Hello my fellow book lovers, I hope you’re all having a lovely day. For today’s post, I’m going to be critiquing some of my favourite books.
Personally, I think it’s important to be conscientious of the issues in your favourite books. I think it’s absolutely okay to enjoy a problematic book, as long as you’re willing to acknowledge it’s problems. While most of these are not “problematic”, they all certainly have problems. Most books are not perfect, and perfection is not an attainable goal. Additionally, I think objectivity is important when reviewing books.
So I thought it’d be fun to talk about the problems with my favourite books. All of these books are rated 5 or 4.5 stars, and I consider them all favourites.
Red Rising by Pierce Brown: look, this book has so many issues and has the most problems on this list. Most importantly, it uses the “harm women to advance a man’s storyline” trope, which is boring, overdone, and problematic. I wish Brown had another way to make Darrow inspired rather than just his wife dying. Additionally, the Jakal isn’t a very well-developed character in the later books. There’s more telling “he’s evil” than showing how he’s evil. That being said, keeping someone locked in your living room table for six months is sociopathic, so really.
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver: I mean, it’s a trashy YA from 2010. The characters are juvenile, the story isn’t very original or inspired, and there’s a fair bit of fat-shaming.
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett: it was written in the 90s, so it’s definitely a product of its time. It’s implicitly racist in some sections, for example (even though every time I go to put on my seatbelt now, I think “prease to frasten sleatbert”). Also, if you’re devout Christian, it’s blasphemous, I guess?
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng: the characters don’t always act like real people would act. Would a decently well-adjusted fifteen-year-old really set her house on fire because she’s mad at her mom? Probably not.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt: omg does it drag at some points. I get it, Theo’s in shock. Can we please move on.
I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak: it objectifies women, including sexualizing an underaged character.
The Luxe by Anna Godbersen: it’s 100% a story of women competing with other women for a man. It’s literally just total trash.
Every Day by David Levithan: Insta Love™. There’s also the issue re: consent when A is in a person’s body. Thinking about it, it is pretty creepy that A kisses people in someone else’s body.
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins: St. Clair essentially cheats on Ellie for the whole book with no repercussions at all. Slut-shaming™ to the max. Soccer is a personality trait.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo: the supposed 17-year-olds act as if they’re 21 at least. Both women have tragic backstories that involve sexual assault. There’s magical yellowface.
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng: there is literally nothing wrong with this book, it is perfect.
So those are my critiques of some of my favourite books! Have you read any of these? What are your critiques of them? What are your biggest critiques of your favourite books? Let me know!