted a one-star review of The Selection by Kiera Cass. The review seemed well-written to us. We haven’t read the book, so we can’t say whether we agree with it or not.
Let’s start with the most clear case of over-reacting: the one on Wendy’s blog (which her review on GR links to). An anonymous commenter writes, “You gave such a bad review for a book you didn’t even read all the way though??? Well, I did read the entire book and it was absolutely, positively, wonderful!!!!” Wendy’s first response is polite, and she’s blase about it in the comments thread on the GR version of the review. We applaud that.
The anonymous commenter continues with, “I thoroughly enjoyed this book and await for the next one with anticipation. But, like you say, I’m entitled to my opinion and you to yours. I do hope that people don’t dismiss a good read based only on your opinion though, it was well worth the read. Are you an Author?” Pretty obvious where this silliness is headed, yes? One red herring complaint from some over-sensitive authors is that someone gave a book a bad review because they are jealous competing authors.
Wendy gets snippy in return, “…it’s very hard to have a conversation with someone who seems to be very insistent upon making sure her opinion is known on someone else’s review. …”. While we acknowledge that Anonymous was being stupid, Wendy’s response seems to indicate that she is not open to discussion of her reviews.which is a hair’s breadth away from the lately-cropped-up attitude on GR that anyone who questions a reviewer’s review is either an author or a troll. And that’s the attitude that has us so annoyed.
Anonymous can’t leave well enough alone and has a final parting shot, “… I’m going away now and not coming back because I’m having a hard time having a conversation with someone who is a Disney Character.” Commeter Cillian decides to feed the troll (remember this name; she’ll most likely be the subject of a future post). Then another anonymous commenter then jumps to the conclusion that the first anonymous is really the author and that those silly comments constitute bullying. This comment is even more offensive to us. As we’ve said many times before, really bullying is serious and calling a couple of silly comments on a blog post “bullying” trivializes it.
Back on the GR review, Wendy posts a link to a Twitter conversation between Kiera Cass and Elena Roth, who is later revealed to be Ms. Cass’s agent. Ms. Roth is upset about the order in which reviews are posted on a book’s GR page because (we think) that Wendy’s was the first review. Ms. Cass initially dismisses Ms. Roth’s complaint. Ms. Roth goes on to call Wendy (assuming hers is the review in question) a bitch and says that she went in and “liked” the positive reviews. Ms. Cass says that she may also like the positives, then moves on another topic.
And the reviewer crowd goes wild! Highlights include:
Hannah Joy demonstrates remarkably hypocrisy, by calling Ms. Roth a “piece of shit” (in our opinion, this is worse than “bitch”).
Julianna accuses Ms. Cass of calling Wendy a “bitch”, even though Ms. Cass didn’t.
Sharon thinks the author is immature…for what we’re not sure.
Reviewer The Holy Terror, one of the worst of the whingers, writes, “… it’s really, really dumb of Cass to act like this.” Like what? Ms. Cass wasn’t the one throwing around the epithets.
Ace’s comment is particularly repugnant for misusing the term “bullying”.
Stephanie calls on of Ms. Cass’s old blog posts tasteless because she (Ms. Cass) actually found some good humor in the early version of Wendy’s review. Liking a review is tasteless?
And the comments continue. We can’t continue to read and post because the exaggerations, lack of reading comprehension, and general nastiness on the part of many commenters is extremely tiring.
A quick review of Twitter also shows that Jane Litte of DearAuthor has once again commented on this matter. She accuses Ms. Cass of trying to “jigger” the ratings and “down vote” a negative review. Sorry, Ms. Litte, GR doesn’t allow you to “down vote”. The most intellectually disturbing comment by Ms. Litte is where she implies that friends of Ms. Cass cannot possibly actually like a positive review of her book. You know what, people don’t automatically lose their right to have an opinion simply because they know and like an author. Anti-free-speech much?
If you read both posts, you will get all the details. The only problem with them is that many of the links they provide no longer work. The content has since been removed. Why? Because Wendy and the bullies are masters at covering their tracks. Wendy herself is highly skilled at playing the victim and making herself look good so that she can come out of things smelling like a rose. Does she smell like a rose? Hmm, let me think about that … uh, no.
After this episode, Wendy sent in the thugs to terrorize Kiera. This is why we call her the Godmother, because she doesn’t actually do the dirty work herself. She sends in the ringleaders and the minions to do it for her.
Under all the pressure, Kiera contacted Wendy to apologize and also had her agent contact Wendy as well to issue her formal apology. And what does Wendy do? Does she forgive and forget? Does she even respond to Kiera? Absolutely not. She completely ignores her (screencap from Wendy’s blog):
But wait! There’s more! Since Wendy has contacts at Publisher’s Weekly and has written for them before:
She pitched them a story that eventually became this PW article which resulted in a vicious hate campaign launched against Kiera. Since then, Kiera has not heard the end of it. People are still attacking her, like Ashamed Of You on one of Kiera’s recent blog posts:
To which Kiera responded:
So you see, Kiera has been trying to contact Wendy for a long time, telling her how sorry she is for the whole affair even when it wasn’t Kiera who insulted Wendy in the first place. Wendy has not forgiven her but instead has completely ignored her, even admitting to it. Then, she sends in her thugs to terrorize and wage a hate campaign against her.
So, you tell us. Who is the monster here and who is the victim?
As far as we’re concerned, Kiera Cass is the nicest, kindest, most generous person you will ever meet and she never deserved to be vilified.