The Assumptions Booktube Makes About Authors. (And why It’s problematic)

Edit: After doing some more research, I have decided to not Purchase “The Color Project.” However, I feel like the things I said still apply to most of the things people claim to be “problematic.”

**An important note before you read on

I am not attempting to silence anyone who has spoken out about these issues. I am simply stating my point of view on this particular subject. I am very open to hearing, and discussing the other side of things! I just want it to be a respectful, not heated, discussion.**

So I will hopefully only need to address this once on here. And this post will be super generalized. I know not all of booktube/the book community behaves this way. I’m also new to blogging. I’m in the process of learning a new website at the time this posts. Anyway, with all that out of the way, lets move onto the topic at hand!

Maybe this has always been a part of booktube, and i’ve never noticed it. I’ve only been on booktube for eleven months. I my channel will be a year old in August, so if this has always been a huge thing, I was blissfully unaware.

What I’ve noticed recently, is people promoting the boycott of books, and certain authors.– And that is a right they have to be fair! I may not agree with them, and think that the very idea of people advocating censorship and making unrealistic demands of authors. However, that is their opinion and they are entitled to it. In theory, I respect that right. I respect everyone’s right to freedom of speech. Wether you live in America or not. I believe that everyone has the right to express whatever feeling they have, and as long as they are not advocating harm on people, or other living things, they should be able to speak freely.

Here’s the issue with many people on booktube. A lot of these “boycotts” are based on assumptions that others make about the author. Based on characters, or certain things a character said, did, ect. Not to mention that most of the time these things. –Wether it be quotes from a book, or posts made on various social media accounts– are being used as “evidence” to say that “x is a bad person because they said xyz in this, that and the other thing!”

The most recent case I noticed was a book titled “The Color Project.” A book that I was very excited for, had pre ordered, and just a few days ago found out that the author had the “problematic author/boycott” label slapped onto them. Why? because allegedly– and I don’t follow the authors social media accounts so I cannot confirm or deny this.- they made a post that was biphobic.

There is a character in he Raven Cycle, by Maggie Stiefvater who is canonically bisexual. And the author apparently said something to the effect of “But he was straight in the first book!!!!”

Now, right up until I read The Raven King- I assumed that Adam was straight. He had never shown interest in his male friends. Ronan had been very interested in him, but he had made very little implications that he recipricated those feelings up until a certain part in the series.

Before everyone gets all up in arms, and gets the pitchforks nice and sharp, I am a lesbian. Queer representation is important to me. TRC is one of the reasons I came out. Before then, I identified as a bisexual because i have a crush on a male celeberty that I have absolutely 0% of a chance with ever. I had forced myself to date a man in college, because I was in the closet. I survived a very verbally abusive relationship along with some other things I don’t feel like getting into at the moment.- Now that  I’ve said this, We will continue on with the discussion!

I honestly don’t think this comment came from a place of malice, or homophobia, or biphobia. Whatever you would like to call it. I would honestly just say it was ignorance. There is a huge difference to being homophobic  and being ignorant.

Maybe Adam is like me. Maybe he was gay all along, and just forced himself in the closet. given his family situation, it honestly wouldn’t surprise me. Hell, maybe Adam was blissfully unaware of bisexuality.

Unfortunately, not everyone knows that bisexuality exists. This is often not due to people having some sort of phobia, but a simple case of being uneducated in sexuality. Up until a few years ago, I had no idea what an Asexual was! That was a new term to me. I had never heard of it until I started dating someone who was an asexual.

Sometimes, people just make mistakes, because they have not been educated properly. Now, if this author came out and said “I hate bisexuals!” That is biphobia.

Instead of trying to educate this author on bisexuality, people made an assumption about her.- Perhaps these people are right! I wouldn’t know! I don’t follow this authors social media! I don’t know anything about them, or their personal life! All i know is that they wrote a book, and I want to read it.

I could go on about how sometimes, you have to separate the art from the artist, but I have probably gone on long enough for now.–If you would enjoy a post on my thoughts on separating the art from the artist, please let me know! I’d be more than happy to write it up for you guys!

And I fully support those of you who choose to not buy this book because of the things mentioned! No amount of things that I say will get you to change your minds! And that’s A-okay with me!

I just also want that same respect in return. I don’t read books to hurt people. I read books that sound interesting to me, and my interests. Me simply reading a book will do no physical harm to you, or the people you care about.

Also if you couldn’t tell by now, I’m extremely blunt. That’s just how I am. I refuse to apologize for it.

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The Wretched of Muirwood

 

Get the book here!

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Synopsis (From Amazon)

In the ancient and mystical land of Muirwood, Lia has known only a life of servitude. Labeled a “wretched,” an outcast unwanted and unworthy of respect, Lia is forbidden to realize her dream to read or write. All but doomed, her days are spent toiling away as a kitchen slave under the charge of the Aldermaston, the Abbey’s watchful overseer. But when an injured squire named Colvin is abandoned at the kitchen’s doorstep, an opportunity arises. The nefarious Sheriff Almaguer soon starts a manhunt for Colvin, and Lia conspires to hide Colvin and change her fate. In the midst of a land torn by a treacherous war between a ruthless king and a rebel army, Lia finds herself on an ominous journey that will push her to wonder if her own hidden magic is enough to set things right. At once captivating, mysterious, and magic-infused, The Wretched of Muirwood takes the classic fantasy adventure and paints it with a story instantly epic, and yet, all its own.

My thoughts:

Things I loved:

This took me awhile to get really invested in, but once I was drawn in I really enjoyed this story! The magic System was wonderful, and curious. I think Wheelers ability to build such a fascinating world is remarkable! Beautiful descriptions are what kept me reading this.

The main cast was developed well enough, but no so much that they can’t be more fully throughout the next two books of the series. One of my favorite characters, Sowe was really only in the book for a little while. Though, I do hope that she’ll be returning throughout the next two books. She really felt like she fit the world that Jeff had created. She knew her place, knew what she was, and didn’t really question it. Though some people might find this a bit annoying, I felt like it worked really with Sowe’s timid personality.

Colvin was probably my second favorite character. He was kind, but not over done. He cared about Lia, and I predict he will become a love interest for her in the later books.

Things I didn’t like so much:

I know she’s the main character, but I really didn’t find myself caring much for Lia. Though, to be fair I wasn’t all that fond of the audiobooks narrator.- She did a fine job! Her voice kept me reading the book, but in my honest opinion, she made Lia just a tad obnoxious to listen to.

I stopped listening to the audiobook the last few chapters, and found that Lia was much less obnoxious that way. — I liked the narrators performance for the rest of the time, but since Lia was the main character, and I felt like the voice being used didn’t represent her very well it was a bit of a let down.

That being said my biggest critic of the book is that Lia is so strong with the Medium, the magic that Miurwood uses. This could be due to her lineage, and could be explained later on, but I couldn’t help but find it odd. She was supposed to be an outcast, with no education. So the fact that she was so strong, so early on with seemingly no explanation by the end of the first book had me tilting my head. Just the tiniest bit. Though I’ve still two books to go, plus the spin off.

All in all, if you like fantasy, and a very different magic system I can whole heartedly recommend The Wretched of Muirwood! I’m very much looking forward to continuing the series, and seeing Wheelers writing improve as time goes on. 🙂

Wandfasted By Laurie Forest

I absolutely, unapologetically adored The Black Witch by Laurie Forest. When I heard that a novella would be coming, I was very, very excited!

Synopsis:

A prequel to The Black Witch.

The Kelts have attempted genocide of Tess’s people. She’s a level three Mage saves the day, and is forced to wandfast. A fast that had initially been forced upon her by her religous zealot of a Grandfather, quickly turns to legitimate love.

There were a lot of things I loved in Wandfasted. I loved that readers of The Black Witch could easily connect the dots. Things connected, and flowed really well between the characters. Just like The Black Witch, the writing was beautiful. I could picture the world super clearly in my head! It was nice to finally meet a lot of the characters, see what they were like as younger people, and just get to know Tess and Vale.

Though the Novella was enjoyable to the very last page, my biggest critic for this novella is that the ending, while light and fluffy, felt really underwhelming. The book had a great beginning! It was full of action It showed the beginning of the war. However, after Tessie is Wandfasted to Vale… the book takes a very different turn.

As in it is very romance focused. Something that should seem fairly obvious! The Novella is in fact titled, Wandfasted! I’m not usually a romance reader, but that still didn’t stop me from enjoying the novella as a whole.

It was really, cute. Though another criticism. (And this may be answered in the future.) We never really know what happened to Jules! He is mentioned a bunch of times. I kept thinking that the novella would create some sort of rift between Vale and Jules. However, he just never came back.

He was mentioned quite a bit by other characters, but never actually appeared again, and I personally found that really disappointing.

Though the Novella wasn’t quite as action oriented as I hoped it would be, I still found it enjoyable. I highly recommend it. Even if you have not read The Black Witch! It’s a short read, and I honestly feel like if you read this novella first, you would feel very differently about it.

Get the ebook here:

Directly from the publisher:

https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781488027857_wandfasted.html

Amazon:

 

 

It Has Been A Tough Week

It’s been a tough week for me. Not just reading wise.- Nearly everything I have picked up this week has just been terribly discouraging.

I have read a total of four things on and off, only one of them getting finished. Hopefully I’ll finish book number two today.

The book I finished yesterday, actually wasn’t even really a book, but a graphic novel. I know it’s still reading, and that it counts. However, even though it was a focal point of something that usually would catch my attention, it fell really flat. I’ll post a full review of Marie Antoinette Phantom Queen sometime later this week when I’ve fully absorbed it, and can actually get words out.

That’s another thing. I’m losing words. Or at least I feel like I’m losing them. Maybe it’s just because everything else has been dragging me down? I’m not sure.

About a month ago, I purchased a very cheap, student grade Violin. Something that I’ve really wanted to pursue for awhile, but finding someone helpful to achieve that goal? Surprisingly frustrating!

Through all my music endeavors , I’ve been able to find teachers without issue. Teachers that are willing to work with me despite having a disability.  For whatever reason, violin continues to elude me.

For those of you who may be new, I have Spastic Cerebral Palsy. It varies from case, but for me, It mostly effects both my legs, and the left side of my body. I can walk extremely short distances with the aid of an arm, or a walker. For everywhere else, I have my manual wheelchair.

I’ve played Piano for a very long time on and off. I had an absolutely wonderful teacher during my Freshmen year of High School. She’s since retired, but she was so lovely, and patient with me. I’ve never faced this sort of challenge before. Someone not willing to work with me on an instrument.

I played the Alto Saxophone for about 4 years while I was in middle school, and even though I had to have a little black box to prop up my saxophone, I played just fine, and with the other Alto Sax players who didn’t look at me any differently. And even though the school teacher couldn’t turn me away, despite having never worked with someone who was disabled, they researched, watched, listened,and adapted as needed.

During my Senior year of High school, (and my first few semesters of College when I still attended)  I picked up the bass guitar. In the end, while I enjoyed the bass It was very large, and very heavy for me to carry around all the time. I had difficulties playing something with such a wide, long neck, but it taught me something.

I had enough movement in my left hand to play notes. Which is what I needed for the violin. And so last month I finally purchased one. I have what I hope to be a few devices that will help me hold the bow, and the support of many people.

All in all, even though the week hasn’t been all that kind to me, hopefully the next will be better!

Our Favorites Are Not Perfect

I absolutely adore Maggie Stiefvater. She is my #1 favorite author. My queen. The Moon of my life! I read The Raven Cycle no exaggeration, at least once every two-three months. I adore the world she has made, I love the characters, I love Will Patton. I love her art. You get the idea. I adore Maggie Stiefvater.

But just because Maggie is my favorite, does not neccissarily mean that I believe her writing is the best thing I’ve ever read. In fact, I think the opposite. Her writing can be very, very wordy. Sometimes often flowery, and a tad bit overdramatic. I can admit that. I accept that. Her writing flows, and she tells her story in the best way that she knows how.

I wouldn’t call her a “guilty pleasure” because she’s very much not. I am not guilty at all for loving Blue, Gansey, Ronan, Adam, and Noah. I love Blues family. I love the magical realism, unapologetically. And yet, there are so many flaws. And I take them for what they are. It does not mean I love anything about it any less.

TRC is not the only work I’ve read by Maggie. I’ve also read the first book in the Shiver series, The Scorpio Races, and now I’m lucky enough to have an ARC of “All The Crooked Saints.” I haven’t finished it yet, but while I was reading all of these I noticed some things all of these stories have in common.

There is no way of distinguishing which character you’re inside the head of, unless Maggie spells it out for you on the page. The character that sticks out the most distinctly for me out of all these works? Ronan. Ronan is the only character I’ve come across with her that has his own little inner monologue, narrator, head voice, whatever you would prefer to call it.- And I’m not just saying that because he is my favorite either.

You know you’re in Ronan Lynch’s head, not just because he dreams, but because of his mannerisms. He’s the typical bad boy, the only one I’ve spotted so far, that has his own voice on the page. Because he’s so different from the rest of the characters.

I also decided to stay away from Shiver because I don’t know what it is about Young Adult werewolves,  but they just don’t mix with me. Not a fan of them, and so needless to say, I found Shiver very boring.

I was so very excited to read The Scorpio Races. Then I started reading it, and I became very much less excited. Why? Not because horses were eating people! But because I just couldn’t tell the difference between the two characters when the POV changed. I’d forget who was who. It became exhausting to flip back and fourth to go “Oh okay, thats what character I’m listening to. I gave this book two chances, and I’m considering giving it a third.

The read through I attempted was just the book itself. I stopped reading a few chapters in for the reason’s I listed above. I let the book sit around for a few months and after looking at it hopefully for awhile, I decided to give the audiobook a try. Maybe that could help me know who was who!- Well, it certainly solved the whole “Who’s Point of View am I reading from” issue. And this time around, I managed to tough it out, and get through it. However, I didn’t really enjoy it. I couldn’t get past the “sameness” of it all.

i’m noticing this slightly less with ATCS. I love how Maggie always has some sort of animal in her work. It shows her passion and enthusiasm for wildlife! (And also cars if you read TRC.)

So why am I writing this? Because I still love her. I still put her at the top of my “favorite Author” list. Despite all these flaws. Despite her not being the best writer, her ability to write realistic characters, and have a passion for them. To make them feel real, makes all the difference in the world to me. Sure, they might have a “sameness” to their monologues. But that doesn’t make me love them, or her any less.

Our favorites are never going to be perfect, and it’s important to acknowledge that. We can love something to heaven, hell, and back again, but it’s never going to be perfect.

Don’t shy away from acknowledging your favorite authors flaws. Embrace them with open arms, and never, ever feel like you have to apologize for it. Just remember to acknowledge that they exist.

Our Dark Duet Review

**The first half of this review will be what I would consider to be spoiler free. All major spoilers will be put under a read more tag to discuss all major character deaths and things of that nature. Those are what I consider spoilers.**

Our Dark Duet is the second and final book in the “Monsters of Verity” Duology . The fist book in the series is This Savage Song.

Our Dark Duet synopsis as it is on the dust jacket:

Kate Harker isn’t afraid of Monsters. She hunts them. And she’s good at it. August Flynn once yearned to be human. But no longer. He has a part to play, and he will play it. No matter what the cost. The war has begun. The Monsters are winning. Kate will have to return to Verity. August will have to let her back in. And a new Monster is waiting- one that feeds on chaos and brings out it’s victims inner demons. Which will be harder to concor: the monsters they face, or the monsters within?

Let’s talk about character development and how it was done really, really well with August, because he was the one I felt had the most ups and downs overall over the two books. Yes, Kate certainly had her fair share of it. Not nearly as much as August though.

August has essentually taken up Leos position- and since you’re reading this review, I think it’s fairly safe to assume that you already know that Leo is dead. If you have not read the first book in the series, then well.- That happens and now you know. August also has Leo’s voice constantly going through his head. At first, I thought the poor boy might be experiencing some sympotoms of PTSD. Over the course of the book, and by the time the book broke back into part two, I firmly believe that Leo’s soul perminantly resides in August, and he listens.

This was one of the most frustrating things . Augusts’ dramatic personality change during the first part of the book and about halfway through part two, after Kate’s return, he comes to his senses, and sort of tunes Leo out. Then we get to see the August we knew and fell in love with during TSS. I understand the change. I just didn’t find the progression of in all that natural. That being said- In his defense, it very well could simply be because Sunai are naturally controlling. Leo being as manipulative as he is, probably progressed the change. And in a way, August just kind of accepted and gave in.

He starts to back peddle a bit when he is reunited with Kate, as stated before. Kate knocks sense back into him, and Leo has less of a hold over him. Kate gave August back his “humanity” and I think it’s a wonderful display of friendship. It shows just how much Kate means to August.

Kate, had very little character development in comparison, however I also felt that not much character development was needed with her. She had spent a good chunk of her life fighting, and inner turmoil.  The best character development seen from Kate is that she can finally bring herself to let people in. To accept help when she needs it.

Although the reader doesn’t get to hear all that much from the newer characters, (With the exception of Alice) they were all good. Which leads me to believe that this might not be the last we see from Verity. Somewhere in the future- perhaps not the near future with everything Victora has on her plate for the next few years. It’s a fairly safe assumption that there will at the very least, be a short novella.

For those of you who love Diversity! A new Sunai has arrived! And they go by they/them pronouns!

That concludes the spoiler free discussion of this book. If you have not finished Our Dark Duet, proceed with caution. I will be discussing the ending, and who did not make it to see the end of the series.

I believe the epic conclusion is worth the read!

Links to Amazon and Barnes and Noble provided for convenience. Not sponsored in any way!

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/our-dark-duet-victoria-schwab/1124651131

Continue reading “Our Dark Duet Review”

How I Wish More Series Ended

I’m sure that we’ve all been here before. You’ve finished a series! Yes! And the Author has been kind enough to tie up all those loose ends! How kind of them! You’re probably thrilled. I admit, I love when this happens. However, life doesn’t always get a nice wrap, complete with shiny wrapping paper, and a nice big bow on top.

I wish more authors left us with loose ends, and broken hearts. What made me think of this? Or just about this topic? Last night I finished Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab, and I cried.

Which really isn’t all that unusual. I went in knowing I was probably going to cry at the end. I was expecting them to be “Oh man! That series was so great!” tears. And they were that, but they were also tears of ‘Why did -insert name here- die?’

It wasn’t wrapped up nicely. And that’s fitting for books about wars. Really, all it comes down to is that it doesn’t matter what side you fight for. People die. there are no “real winners.” I think Victoria did a fantastic job with it.

I also hope that George RR Martin will leave me with the same feeling when that last book finally gets released. Or probably more accurately… I hope thats the same thing season 8 leaves me with. A wrap up that’s real. Not a gift.

Spoilers under the read more. proceed at your own risk. MAJOR spoilers for the ending of Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab

Continue reading “How I Wish More Series Ended”