The Story Siren is a Plagiarist, Not a Victim

Posted April 27, 2012 by Holly in Discussions | 17 Comments

Holly: Over the last few days, the blogging world has blown up over a plagiarism scandal. I first learned about it from the Smart Bitches website. After following the yellow link road, I was appalled and frustrated by what I was seeing. I’ll let you visit the SB site, or Grit and Glamour and Beautifully Invisible, for the full story. Here’s a quick summary:

Kristi of The Story Siren found blog posts written by Grit and Glamour and Beautifully Invisible, pasted them on her site, changed a few words here and there, then passed them off as her own. When confronted by them, she denied ever even visiting the sites in question. When presented with proof that she had, in fact, visited not only those sites but those particular posts, she then asked that the whole thing be kept quiet.

4 months later, when others in the book blogging community found her out and posted about it in public, she posted a non-apology on her site where she makes out like she did nothing wrong and is being persecuted unfairly. (I especially love the “In a way I feel as though it won’t matter what I say at this point. It seems that the verdict has been decided.”)

click to enlarge

Then she “clarifies” by saying she may or may not have done anything wrong, but she’s very very sorry she upset the book blogging community. She doesn’t, however, say she’s sorry for actually plagiarizing. Just for upsetting the book bloggers.

click to enlarge
click to enlarge

 You’ll notice those are screen caps from Google Cache? I had to use those because after all the double-speak and non-apologizing she did, she went and edited her post. This time she claims to have seen an idea and written her own take on it, which she didn’t know was plagiarism.

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

You notice the part I underlined. She went from bad to worse. Grit and Glamour, who has behaved with nothing but class throughout this whole thing, was prompted to write a rebuttal Clarification post. I can’t tell you how bothered I am that there was a need for that post to get written.The way Krisit’s fan and readers have rallied around her disturbs me. Not because I don’t think friends should be loyal, but because what she did is wrong. A real friend doesn’t try to make the victim look bad. A real friend says, “Bitch, you done screwed up. Apologize and make it right.”

All those commentors who are blaming Grit and Glamour and Beautifully Invisible, sending them hate mail, telling them they’re jealous and – this one really takes the cake – saying they should be grateful Kristi stole from them make me heartsick. You know who I blame for the attacks on G&G and BI? Kristi. If she had stood up and taken responsibility for her actions, if she had spoken out and owned her actions, the could have gone down a whole different way.

Rowena: I’ve never been one to voice my thoughts in public about the blog world scandals. In this case, I felt that keeping quiet just wasn’t in the cards for me. For those of you who don’t know, I run a YA book blog called The Book Scoop. One of the book blogs that I read everyday was The Story Siren. I read her blog because she’s one giant fountain of information on all things YA. I respected her as a person and I was a total fan of her blog.

When I logged into my email on Monday morning and saw the story that hit the Smart Bitches blog, I was shocked. Completely blown away. I read every single post that I could find and followed the yellow link road until I was completely up to speed on what was going on.

I was speechless.

I followed the action throughout the entire day, waiting for a response from The Story Siren. I was interested in hearing what she had to say for herself because like her other fans, I kept wanting it to be one giant joke. The thing that really disappointed me was when I read this from Grit and Glamour’s original post about the plagiarism:

“In all honestly, I have never been to your blog or any of the blogs mentioned in this email until tonight when I cross referenced the posts that you had listed. I rarely if ever read blogs beyond the book blog community. But I could not agree more with your assessments of the posts. And I am sorry to say that I have no viable explanation. I even searched my web history to see if perhaps I had read the posts and had recalled them as I was writing my own.”

That was The Story Siren’s response to B and Vahni’s initial email, alerting her to their findings. That’s when things took an ugly turn for me because not only did she steal but she also lied. All respect, all admiration for everything she’s done for the YA book blogging community flew out the window. Because she got caught and instead of fessing up to her mistakes, she lied and then tried to hide the truth.

All of that still wasn’t enough for me to jump into the fray, but reading through her second “apology” and seeing each and every single comment that brushed off what she did as a mistake, and just all of the hand holding and there there-ing, was enough to boil my blood. There is nothing in this entire shitstorm for her to hold her head up about.

Let’s not forget that she lied, people. She said that she had never visited any of the sites when she most absolutely did visit those sites. Let’s not forget that just a few months ago, she was writing posts about how vile plagiarism is (H: interesting that she deleted that particular post, isn’t it?). She stole, she lied and she tried to bury the evidence.

How in the world can we trust anything that she says from here on out?

What really got my ass in gear to write this post was the treatment of the real victims in this case. I don’t give a good hot damn that they wrote the post that started this whole clusterfuck. Good for them. They had every right to be pissed and they had every right to post about it on THEIR blog. The Story Siren would have done the exact same thing (she did do the exact same thing) so the hypocrisy from her and her camp baffles the fuck out of me. It really pisses me off that the real victims here had to post their own clarification post. There shouldn’t have been a need for it. They didn’t do anything wrong.

The Story Siren is not the victim here, let’s not forget that.

To quote The Story Siren herself:

There is no excuse… “I didn’t know…. I didn’t mean to… I did it subconsciously.” No, you didn’t. You did know and you did mean to.

Plagiarism isn’t just copying and pasting word for word and passing it off as your own. It can be taking someones work and changing around the sentence structure, getting out your thesaurus and changing a few words here and there… basically taking the central idea tweaking it and passing it off as your own work.

Holly’s note: Look at Rowena getting all ranty and using dirty words and stuff. I’m so proud. *sniff*

Tagged: , , , , ,

17 responses to “The Story Siren is a Plagiarist, Not a Victim

  1. Just as a test, I asked my 10 year old about plagiarism this morning and explained the situation. She knew immeidately what Story Siren did was stealing and very wrong. Does this prove Kristi is NOT smarter than a 4th grader?

    I would have asked my kindergartener, but that kid is a honeybadger, and honeybadgers don’t care.

  2. Lou


    What I find pretty pathetic in regards to the response of Kristi, and some of her defenders, is that they’re grown ass woman.

    Even more embarrassing was to see a grown man (husband of a prominent YA blogger) telling people that they need to go find and get a real job, and that this is a witchunt on Kristi, and people are acting like toddlers. But he re-edited the go find real jobs part.

    I want authors and publishers to stop working with The Story Siren to show that there are consequences to actions. But I doubt that will happen. Her reach to readers and the promotions she does are more important than morals and ethics.

    Her entire response has been one clusterfuck, and I certainly hope that those defending her will go and grow some brain cells.

  3. Time will tell if something more will come out of this. The one positive thing about this whole thing is the discussion about this travesty and for the most part the majority of bloggers, not just book bloggers are shocked and appalled.

  4. Ren

    I feel sick about this plagiarism, but getting sicker to see she never mean to apologize with heart. And oh, please. What Kristi’s friends do to defend them, just a blind justice. They don’t know wrong and right things again. They do it on the name of friendship only. Real and true friends, will never do that.

  5. Kim

    I just hope these supporters don’t think it’s alright to copy and paste their term papers. I was taught in school to always give citation to sources.

  6. You noticed how her latest (as of last night) “apology” actually copied from her own post on plagiarism?

    (Made me wonder if that one was also lifted from someone else)

  7. Wow. Just wowie, wow, wow. I still can’t believe that all appears to be business as usual over at her blog. Like nothing ever happened!

    This was a well-written, and well deserved rant.

    Deleting her posts? What a cowardly thing to do.
    I made it a policy on my blog, to never delete an old post, no matter how much I might want to. It makes me cautious about what I rant about, for one thing! But, it also gives me a certain level of integrity. Have I posted things and then regretted it? Absolutely. But, then you have to own up to that, and be honest with your readership, and openly recant whatever it was that you just said. I’ve been there. I know it’s tough. But ultimately, that kind of genuine transparency earns you the respect of your readers.

    This whole, “delete negative comments” “delete old incriminating hypocritical posts” is extremely lame, in my opinion.

  8. I think she is taking a hit, we may not see it entirely but it is happening. I refuse to visit her site to read or check on ANYTHING! I refuse like many others to participate in I.M.M. She may still have supporters, but she has lost a lot, as well as a ton of credibility. People are still finding out as well. It is a shame that she did that, and a shame that anyone would defend it in anyway. Great post, and cheers to those smaller blogs for not backing down when people were attacking them.

  9. I tend to stay away from drama on teh interwebz but I have been appalled by some of the things that we have seen happen this week.

    As Holly and I discussed on Twitter as it was unfolding, I know that we have seen plagiarists before, but I don’t remember seeing before where people have turned on the victims in the way that people did this week.

    Sickening..really sickening!

    Some of the jaw dropping moments have also included a “but she still writes good reviews though” response to which I say … pfft irrelevant.

    I must admit that I was quite surprised to see that it was business as usual on the blog in the last couple of days. I don’t think that she needs to be hounded out of existence, but a break of a few days at least would have been a little tactful

  10. I don’t get it. Cheating is cheating. It’s a simple concept. Don’t bloggers know they will be deservedly called out an raked over the coals in all of blogdom for a long time when they do this stupid stuff? You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to understand.

  11. Very well said! I still can’t get over how so many people are defending Kristi just because she has a popular blog. Like others have already said – wrong is wrong.

    Great post!

  12. Very well said and excellent summary of the story. She stole the articles, was concerned only because she got caught, and is not really sorry. That’s just the way this grown ass woman sees it. Glad I never read her blog. Thanks for the reality check today 🙂

    Have a great week ladies!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.