Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

A Farewell from John

JohnMy life at Dear Author started in December a couple years back.  I had begun reading it and Smart Bitches, Trashy Books.  I had discovered a love of romance novels and wanted more and more information about them and their readers – even though, at the time, I had almost no access to said romance novels.  Reading DA and SBTB became a daily ritual that I have continued since.

Months later, after participating in a DA community vote involving a DA blogger bundle and category romances, Jane contacted me in regards to being a reviewer for DA.  It was a thrill for me as a blogger who had just been starting to try and make his mark in the young-adult blogosphere.  Romance had become a second love; a second passion that my reading showed.  DA was a place for me to let out the romance reader.

Since then, I’ve had a wonderful experience reviewing for DA.  I’ve gotten to share opinions on some romances – sometimes to little fanfare, other times to an excessive amount that took me by surprise – and opinions on young adult novels.  Young adult reviewing was a better choice at the time due to my age, and DA readers were extremely supportive of that shift.  I’ve since shared some books that I’ve loved and some that I’ve loathed – and some that just fell smack-dab in between.

Life moves on.  It’s been over two years since I’ve started reviewing for Dear Author, and every minute has been fabulous – but things change.  Dear Author is primarily a romance-focused community, and my contributions have mainly involved a genre that isn’t a major crossover for romance readers.  School has become a maddening affair as well, and this year alone has been more along the lines of self-discovery than exemplary scholarship.  Sure, I’ve had great luck with SAT scores and self-improvement, but people do not lie when they say that the junior year of one’s high school career is the hardest.

Because of all of this, Jane and I mutually agreed that it was time for me to bid a fond farewell to DA as a reviewer.  I’ll always be a reader – how could I not be? – but it seems time to move on a bit and explore other things.  I’ll still be exploring my voice as a reviewer outside of the young-adult genre, but it may be suited to other venues that are more in need of a struggling new reader’s perspectives.  On top of that, there is a want to focus on applying for scholarships, getting a job to prepare for college, and finding time to do other things such as creative writing.

DA has taught me so much.  I’m not the common romance reader – gay, teenage, male – but the community has welcomed me with open arms.  I have made so many friends from this experience and have learned from them every day.  My writing has gotten stronger.  I’ve become a better person.  There’s just nothing that can top that kind of experience.

I’ll miss this all so much, but I can’t wait for what the future beholds as well.  There’s the promise of college; another still of writing and become a part of the publishing world.  Using all of this experience, I hope to become an author and an editor someday.  It’s been a dream for as long as I can remember, and I hope that someday I can give back to the community and share my voice.  The future is scary but exciting.

I have to thank everyone for all that this has given me.  The DA crew – Jane and all of the other fabulous reviewers -for taking me in, becoming my teachers and mentors, showing me the ropes, and giving me the chance to share my voice with new readers.  The authors, romance and non, for providing me with stories that I can get lost in and learn from as a wannabee writer.  And, most of all, the readers of DA.  You all have given me a chance to show my voice in a new light.  You are vastly different from the young adult blogging community, and that’s not a bad thing.  Getting to know you and how supportive you are has been an immense pleasure.  I look forward to continuing my role as a romance reader and participant in the community, and I hope that, someday in the future, I can share my voice with you in entirely new ways.  This has been amazing.  I’m eternally thankful for all that it’s given me.

Ever since a good friend brought him a copy of Johanna Lindsey's Gentle Rogue, he has been hooked on the romance genre. Though he primarily reads in young-adult, he loves to spend time with paranormal, historical, and contemporary adult titles in-between books. Now, he finds himself juggling book reviews, school band, writing, and finding time to add to his TBR pile.


  1. Jill Sorenson
    May 19, 2012 @ 10:39:39

    Another farewell? Good luck to both John and Sarah F. You’ll be missed.

  2. Lou
    May 19, 2012 @ 10:47:12

    Another person I’m sad to see to go. John, I’ve had so many great conversations with you on twitter. You’re a great advocate for reading, and I know you’re going to succeed at whatever you do in the future. Good luck!

  3. Elyssa
    May 19, 2012 @ 11:05:41

    I’m sorry to see you go, John. I really enjoyed your reviews, and I wish you the best of luck in the future.

  4. Lauren Baratz-Logsted
    May 19, 2012 @ 11:08:03

    John, you’re such an amazing reviewer. More than that, you’re an amazing human being. Of course you’ll be missed here but I know you’ll go on to do – forgive me for a lack of synonyms! – *amazing* things and I can’t wait to see that happen.

  5. Michelle
    May 19, 2012 @ 11:51:18

    Best of luck, you will be missed.

  6. Lynnd
    May 19, 2012 @ 11:57:52

    Best of luck all your future endeavors, John.

  7. Anthea Lawson
    May 19, 2012 @ 12:13:56

    As an avid YA as well as romance reader, I always really looked forward to your reviews here. I’ve no doubt you’ll have tremendous success, wherever your path leads you. (And I feel incredibly lucky to have been your last YA review here at DA!)

  8. MarieC
    May 19, 2012 @ 12:56:02

    Best wishes for the future! Your reviews will be missed!!

  9. SonomaLass
    May 19, 2012 @ 13:11:09

    *sniff* We’ll always have Twitter, right? *sniff*

    Seriously, John, it is great to see you moving on with your life. Thanks for bringing your perspective to some very interesting discussions!

  10. Sunita
    May 19, 2012 @ 13:33:37

    John, it was great to get to know you here at Dear Author, and as SonomaLass says, there will still be Twitter!

    Best of luck in the years to come, and I look forward to hearing about your journey.

  11. Lisa J
    May 19, 2012 @ 14:21:05

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on books and on the different reading devices. You will be missed.

    Best of luck with scholarships and school.

  12. Danielle D
    May 19, 2012 @ 14:31:40

    Good luck John. Best of luck to you.

  13. Janine
    May 19, 2012 @ 14:38:07

    What Sunita said. I wish you much luck in all your future endeavors.

  14. Darlynne
    May 19, 2012 @ 14:50:40

    I enjoyed your YA reviews, John, and wish you continued success.

  15. Estara Swanberg
    May 19, 2012 @ 14:56:47

    Best of luck and health, John! I enjoyed reading your reviews and I hope you’ll occasionally review on GoodReads still. Tamara Allen forever!

  16. Karina Bliss
    May 19, 2012 @ 15:41:25

    John, I always enjoyed your perspective on books. Good luck with college.

  17. Sarah Morgan
    May 19, 2012 @ 15:59:36

    John, I’ll miss reading your contributions here at DA but I look forward to keeping up to date with all your news on Twitter. You have an exciting future ahead and I know you will make that dream of yours happen.

  18. hapax
    May 19, 2012 @ 16:06:08

    Omigosh, John, don’t leave us! [sniffle]

    Like so many other commenters, I’ve always loved your unique perspective, your genre tastes (so similar to mine!), and your articulate insights.

    Best of luck in whatever you decide to do, and if you want to come back to reviewing — either at DA or at a Blog Of Your Own — please let us know about it.

  19. library addict
    May 19, 2012 @ 16:36:47

    Best of luck with your studies and future endeavors, John.

  20. Jen McQuiston
    May 19, 2012 @ 18:48:27

    Good luck John! I have enjoyed reading your reviews… but had NO IDEA you were in high school. Damn. If I had your talent to verbalize my thoughts in high school I would sooooo much further along as a 40 year old. Good luck!

  21. Keishon
    May 19, 2012 @ 19:32:43

    I enjoyed reading your YA reviews, John. I wish you continued success.

  22. Maili
    May 19, 2012 @ 19:43:21

    Ah, such a shame. FWIW, you won my respect when you stood strong and so calmly in midst of a massive debate over whether you should read erotic romance, considering your age. And your reviews are always well written, which is a massive bonus. I wish you the very best of luck on your future and cheers.

  23. Lara Lacombe
    May 19, 2012 @ 19:44:34

    Best of luck to you, John!

  24. Sarah Frantz
    May 19, 2012 @ 19:51:49

    I’ll keep hounding you on Twitter! :) Hope you have the best of good luck in your future. We’ll miss you here.

  25. Merrian
    May 19, 2012 @ 19:53:29

    I was only thinking the other day that I hadn’t seen a review from you in a while, and knowing why makes me sad. I enjoyed your thoughtful reviews and engagement with your readers, John. All the best for your future hopes and dreams.

  26. Little Red
    May 20, 2012 @ 00:45:47

    I’m relatively new to the DA community and didn’t realize you were a teenage boy. Good luck with the remainder of high school and your future endeavors.

  27. eggs
    May 20, 2012 @ 02:41:15

    Good luck, John and thanks for all of your YA reviews. I don’t read YA myself, but my kids do and I buy books for them so they’ve benefited very much from your reviews. Personally, I always thought highschool sucked ass and college was awesome, so I feel confident in saying the best years of your life are right around the corner.

  28. Kaetrin
    May 20, 2012 @ 04:08:41

    Thank you for your contributions here John. All the best for college.

    Catch you onTwitter! :)

  29. cead
    May 20, 2012 @ 08:10:49

    I don’t really read YA… but I always read your reviews nonetheless. You have a real gift, and will be sorely missed. Best of luck with college and beyond, and thank you for all the work you did here.

  30. John
    May 20, 2012 @ 13:37:02

    Aw. Thank you all so much. My run here at DA has been fabulous – absolutely fabulous. I’m definitely going to remain on Twitter (I love talking too much not to be there) and Goodreads. I’ve run my own blog, Dreaming in Books, for over two years now, and I’m going to be devoting a lot more time to it now that I can manage things better. I may also be seen at Limecello’s blog in the near future – she asked about contributing prior to my leaving DA because of a high need for contributors – but I’ll definitely be around.

    Thank you all for your compliments and well-wishes. They mean the world to me and I can’t tell you how amazing this entire experience has been.

  31. Danielle
    May 20, 2012 @ 13:38:00

    Thank you for your contributions to Dear Author! Your review led me to The Glass Minstrel, and Dreaming In Books is one of the rare YA-oriented blogs I visit. Your gifts shine in your voice, and I hope you will experience both excitement and deep rewards as you move on to new things that will help you explore and develop those gifts.

  32. Robin/Janet
    May 20, 2012 @ 19:29:30

    It’s been nice having you here, John, but in the big scheme of things, you are being very wise in choosing the real life priorities. And I’m exited for you in all that you have ahead in your life!

  33. Sarah Mayberry
    May 21, 2012 @ 03:00:45

    Best of luck with all the stuff that lies ahead, John. I think it’s fantastic that you’ve pursued the things that you love so passionately, even though it meant you were stepping even further outside the box than you already were. I wish my brother had found a community like DA to play in when he was your age. I’m sure the future holds great things and I’m going to pass on the same advice to you that I got from my writing friends when I was but a youngster with a pen in my hand and a gleam in my eye: keep knocking, and someone will eventually open the door.

  34. HeatherU
    May 21, 2012 @ 07:49:46

    Best wishes to you, John, in all your future endeavors!

  35. Tae
    May 24, 2012 @ 19:31:22

    I’ve been off DA for a few weeks so I missed this initially.
    John, I’ve always enjoyed reading your reviews. YA will always have a place in my heart and I’ve enjoyed several of the books you’ve recommended.

    I have to say that I am astonished that you are still in high school. I don’t think I am nearly as articulate and well written as you are now and I am twice your age (I was also a literature major in college so I feel like I should have sounded like you!). Your voice is so mature. I hope you pursue something you love and you find happiness. Good luck with everything.

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