Reviews! Interviews! Launch!

I’ve been blog-lame lately–totally caught up in the pre-launch insanity. But now I have the book: the real thing, the hard cover, glossy, beautiful. Thatwas cool! I’ve also been answering lots of interview questions for bloggers across the blogosphere. Wow! What a great group of people the whole kidlit crowd is. I’ve been asked some really thought-provoking questions–and have learned more about the process of writing the book, my goals, and how much the book is a product of my own mind. As interviews come up, I’ll post the links here.

I’ve also started getting reviewed: gulp. Good or bad, this is the hardest part of the whole process, I think. I knew going in that I would not appeal to all readers, but even the slightest “this wasn’t as strong as it could be” is hard to take. And why is it that human beings are so good at hearing the negative and forgetting the positive? My reviews have been overwhelmingly positive, and I still dwell on the few negative comments!

So in the interest of rewiring myself, I am going to post some of the goodies. I’ll start with the teens. Watersmeetwas part of the YALSA YA Galley Teen Review–and nominated for the Teens Top Ten list! Here are a couple of cool comments:

  • “I CARED about what happened to every decent character within 3 pages of meeting them.” –B.D. age 17, CA (and BD is a boy!)
  • “Watersmeethas one of the most exhilarating plots I’ve read this year…There are layers upon layers of details make the world seem like a real place.” –R.B. age 16, CO

And then there are those awesome bloggers:

  • Cynthia Leitich Smith said “Ellen Jensen Abbott’s debut novel Watersmeet (Marshall Cavendish) is the story of an outcast on the road with a rather cranky dwarf, looking for her lost past and a better future. This fast-paced journey to the self is gorgeously written, set in a violent and diverse fantasy world, and filled with prejudice and hope.” You can see the post here: 


  • Shelf Elf said “Ellen Jensen Abbott’s story is a satisfying, well-crafted fantasy yarn…About a chapter in, I was thinking, “Oh good, this is exactly what I was hoping for.” Perhaps it’s the way that Ellen has so convincingly drawn for the reader the societies she has imagined. Vranille is a miserable place, and you know it from the start. Watersmeet is full of magic and wonder. There is always enough attention to setting and environment to allow you to be right there with Abisina as she moves from one new experience to the next. In addition, Ellen makes clear the social and cultural differences among the various creatures and communities, from their different rituals to their unique types of music and stories and legends. This differentiation helped to make the whole reading experience that much richer, and made Watersmeet feel all the more exotic and real.” She also had high praise for my teachers’ guides! You can read the whole review here:


  • Charlotte’s Library said: “Watersmeet by Ellen Jensen Abbott…is a page-turner….Ok–this perhaps sounds like an old plot. Outcast girl sets off on a quest, helped by magical creatures, and finds a realm of the blessed, her lost father, and powers she never knew she had. But it’s a good framework to hang a story on, when the author makes her main character someone to care about and respect, as Abbott does. I was, at first, a tad doubtful about the mythological creatures, but was pleased to find them interesting and varied–they avoid being cliches…I would be happy to read more books set in her world.” You can read the rest of the review here:

More to come–I hope!


~ by ellenjensenabbott on March 28, 2009.

5 Responses to “Reviews! Interviews! Launch!”

  1. Ellen,

    I am so excited to read your book! And the reviews are fantastic! Congrats on your launch!

  2. I finished Watersmeet and am excited to share it with my students. The cover alone already had a lot of them asking questions about it when they saw me reading it Friday. Here is where I posted more of my thoughts on the book:

  3. I literally just finished Watersmeet about ten minutes ago. I only have one word that describes it, amazing. I am entering into my freshmen year at Westtown School and am very excited to meet Ellen Abbott …er… well T.Ellen. But as I was reading this book (which mind you I did for about three days straight) I felt as if I was in the book, fallowing along in a bouncing orb or some sort. The story reminded me of all my favorites (especaly the lion the witch and the wardrobe) rolled into one amazing tale. Anyway I deffinetly recomend this story to all who enjoy fantasy or who just need a good read.

    • Wow, Nic! Thanks so much for such a glowing review!! Certainly the best part of this book being out there in the world is hearing from readers! I can’t wait to meet you at Westtown this fall!

  4.’s done it once more! Incredible post!

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