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.

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.