Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, created and hosted by Eternity Books, where we discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts! The topics are posted monthly, and you can even submit ideas for future topics, so be sure to check it out!
This week’s topic: How Do You Deal With Problematic Books?
How Do I Deal With Problematic Books?
I think it deserves noting that what one person my deem “problematic” may not be so for others, so this is such a broad term. For instance, there are still MANY people out there who refuse to read the Harry Potter books, or to let their children read them, because they feel the books promote witchcraft. If you asked those individuals, they would say that the HP books are problematic. In a similar vein, the book After has seen a surge of popularity (no doubt because of the movie), but I am not a fan of books with those sort of toxic relationships, so it was not for me. I might even call it problematic, but I also acknowledge that it might be a book others enjoy. We have to consider things from all angles, and that is why I am adamant about forming my own opinions and not giving into the witch-hunts that get books like Blood Heir, for example, slandered online before it ever hit shelves.
That being said, the singular book I read this year and had issue with was an eARC I got through NetGalley. It had a ton of fat-shaming, slut-shaming, toxic relationships, a teacher making a move at a student (which resulted in said slut-shaming), etc. I was appalled by it and only finished it so I could give a full review after the fact. And that is how I dealt with it – by giving it a concise, spoiler-filled, detailed review on both NetGalley and Goodreads. I did not go out of my way to bash it all over social media, because that’s not my way, but I have my review available in a public forum for those wishing to see it. Do I recommend it? No. But am I going to shove that down someone’s throat? No.
In conclusion, I deal with “problematic” books in the way that feels right with me – by presenting my reasons clearly and reasonably into a review, and then posting that review in the forum made for that exact purpose – Goodreads.