Hi readers! If you’re a reader (and I’m assuming you are) and you are a part of a community (which you might be) the book community has an influence on what and how you read, whether you like it or not.
Today I’m going to share some books that I see differently than I used to. THAT BEING SAID, half of these will be books I used to love but now see negatively, and the other portion of this blog will have books that I used to think weren’t interesting (see my post here for other books that I don’t plan on reading) but now I love or want to read it soon!
This post is not original. In fact, I got the idea from Emmmabooks on Youtube (what a fave) so I’ll leave a link to her video here.
So, without further ado, let’s get started!
To begin, here are some books that I see negatively as of now.
1. All SJM novels
Come on, you were anticipating this. From the obscene lack of diversity to the territorial dominance of men, her books are just not good. (I would like to mention that some readers find solace in abuse portrayed of her novels, plus disability, so I’ll give her that.) But as I noticed, her books have gotten progressively worse. Crown of Midnight is incredible compared to the dumpster fire that was ACOWAR and Empire of Storms. I’d like to admit I’ve read them all, so I am qualified to say this. I’ll finish with the last book in ToG, but after that I’m through with her series.
2. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
This might surprise some people. Look, I think this trilogy is adorable. A little white and heteronormative, but cute for its time. However, after watching a 30 MINUTE RANT ON YOUTUBE (I recommend searching it, trust me, you’ll know which one) I can say this book had so much underlying problematic features that I can’t even begin to describe. There’s emotional cheating, slut shaming, immature main character. . .and so on. Especially the cheating and slut-shaming, that’s disgusting. How did I not notice when I read it?
3. John Green
I LOVE JOHN GREEN. He’s an amazing Youtuber, activist, and writer. HOWEVER, when I read all of his books back in 2013 I didn’t notice that Abundance of Katherines, and Looking for Alaska share that cliche “manic pixie dream girl” and a geeky boy in a small town. Plus he writes characters who think way too deeply about life and know abstract philosophical concepts. I love Nietzsche as much as the next guy, but early teen readers aren’t going to grasp these pretentious sort of things. I’m curious in Turtles All the Way Down, since it’s OCD ownvoices and I’ve heard many good things. I love John as a person, but I think he needs to branch out with his characters, that’s all. (Did I mention TFIOS romanticizes cancer? Yeah.)
4. Colleen Hoover
I used to adore CoHo. Her books weren’t masterpieces, but they were sure entertaining. However, the problematic runs a bit deeper than I thought. The romantic scenes are often controlling, abusive, and the sex doesn’t always consider consent. (Thanks to the amazing Whitney A. on Youtube for this part of my research) I NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT THIS. It seems funny now that I was reading all this new adult at age 14-15, but even as a 20 year old I wouldn’t want to read this.
5. 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher
I BET Y’ALL ALREADY KNOW WHERE I’M GOING WITH THIS. The book, admittedly, isn’t too bad. I read 13RW back in 2013, so I can’t remember a lot, but I met Jay Asher and he seemed like a great guy. As for the TV show, you might know controversy blew up the internet (along with some untimely memes) due to its embellishment of suicide, NO MENTION OF MENTAL HEALTH, and ignored how they could trigger viewers. (And, spoiler, a rape scene.) ‘But whatever, let’s make money???’ Nice going. AND WHO ASKED FOR SEASON 2?
6. Veronica Roth
I think you can guess where I’m going with this. I liked Divergent, and I liked Insurgent, like any young adult reader in 2012-2014 era. However, Allegiant was trash. The movies flopped. Carve the Mark is somehow getting a sequel? Maybe Veronica will revive herself in the future, but for now, after losing my respect to CTM, I can’t see myself picking up her books anytime soon.
7. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
I haven’t read many adult books in my life, and I’m sad to say this was one of them. I LOVED this book back in early 2016. I bawled my heart out at the ending. The movie featured Emilia Clarke, my queen (and khaleesi.) But this book paints a horrible view of disabled people and their narrative. In a society like ours, we don’t need stories about a man in a wheelchair wanting to commit assisted suicide. It’s insensitive, problematic, and I’m surprised now I used to get behind this book.
Phew *wipes brow* that was intense. My fingers can rest now. OKAY, I’m sure your blood is boiling just like mine, so I’ll prove toward a more positive outlook on books. These are some books that I thought I wouldn’t like, but ended up loving, or books that I added to the top of my tbr.
1. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
Truthfully (heh) I don’t know much about these books (that might contribute to my previous lack of interest in the series) but Susan Dennard is an awesome advocate of diversity, and I’ve heard Truthwitch features a girl best friend duo (not sure if there is romance or not) which sounds INCREDIBLE! It seems promising. Plus, the recent cover reveal has a POC model, which is super exciting. I think sometime next year I’ll give them a try!
2. Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
Okay, I’m still HELLA INTIMIDATED by these books. I’ve said it before. But instead of insinuating that I’ll never read them, I’m moving it to highly unlikely. I’ll probably finish the show first, and while I’m begging for season 8 in 2019, that gives me plenty of time to read the multiple bricks that George has written. After all, the books are always better. (Or ARE they? I don’t know.)
3. The Diviners by Libba Bray
Honestly, there was never anything truly wrong with these books where I was like “I’m never going to read these,” but I just never had interest in them. Sure I’ve heard good things, and I really like the 1920s aesthetic, but I never really decided to pick it up, I don’t even think it’s on my tbr…HOWEVER IT ALL CHANGED WHEN (the fire nation attacked) I mean I heard that The DIVINERS features an asexual supporting character. Of course, it’s loosely ace rep but IT’S REP YALL !! I live for that stuff. As of now, I adore this book and I haven’t read it yet 🙂
4. Magnus Chase by Rick Riordan
This one is a bit interesting, because I don’t hate Magnus Chase, but I read Sword of Summer back in March 2016, and I didn’t pick up the second book, the Hammer of Thor until DECEMBER 2017. Clearly, there’s something in my subconscious that just wasn’t interested in these books! However, after reading the Hammer of Thor, I’m intrigued and I adore the diversity that Rick Riordan has put into his new books and I found myself loving these characters. I’m reading the third novel ASAP!
5. And I Darken by Kiersten White
I never had any problems with AID, I just thought the premise was a bit thick and over my head. I mean, 1400s Ottoman Empire and a Vlad The impaler retelling? TEENAGERS LIKE THAT? Surprisingly yes. AID was one of my favorites of 2017 (Now I Rise suffered some second Book syndrome but was good enough on its own) and I must say I wished I’d changed my opinion on these sooner!
6. Vicious by V.E. Schwab
I never had any problems with this book (I wonder who is noticing a pattern here) but I was always kind of intimidated by it. I think it’s because it was an adult novel, and I really haven’t read a lot of adult, but when I read vicious back in September I really really liked it because the writing was so smooth and kind of felt like a young adult book. PLUS, SCHWAB CONFESSED ON TWITTER THAT VICIOUS IS GETTING A SEQUEL. AND THE MC IS ACE. ACE ACE ACE!! How exciting.
7. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
There’s a lot of hype surrounding this book, and I know the sequel is out, but for a while I just didn’t really think it was all that interesting. I’m not really sure why now, because it features female leads, three of them in fact, and it seems like a dark YA fantasy I would really love. Not sure what pushed me away earlier?? I can’t wait to read it in early 2017. I hear there’s a novella releasing next year!
That’s all I have for now!
Please don’t give me a lecture and say ‘Jill, you really shouldn’t judge a book, because you might like them.’ And you’re right, but I’m still going to judge them, since I have every right to because my tastes can change. Whether it’s a month or a year I can change my opinions on things. It’s just the normal way of life.
Secondly, a lot of books and authors are problematic, and I left them off this list because they didn’t impact me as much as the ones that I’ve chosen today. Just a reminder to be a critical reader. It’s alright to disregard an author if they write problematic things. ITS ALSO OKAY to continue supporting, while pointing out the issues within their books.
Basically, do what you want. It’s important to remember that we are influenced by the book community, and in return, we influence each other. What we like now we may not like later, or vice versa. As long as you’re reading, all is good.
Thanks for reading! What are some books you view differently? (Negatively or positively)