During our 9th anniversary giveaway, Kitty commented:
Is it too premature to suggest a monthly nod/countdown toward the tenth anniversary? Not suggesting a year of giveaways, but perhaps a retrospective? Once a month look at highlights from a specific year? Just a thought.
Today's the 30th of April, and our 10th anniversary will be the 30th of January 2015. So on the 30th, I'll be highlighting some of the most popular content, including reviews, commentary, rants, kerfuffles, and random acts of camel toe and man titty. Thanks to Morgan Doremus from Miss Media for digging through the statistics and coming up with all the cool stuff from the way, way back.
Here's something really interesting she found: the most popular reviews for contemporary romance were those with low grades – D-, F+ or F. But the most popular historical reviews were all very high grades – mostly As. So you like your beats fast, your bass down low, your historical excellent and your contemporary flooded with effervescent crazysauce. I'm totally down with that!
So, for today's trip down Bitchery Memory Lane, here are the top five most popular reviews in the history of the site. Ready?
A warning – I'm sure you alreayd know this, but most of these are NSFW, or are EXTREME NSFW. Like, wear a helmet. And maybe some elbow pads. K?
No surprise here, the most popular review according to our stats is:
50 Shades of Grey by EL James
(DNF – did not finish)
I read this book in November 2011, after so many people told me that I might really, really like it, but before it became The Book That Was Really Everywhere No Really. And I hated it. I felt like it was never going to end. The progress meter never moved no matter how many pages I read, and there were moments that I thought I might be reading this book for the rest of my life. And I gave up. It wasn't arousing or scintillating; it was depressing. But I did learn something: if a book is in deep first person, and I hate the narrator, there is very little that can be done to make the book worth reading. There has to be good crazysauce for me to hateread something, and while there was some excellent moments of WTFery, there wasn't enough for me to keep going.
Worse, I made myself go back and finish it, once it became The Book That Was Really Everywhere No Really.
Favorite quote from the review:
Anna narrates and ruminates and navel gazes and ponders her toes and oh, my gosh, when a POV drives you bonkers, it's really hard to enjoy anything about it.
But a close second (hur) behind (hur hur) 50 Shades:
This was one of the first reviews on the site to become very popular outside the romance community. Candy wrote this one in 2008, and it's just glorious. I think Decadent might be the first review of a book truly brimming with crazysauce. From LOLPORN, to Summer Blockbuster Guy, to the phrase we're all familiar with now.
Favorite quote from the review (aside from the obvious):
Come on, now. Preserving your virginity with buttsecks. Look, I’m all for people enjoying the hell out of anal sex, and I’m all for people having it with as many partners as they can stand at one time. Just don’t pretend that you’re somehow protecting your sexual purity by having it—whatever sort of definition of “sex” you may subscribe to, I’m pretty goddamn sure just about everyone would agree that that having a man stick his cock up your ass qualifies as “having sex” with him.
A guest review from SB Nonnie, Pregnesia is not only one of the most popular reviews, but is also a book that continues to sell copies each month. Because, as Nonnie says:
It should probably go without saying that spoilers abound in this, so consider this your official warning. Also, even though I do a pretty good summary of the plot here – take my word for it, the true glory of PREGNESIA must be experienced firsthand.
Pregnesia is also the review that features one of three excellent author responses to reviews that I've ever witnessed. Cheers to Carla Cassidy on that.
I talk about this book when I do my workshop about reviews because it's a perfect illustration of many of the points in the presentation. I might as well stand up, say, “The Playboy Sheikh's Virgin Stable Girl by Sharon Kendrick,” and sit back down and be done.
Every time I talk about this book, at least three people in the room buy it right then and there. It's always – and I mean always – in my affiliate statistics each month because it's a glorious, perfect example of USDA Grade-A, locally sourced, organic and free range crazysauce. Let this be your example: a negative review can absolutely without question sell books. Just ask your local virgin stable-girl.
Favorite quote from the review (I bet you can guess!):
Kaliq dismounted with the same speed and grace as he would remove himself from the body of a woman he had just made love to.
RedHeadedGirl reviews are always pretty freaking spectacular, but there's something very unique about Ravished by the Triceratops, though I can't quite put my finger on what it is….
This is a brief review of a very short (yet oddly expensive) book, and remains one of our favorites, too.
Favorite quote from the review:
Why does she need to be naked? WHY NOT. THERE ARE DINOSAURS. DON’T ASK QUESTIONS.
Thanks for taking this trip down Bitchery Memory Lane with me. Next month – some of the most popular and highest graded books in our database, and we'll keep going until it's time to celebrate our 10th Anniversary!
Did any of these reviews bring you to the site for the first time? Do you find yourself thinking, Fucking her ass, saving her life at odd moments?
No? I'm alone in that one? Ok. No worries.