This has happened to me too frequently lately, and I am somewhat unsettled. All it takes is one, or two, or maybe even three books written by an author you love that just leave you feeling some type of way-and not in a good way. It sometimes isn’t even be book-related, but something an author says or does on social media or in life that just turns you completely off, and you’re like, “I’m done…”
When I first started reading romance, it was for pure escapism. Plot and characterization were never an issue. As long as the couple were hittin’ the skins, and I got an HEA, I was in love with the book-and the author. So what happened? The starry-eyed fog cleared out, and I was left with two truths: Either the books weren’t all that great to begin with (Now I know liking or disliking any art form is subjective, but I also know what I like and what I don’t like), or I harbored some sort of false hero worship of the author. I would follow every social media account, join every romance group, and rate or review almost every book. Basically I was a stalker hiding in plain sight.
I’ve been reading romance novels consistently for the last five years now, and I meticulously categorize my purchases by author, genre, subgenre, ethnic pairings, series, and favorites. I often go back and reread my favorites, because they’re, well, favorites. My favorites category has now been cut by more than half. This is my face after I’ve reread a few of these “faves”.
Who ripped the blinders off and ruined the fantasy for me? I’ll tell you what I think it is. I’ve become much more socially and ethically conscious in these last five years, and as I read, I’ve become too damn politically correct. How are racial or cultural differences addressed? Is the guy a misogynist who goes unchecked or “un-redeemed”? Is there slut-shaming or homophobia? I’m RUINED!!!! I am so angry with myself sometimes because I can’t allow myself to just enjoy the damn book! I’ll see fellow readers and bloggers gushing about a book or an author I used to really love, and I’m like nooooo. They wrote that one book where the girl killed caterpillars for fun…Does anybody else feel this way about an author? Or an actor? Or a “thing”? Or is it just me?
I’d like to end this week’s musings by publicly thanking all the bloggers, readers, and authors who’ve either publicly supported or privately reached out to me following the shitstorm (which I’ll address in more detail in a future post) last Monday’s musings caused. And while you may not have necessarily agreed with my thoughts and opinions, you respected my right to speak my truth on my “whack” blog without going into attack mode. And for that, you are appreciated. Thank you.