a rant: on deviation from the norm

You know when you’re reading a review of something by a friend and everything’s going great, and then you find the phrase “I don’t understand why she had to be a lesbian. It doesn’t seem necessary to the plot.” And you have this moment of remembering that systematic oppression exists and go back to your daily life? Yeah. I’m tired of that.

Here’s the real thing that annoys me: we think of literature marketed directly to cis, heterosexual, white men as prime literature, while everything else as only appealing to a certain population.

And some might argue back that it is good literature for cis white heterosexual men, isn’t it? well. Then why isn’t litfic by women prime literature? By queer people? By people of color? Oh, no it isn’t. That won’t appeal to men. It’s alienating to white people. It’s just for women. It’s just for those queers over there who are so, so different from us.

So we’re in this situation where we as marginalized people have to project ourselves onto almost exclusively straight and white characters, but the anti-diversity crowd can’t do us the same courtesy. It’s impossible to project yourself on a character who isn’t exactly like you, but when some 14-year-old lesbian says the same thing – that it’s fucking impossible to project yourself on a narrative when it can’t stop talking about how hot her boyfriend is – we’re asking for too much.

It’s as if we’re not people. We are marginalizations before anything else.

And you know what, maybe it wouldn’t hurt that much if it weren’t a part of real life too. But in real life, it’s the exact. same. I am not Elise. I am the lesbian. Being Elise comes second in people’s heads. And I try to own it, and I try to be funny about it because I know it’s what everyone’s thinking. But I’m sick of having to excuse people on the internet who think of me that way too.

And listen, I get that we’re in a situation where diversity isn’t the default, and where a book being diverse can be shocking. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it. I’m sad that when someone asks for romance recs between guys and girls, both of whom are cis and het, there are a thousand recs to give and you can be picky about what looks good. I’m sad that when people ask me for f/f romance recs, I only have around ten to give – and I’ve read way more than most people I know. I’m sad that being picky about the f/f romance I’m recommended isn’t an option I have – there isn’t enough out there to be picky. Being picky is a privilege we don’t have.

And we don’t want to complain, and we can’t complain, because then we’re the whiny ones.

And I know this is rambly. but I’m honestly not sure I care. This is tiring. Please stop thinking of us as our sexualities and our marginalization as some “added” thing to “appeal to a crowd”. That random YA protagonist being white is meant to appeal to a crowd, too.

Don’t be hypocritical. All of us are people before anything else. So think of us as such.

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Why Books Get Called Out, and Why It Matters

So I have been noticing recently that books with diverse characters get called out more often than books without diverse characters. And I kind of want to. talk about it, I guess??

I have seen far more discourse about the problems with diverse books than about the problems with non-diverse books. But as rule, diverse books get more shit for being problematic, and at that, ownvoices diverse books seem to get even more shit. We expect more from diverse books while we, to some degree, accept that non-diverse books are going to have shitty rep. I understand why; I just don’t like it. 

This rule does have exceptions; for example, Sarah J. Maas has almost no diversity but a fuckton of discourse. I’m not saying her books din’t deserve it – I didn’t read past book one, so I have no inkling whatsoever to defend them – but this builds into the fact that callouts depend not on the degree of problematic content, but on the amount of buzz the book is getting.

There are books with one or two lines that have bad implications but constant callouts, while meanwhile, books with huge amounts of bad content are essentially ignored because the person who mentioned the bad content isn’t popular on twitter.

Listen, I’m perfectly aware that this is no one’s fault. Popular bloggers can’t help being popular (that sounds really weird, lol). But it’s still something that I think is worth bringing up. Absolutely terrible – in my opinion, anyway – books are going completely ignored because they’re not hyped. Yet meanwhile really important ownvoices books from five years ago are getting blacklisted – and no, not called out, blacklisted, those are two very different things – for admittedly gross lines that no one would’ve noticed at the pub date. And I have to admit… that bothers me.

I mean, I guess I’m not about blacklisting books as a community in general – I think it leads to a lot of discourse and not much progress because community discussion gets shut down real fast – but I’m especially bothered by the way in which we blacklist books for problems yet ignore larger problems because the blogger wasn’t popular enough.

First Half of October TBR

I was slumping a bit last month and having trouble with reading on a schedule for the first half of the month, especially as school ramped up. I ended up with a lot of graphic novels and shorts to ease the stress. But I did get a chance to write a tbr post on like, the sixteenth, and to begin working through that. So let’s run through how I did.

Results

Out of ten books on my list, I read three in full: Lips Touch Three Times by Laini Taylor, Blood Red Snow White by Marcus Sedgwick, and We Won’t Feel a Thing by J.C. Lillis. I began reading two more: Nevernight by Jay Kristoff and Speak Easy Speak Love by McKelle George. That leaves five and two to finish. Did I do well? Not really.

Books From My September TBR

Finishing my two CRs, Nevernight and SESL

This one needs no explanation. I’ll link reviews in next months’ wrap-up.

3. Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

I’m reading this for my lovely friend Trish, who adores this book and will not let me rest until I read it. Let’s be really honest. Also, it’s a super diverse contemporary about radios and growing up and it sounds amazing!!

4. All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater

I have an arc of this. It is ruined, currently, because my cousin threw it in a marsh. I’m sure it was funny at the time. Anyway, I’m hoping this is good!! I’m worried but cautiously optimistic based on reviews from friends I trust and a positive ownvoices review I’ve seen. I’m going to take it slow because her standalones are usually really slow-paced.

5. Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh

This is an arc I’m super excited about because it’s f/f fantasy and there’s murder and honestly?? huge mood

6. Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moira Fowley Doyle

BI WITCHES!!! Also I loved this author’s debut.

7. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Uh. This is my english teacher’s favorite fantasy book, apparently?? And I’ve been putting it off for years, but guess what? My library had it. No more excuses, I guess.

Books For My New TBR

There are only a few things I’m trying to read that weren’t on my tbr for last month. FIRST is the Wicked+Divine graphic novel series. This is the only graphic series still on my tbr, and I’m using a readathon as an excuse to read it.

Here’s some info from Sam from @ThoughtsOnTomes. This will be going on from October 6th to October 8th, i.e. the weekend. The challenges are
1. Read from a new-to-you series
2. Read two installments of the same series
3. Read a work over 300 pages
4. Read a work with black and white art
5. Read a work picked out by a friend
6. Read at least 5 works.

I’m going to actually beat three of these: challenges one. two, and six.

9. The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd Jones

This is going to be a buddyread with Destiny @HowlingLibraries and Melanie @MelToTheAny. I saw a thread the author made about this and it kind of seems like exactly my thing.

9. Shatter Me by Tahera Mafi

There’s a month-long readathon for this series next month, and I’ve heard it’s a fast read, so I’m giving it a try. I’ll probably continue even if I think it’s trash because I know some people love this series who hated the first book. But also… please don’t be trash. Please.

The Rest of the Month

I’m going to try and just get through these ten so I don’t feel overwhelmed. Hopefully, I’ll write a post on Monday the sixteenth or so with a new tbr, having finished all of these. Except possibly The Name of the Wind. It’s okay if I haven’t finished this one by the fifteenth, as long as I’ve begun.

girl murders rapist – The Hollow Girl by Hillary Monahan

The Hollow Girl by Hillary Monahan – October 10th 2017 – 3.5 stars

The Hollow Girl tells the story of a Romani girl who is the victim of a violent rape and sees a boy she likes killed. To save her friends, she goes on to extract one body parts from these boys, sometimes when they are alive and sometimes when they are not.

THINGS THIS NOVEL NAILS ON THE HEAD

—> Rape here is treated as a mortal sin, not because of the sexual element, but because of the violation it entails. The author treats this subject with care, and writes in an emotive way. Also, putting a trigger warning for rape in the author’s note was fantastic.

—> Monahan also infuses this story with good rep of Romani culture. I really appreciated the note at the front of the book to clarify her heritage. (It was just a really good note, okay?? I’ll move on to the actual book soon.) It’s clear that she knows what she’s talking about with her representation.

—> The protagonist, Bethan, has a great character arc filled with darkness. She’s a rich antihero who always manages to gain your sympathy, even while she’s tearing out someone’s eye.

THINGS THIS NOVEL FAILS AT

—> The writing style isn’t bad, but there’s too much telling and not enough showing. It’s not just the lack of showing, though; the author is far too concerned with pointing out how clever her writing is. There’s a moment where Gran tells a long story that’s clearly meant to parallel Bethan’s life, which would be awesome, but then the narrative outright states “this parallels my life.” This is a recurring pattern; the author will use a literary device well, and then call it out specifically as if it was hard to catch. This takes away the emotional impact and makes the book feel amateurish.

—> The Hollow Girl has huge pacing problems. The first 100 pages aren’t remotely brutal, but don’t have enough dramatic tension to lessen their boring nature. But the real pacing faults occur later on. There’s blood and rape and a thousand different plot points occurring and yet somehow it was boring. The plot didn’t feel driven; Bethan needs to extract five body parts in three days and yet she spends so much time sitting at home that this conflict loses its tension.

—> Adding on to that, it was hard to feel worried about timing during the finale when Bethan had wasted so much time earlier. It was an empty conflict. Another plot convenience really bothered me; Bethan had an opportunity to kill Silas earlier, and she didn’t, which made the final conflict lose much of its tension.

—> The ending isn’t nearly as much of a gut punch as I’d hoped. It sounds cheesy, but I’d hoped for Bethan to have some big emotional breakdown to end the book with a bang. That easily could have shot this to a four star. Unfortunately, the ending was plot-heavy and not character-heavy enough. In general, this book needed to pay more attention to Bethan’s internal conflict during the finale and less attention to the flimsy plot conflicts. With more focus on her emotional issues, the ending could’ve been a tearjerker.

Do I recommend this? If you like suspense or horror and want an emotional story, this book is a solid read. While The Hollow Girl had its debut-novel type issues, it’s clear that a lot of thought went into this novel and I’m excited to see what Monahan comes up with next.

Sunshine Blogger Award #1, #2, #3

I’ve been nominated for this tag by Chelsea @SpotlightOnStories, Romie @romiewedeservelove and Destiny @howlinglibraries, three of my FAVORITE people on here. So I’m finally doing this tag!!

Rules

1. Thank the person(s) who nominated you and link back to their blog(s)
2. Answer the 11 questions sent by the person(s) who nominated you
3. Nominate 11 new blogs and write 11 questions for them
4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post

Chelsea’s Question

1. Which movie would you love to see on the big screen (something that you’d either love to see in the movie theatre again, or an older movie before your time that you never had the chance to see in the theatre and would love to)?

I would love to see The Jungle Book live in the theater again. That movie was just so aesthetically beautiful and stunning on screen. (It’s on Netflix, too!!)

I’d also love to rewatch Moonlight in the theater. Because it’s one of my favorite movies ever. IT DESERVED THAT OSCAR AND I’LL FIGHT.

2. Which book would you love to read for the first time again?

I’d go with Six of Crows or Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. Those books are really just… life-changing, and I want to read both of them for the first time and forget just how much I adore them.

3. Do you have a favorite publisher or publisher imprint?

I don’t really keep track!! I do love Tor Publishing just for their dedication to publishing short-yet-creative novellas on their website and their promotion of out-of-the-box concepts and diverse sff.

4. If you worked in a bookstore, what would your one staff pick recommendation be, and why?

It would depend whether I was recommending an underrated book or my favorite book. If we’re saying “favorite book” definitely Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. If we’re going with favorite underrated book, I’d probably go with Getting Over Garrett Delaney by Abby McDonald – it’s truly one of my most underrated faves of all time ever. I have a review here.

5. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever used as a bookmark?

Oh, good question!! Probably just tissues and receipts. I can’t think of anything weirder.

6. Is there a classic that has been on your TBR for ages?

I don’t read a ton of classics, but I’ve always been somewhat interested in Wuthering Heights and Lolita, just to see what they’re all about if nothing else.

7. What’s your favourite bird?

I don’t know if I have one?? But an anecdote: I went to Africa with my brother for a few days once, and he always loved guinea fowls 🙂

8. What colour do you wear the most?

Let’s be real and say black. I wear black leggings daily and usually

9. What are your thoughts on binge-watching? Is it something you do, and if so, which show did you last binge-watch?

I do it occasionally. I usually don’t do it very quickly because I get tired of watching so much of the same – the only time I’ve really binged a show was in eighth grade. But I actually did watch 7 episodes of television in a week this year!! Big Little Lies is truly a masterpiece.

10. What’s your favourite episode of your favourite TV show and why?

Okay, if I’m being totally honest, my favorite tv show is the 100. My favorite  episode of that show was always Spacewalker because I fucking love Raven and it’s one of the saddest and best-filmed episodes of anything ever.

Some other examples bc I like this question

  • How To Get Away With Murder – Every episode of season one, really, but the pilot and the season one midseason finale were both fabulous.
  • Once Upon A Time – At first I was thinking “the entire first season” and then I looked through the episode guide and holy god it’s probably The Stable Boy?? that episode was a MASTERPIECE.
  • Firefly – Jaynestown for the sheer hilarity. TELL ME THAT ISN’T THE FUNNIEST EPISODE OF ALL TELEVISION. And also Out of Gas because it made me cry.
  • Revenge – probably that season two finale where Seven Devils plays throughout the end?? that fucked me UP. And the season one midseason finale, of course. I always loved that episode in season three (??) where she takes down that coal company head by having him drink what he REALLY puts into coal refining because that was amazing. also every single major Emily episode because I fucking love Emily. AND NOLAN. I MISS NOLAN. I MISS MY BI CRIME DUO.
  • Black Mirror – I know everyone says San Junipero, and that episode IS fantastic, but honestly, it was Hated in the Nation. That episode is straight-up the most terrifying thing I have ever watched in my life. It’s better than any horror movie. That scene where the thing happens… with the bees… and Fall Into Me by Alex Lev playing?? that fucked me up.
  • And if we’re talking Big Little Lies again – the finale made me cry for thirty minutes straight and was absolutely flawless you should go watch it it’s only seven hours!!

11. Do you have a favourite bookstore/used bookstore?

I’m obligated to say Kepler’s bookstore in Menlo Park if only because it’s where I get all my arcs and know the most people. But I think it’s genuinely my favorite bookstore ever.

Romie’s Questions

I. ‘If you liked this book, then you’ll like this one.’

Oh, nice!! If you liked Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, you’ll probably like Vicious by V.E. Schwab and vice versa. You might also like the And I Darken series by Kiersten White.

II. Care to share an unpopular opinion?

Okay, you know what? I do this constantly and I don’t particularly feel in the mood. Just read my NOPE book tag if you’re looking for some rants!!

Okay, okay, maybe I’ll add in that while I like Laini Taylor’s Lips Touch Three Times a fair amount, it’s got an issue with cultural appropriation and general bad stuff in the second story. I mean, colonial India, using Indian mythology, but every main character is white European?? It’s not a good look.

III. Put your phone on shuffle and find a book that matches the song you got.

For Homemade Dynamite by Lorde – This is like. weird. But I think I might go with the Cruel Prince by Holly Black just lyrically!!

For Closer by Halsey – Uh. I don’t know? I’m thinking maybe Echo After Echo by Amy Rose Capetta.

IV. If you had to use one book as a shield to protect yourself – because why not, you totally dislike the thing – which one would it be?

The You I’ve Never Known by Ellen Hopkins. Six hundred pages of utter shit.

V. If you could share a cup of tea – or a good mug of coffee – with a fictional character, who would it be?

Maybe Radu and Nazira from And I Darken because I just… want my gay fake-married parents to be happy for once

VI. Unhaul : list 3 books you don’t want to see anymore on your shelves.

I get rid of books if I don’t like them, so I don’t think this is a question I can suitably answer, unfortunately.

VII. Share the love : list your 3 favourite booktubers / 3 favourite bookstagrammers.

Okay, more than three. My fav Booktubers are Sam @ ThoughtsonTomes, Adrianna @ PerpetualPages, Cece @ ProblemsofaBookNerd, Lala @ BooksandLala, Ally @ HardbackHoarder, and Emma @ EmmaBooks. I just love all of them so much??

VIII. Let’s say you have to get a book cover tattooed on your body, which one do you end up with forever?

Maybe Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke just for the beauty of the webs and owls.

IX. Worst and best book-to-movie adaption?

First off – the worst. There are a lot, but I feel like I’m the sole hater of the Harry Potter movies. They’re not terrible, but people act as if they’re a lot better than they are, in my view. And also the Hobbit.

BEST!!

  • Lord of the Rings!! Of course!!
  • There’s the 100, which is a terrible book and a fantastic tv show.
  • There’s the Handmaid’s Tale, which I like even more than the book for the depth it gives its characters. the original is very metaphorical, but this one is doing the characters with more depth.
  • And there’s Big Little Lies – I haven’t read the book but I love the series!! I rewatched the finale and holy shit it made me cry a SECOND TIME. I was such a mess. God.

X. If you could get rid of ONE character because they’re a total pain in the ass, who would you choose?

Probably Captain Hook from Once Upon A Time. Time to die, asshole.

XI. Choose one book for each season.

Fall: The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater for aestheticy forest descriptions.

Winter: The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie Sue Hitchcock, set in Alaska and perfectly capturing the beauty.

Spring: Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. This book is the dark side of spring, a combination of new beginnings and dark endings.

Summer: A&B by J.C. Lillis, because who doesn’t want wlw  enemies-to-lovers romance for summer??

Destiny’s Questions

I. Who are your top 3 favorite musical artists right now?

  1. PVRIS!! Listen to them for angsty romantic songs, eerie songs, and badass songs about depression.
  2. I’ve really just been listening to the soundtrack of Heathers every day of my life. EVERY. DAY. Because I got cast as one of the leads :’)
  3. I’ve for some reason gotten back into mid-2000s Taylor Swift

II. What bookish character you find to be most overrated?

Kazinsky from the Raven Cycle, Magnus from Falling Kingdoms, Jace from City of Bones, Evan from the Fifth Wave series, Cal from Red Queen.

III. What bookish world would you NOT want to be teleported into?

None of them, probably. Most of my favorite worlds are incredibly messed up. I suppose I do love the world of The Raven Cycle just for the magical realism.

IV. What character’s special power do you wish you had?

Danny from Dreadnought by April Daniels can fly, and honestly, that’s the real goal. Most of my other favorite powers are portrayed as being negative or at the very least, mixed. But if we are doing other shit – pulling things out of your dreams like Ronan Lynch from TRC, or surviving death like Sydney from Vicious.

V. What was the last book to make you cry?

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. It was that blank space of Yunior’s that fucking killed me. There’s an interview – linked in my review – where the author mentions what goes in that blank, and it’s not “I love you”. When I got to the actual blank, I had a fucking breakdown just because I remembered it.

VI. Do you prefer ARCs or finished copies, and why?

Arcs, to be honest, just for the standard paperback sizes and being, you know, free.

VII. Shoutout 3 blogs you think more people should know about!

Oooh!! Acqua @acquadimore, Tasha @catsandpaperbacks, and Hannah @peanutbutterandbooks.

VIII. Do you follow any non-bookish blogs (makeup, movies, etc.), and if so, what kinds?

I don’t… actually think I do. I follow a couple funny tumblr blogs, I guess. And I’ve tried to follow a few movie blogs, but man, I have no knowledge of it.

IX. Do you have any phobias?

I’m terrified of needles. It’s mostly because I have minuscule veins – thanks, mom – and have a long history of failed / botched blood tests. Ask me about that time I got stabbed in a nerve. Or don’t.

X. What is your favorite animated film?

Tangled!! It’s by far one of my favorite movies and I’ve seen it more times than I can count. I love the animation and themes in transitions. And of course, the characters and romance are top tier.

XI. Who was your biggest childhood crush?

Um, I don’t think I really had a lot of crushes as a kid?? I guess for a while I had a huge crush on Shailene Woodley. Especially when she had short hair.

My Questions

  1. A book you love from a genre you don’t read?
  2. Favorite netflix original series?
  3. Most anticipated debuts?
  4. A few series you’re not sure about continuing?
  5. Best format for book-to-screen adaptations?
  6. Character you like that everyone hates?
  7. Villain that deserves redemption?
  8. Fave noncanon ship?
  9. Favorite snack?
  10. Underrated fave booktuber?
  11. Delightfully evil villain?

I Tag…

  1. Marija @insidemylibrarymind
  2. Jamieson @jamishelves
  3. Hannah @peanutbutterandbooks
  4. Iryna @bookandswordblog
  5. Amber @ambsreads
  6. Emma @emmareadstoomuch
  7. Sydney @syddownandread
  8. Lacy @aravenclawlibrary
  9. Acqua @acquadimore
  10. Tasha @catsandpaperbacks
  11. Solomon @thebookishking

Thank you to Chelsea @SpotlightOnStories, Romie @romiewedeservelove, and Destiny @howlinglibraries.

books surrounding trauma, abuse, or mental health – recs

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I’ve talked a lot about my mixed feelings on mental illness rep here. But you know what I haven’t really spent enough time on? My favorite books with characters that have mental health issues. So here’s a post recommending a few of my all-time favorites.

My Favorite Books Focusing on Mental Illness

  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, for a fabulous narrative around two character’s sexual / otherwise trauma, a great narrative around abuse, a major ownvoices disabled character who is an absolute badass but still realistically disabled, a character with dyslexia, and a character with ADHD. None of these characters are cured of any of their issues at any point :’)
  • The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater, for one fantastically portrayed abuse survivor and a suicide attempt survivor with a fantastic arc around depression. Neither of these arcs are tied to relationships.
  • Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore – pretty much every main character has well-handled depression and trauma, but the best treatment is pertaining to the main character. She has a beautiful arc surrounding trauma and depression. This is part of a companion trio, and it’s better with books one and two, but it can definitely be read as a standalone. Definitely does not use love as a cure.
  • Both A Monster Calls and More Than This by Patrick Ness – I’m pretty sure Patrick Ness has depression himself, given his excellent portrayals of the issues with it in his books. Both these books explore depression in a very real and tangible way. Also heard good things about Release, but haven’t read it quite yet. Can’t wait, though!
  • Far From You by Tess Sharpe – the main character is a drug addict and works through it herself. Also, suspense with lgbt rep. Yeah, the mystery isn’t great, but I love Sophie more than my own life. This book deserves more attention.
  • Exit Pursued By A Bear by E.K. Johnston – This book manages to be quite optimistic despite being about the aftermath of rape. There’s no romance, there’s a real focus on friendship… it’s awesome. Definitely worth the read.
  • The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee – The disability rep here is just done perfectly. There’s a real focus on avoiding the cure narrative and loving people with their disabilities, not “despite”.
  • Made You Up by Francesca Zappia – There’s so much I loved about this. The acknowledgement of Alex’s agency as a mentally ill person balances perfectly with the acknowledgement that mental illness is a struggle and not a quirk. I also loved that Alex is not cured. She starts the book with schizophrenia, and she ends the book with schizophrenia.
  • Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia – This book has a great focus on anxiety without becoming a book about anxiety, and it definitely does not become a book about anxiety being cured. I also loved the focus on internet friends and the relevance of teenagers’ feeling.
  • Still Life With Tornado by A.S. King – This book is about how teenagers, and especially abuse survivors, can be dismissed. The discussion on abuse is especially relevant.
  • Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios – This is an ownvoices exploration of abuse, and holy GOD, is it good.
  • The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chobsky – I really connected to this character and his arc. This book is just fucking fabulous.

Not Toxic, Although Not Quite Faves

  • Odd and True by Cat Winters – I loved the casual disability representation here feeling both realistic and healthy. Tru does need a brace, and it does restrain parts of her life, but the narrative emphasizes that she’s not a lesser person because of it. There’s a moment where Tru writes a letter to a younger disabled girl telling the girl how she’ll grow up to succeed. I loved this moment; it’s so small, but it made me so happy.
  • Where She Went by Gayle Forman – This book does a surprisingly good job exploring depression and grief without making it something romantic or beautiful. Adam has suffered from depression. It’s not beautiful.
  • This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers – This was another book recommended by DisabilityInKidsLit, and I totally agree with their thoughts. This is a zombie apocalypse novel following a girl who is suicidal.
  • Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde – Great representation of both anxiety and autism in a fun contemporary novel. I believe it’s actually ownvoices for both.
  • Run by Kody Keplinger – Character and friendship driven! Follows a bi abuse survivor and a blind character as they run from their old life. No romance!! Ownvoices for blind rep!! Really good!!
  • Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman – A book about schizophrenia with no romance and a focus on recovery and a collaboration with Neal’s son, making the book ownvoices? Sign me up. And yes, it was just as good as expected.
  • Perfect by Natasha Friend – Follows eating disorders. Again, no romance!! And a focus on friendship!! It’s more middle-grade, but whatever. This book is positive and emotionally real and fabulous.

Let me know if any of you have other recs or books that explored the narrative well for you!!

brief rant: not caring about diversity isn’t edgy

There’s a trend on goodreads that has started to tire me out. I am so sick of y’all coming on to goodreads and posting “Am I the only one who doesn’t care about diversity? Am I the only one who isn’t offended by x being homophobic?” See, here’s the thing. You’re not.

Have you ever tried to be a lesbian in high school? I have. It’s overrated, kinda sucks, 10/10 would not recommend. Here’s something major I’ve learned: “Gay people are cool now and i’m bitter about it” is not an edgy opinion at all. People who’d agree are quite easy to find – it’s at least 40% of the US population, according to polls, and to be quite honest, it’s quite a lot more.

And of course, now we come to that “the ya community only cares about diversity!! except for me, because i’m SPECIAL and don’t bow to that sjw crap!!” thing that some of y’all still seem to think is edgy. That’s so incredibly unedgy and mainstream. Saying “oh, I don’t care about racism, or homophobia, or the feelings of marginalized people in general!!” is an opinion, sure. But it’s definitely not revolutionary.

It’s also not particularly something anyone cares to hear. You don’t care about diversity? Good to know!! None of us care!!

So what’s the point? The point is that it’s not edgy to be apathetic. It is not edgy to be uncaring about issues of racism and homophobia. In fact, being apathetic is about as mainstream as you can get.