Happy Sunday morning everyone! I’m not entirely sure that the title I chose is a good fit for this post?! I actually think ‘Drew prods the sleeping, grumpy rabid PC bear‘ is likely to be a more apt name for the post and the response I’m likely to get!
Before I start, I want to make this clear, this post isn’t about bloggers. It’s based on reviews I’ve seen by people on Goodreads and Amazon. People who have been picking apart books just because they contained aspects fundamental to that specific genre of book.
We all like to try and read different genres at times, it’s part of being a reader and diversifying our reading. If we try a book from a genre we don’t frequent and don’t subsequently like it then OK, it happens, or as the saying goes shit happens! And, we can’t like all of the books, all of the time.
But…..you can’t just proclaim you hated the book due to staples of that specific genre! If you read a cookery book then you know it’s going to include recipes, you can’t hate on it solely for having recipes. Yes, if the instructions aren’t clear and the recipes aren’t very good. But, it’s a cooking book, a cooking book means some cooking will be involved ergo if you didn’t want to read a book on cooking you shouldn’t have read a cookbook, that is not the book’s fault!
Take crime/thriller then you know that you are going to get a book where there’s a murderer and people die, you can’t really hate on the book for containing killing and crime when it’s part of the genre. If there’s someone trying to solve a crime/murder then obviously you would first need the aforementioned crime/murder to have been committed. Would I be justified in being negative about the book because there was a murder, not just any murder I might add, but a murder most foul?! No, I wouldn’t as it’s part and parcel of the genre.
Same for romance, you know there’s going to be sex scenes of some degree and persuasion in the book, you can’t hate on it just because you’re prudish and don’t like reading about sex, if that’s the case then obviously you shouldn’t be reading that genre in the first place. It’s definitely not a genre for me, I don’t want to read about some dude getting his rocks off with a Barbie girl in a hotel room, no thank you! But, if I’d been tortured, made to listen to Justin Bieber for days on end and then held at gunpoint whilst I was forced to read one of these titular (sniggers titular, tit, bet there are lots of tits on display in a smut book) then I wouldn’t be able to bemoan the fact that the book contained romance and a bit of ‘getting jiggy with it‘ as that’s part of the genre.
What about Dino erotica?? Yes, it’s a genre as I found out in my fun and inappropriate book covers to series of posts. It’s obviously going to include dinosaurs, women/men and interspecies sex and I’m presuming that, if you read the genre then those are the exact things that you like! The buxom bosomed bimbo riding the raptor?! Purely guess work but T-Rex’s etc are huge (not in that sense, they had tiny brains, they might well have had tiny genitalia too) so, how does it work?! It’s definitely a genre to make fun of but hey, each to their own and if people enjoy reading it then it’s up to them! But, you wouldn’t purchase a Dino erotica book and then complain about it including dinosaurs, people and bestiality – dinosaurs are reptiles, so, reptiality?? Because it’s obvious that that is what the genre includes! I guess you could pull the author up on their lack of research as I’m pretty sure dinosaurs are extinct?! Which means no thorough and well-researched research has gone into the book! Unless there’s a secret island of dinosaurs, similar to Jurassic Park only these dinosaurs are bred for some loving!
Likewise, with grimdark, it is a grim and dark subgenre of fantasy including morally ambiguous characters, swearing, copious amounts of visceral and gratuitous violence and bloodshed, you can’t hate on a grimdark book for including those things when they are the core components of the genre! Dislike the book, yes, but hate on it due to it containing those elements, no, sorry that’s not right as you knew what you were getting when you requested/started the book.
And then there’s, Y-A, I don’t read this genre, it’s not for me! Take Y-A fantasy, I like my fantasy bloodier, grittier and darker. So, if I read a Y-A fantasy book, would it be OK for me to hate on it due to me disliking the writing, characters and story?! Yes, of course it would as those are things that we look for and want to like in every book that we read, regardless of genre! However, would it be OK for me to hate on a Y-A fantasy book because it doesn’t contain morally ambiguous characters, swearing and copious amounts of visceral and gratuitous violence and bloodshed, all the things that I love in grimdark?! No, it wouldn’t as they aren’t part of that specific genre and I’d know that when I chose to read the book.
But…..I’ve seen various Goodreads reviews for grimdark books that have been requested and then disliked by readers with lots of Y-A books (and other genres too before you all start on me for Y-A bashing, because I’m not) on their profiles. Mainly for containing all the things that are aspects of the genre, maybe, just maybe, I should rag on books from your favourite genre as you’ve already set the precedent by berating books from mine! I mean c’mon, it’s called grimdark, it’s even got grim and dark in the title! I understand that being grimdark might well impugn on your delicate sensibilities and pure clean image but the things you pull apart are the things that make grimdark, well, grimdark!
Finally, let’s look at diverse books (flaming pitchforks at the ready for me). People choose to read diverse books because they are just that, diverse! And that’s cool. However, people seem to be hating on books simply for not being diverse. I can understand that you as a reader of diverse books would like and hope to see diverse characters in every book you read. But, if a book isn’t actually labelled as diverse, same for being labelled Y-A, crime/thriller, romance or fantasy then surely you can’t complain about the lack of diversity in it?! You can be disappointed and even upset, fair enough, that is your prerogative but you didn’t buy a diverse book, you purchased a book. To me, it seems wrong to hate on and be negative about a book simply for its lack of diversity when its not actually a diverse book! It’s the same as if you bought a horse and it turned out to be a donkey, that would be false advertising! And, if you did buy a diverse book and it turned out not to be diverse then fine, have at it and complain away!
A quick last mention also needs to go to language and people taking offence at certain words being used by authors. No, I don’t mean swearing, no-one gives a shit about that. Though some people still take offence to it in books even though I bet they swear in real fucking life! I mean words or terms that are deemed as offensive when no offence is meant. Or when they are the correct and authentic word for the time period used. And, they fit the meaning and usage required by the author. I’ve seen a few reviews (again from people who don’t often read the genre of book they are reviewing) offended by a single word, one word out of the hundred thousand that make up the whole book. It’s just a word, not a world ending travesty of biblical proportions! People find offence in most things but to me, hating on a book just because one word offended you is wrong, no mention of the story, characters, etc or any other reason only you decided to DNF the book due to a word upsetting you.
Words are words, just because you took offence to it, it doesn’t mean others will. I like the word ‘cunt‘ it’s one of my favourites to use! Others don’t like it, I’m not right for liking it and they aren’t right for their dislike either, it’s just a word! Yes, I’m fully aware that words contain meaning and can hurt, I write poetry after all and fully understand that words have power and can bleed fucking meaning. But, offence at a single word in a book, then going on a tirade against the author for using it, no, it just seems over the top and wrong.
Alas, haters gonna hate, playas gonna play, readers gonna read and cunts gonna be cunts! And, there is always going to be someone who is offended by something no matter how inconsequential to the grand scheme of things! – that dear readers is a sentence for you all to hate on and berate me and this post over, not just a word but a whole sentence! I’m offering it to you freely and pointing it out as I’m such a considerate and decent guy!
Everyone likes to try different things at times, variety is the spice of life and that’s no different with reading. But, how can you pull apart a book simply because you dislike all the things that make up and are staples of that specific genre?!? It seems unfair and wrong to me! If you didn’t enjoy the book then fine, if you had issues with the story, writing and characters, etc, that’s OK, they are all valid things to take umbrage with, but please tell us that in your review! Don’t just pull apart the book for including content integral to that genre. The author will have spent a lot of time and effort on the book only to see it getting negative feedback because you chose to read the wrong book in the wrong genre. That’s not their or their book’s fault. It’s that old adage ‘it’s not you, it’s me‘ with the ‘you‘ being the wrong book, no need to slaughter it, an amicable break-up would be better for all, a handshake, a goodbye and a ‘hopefully you’ll find someone right for you next time‘. Because what one person dislikes, another will like!
The point of this post and it’s not aimed at any bloggers (as I mentioned at the start) so chillax yourselves and smoke some Snoop Dogg special blend before you start hating on me! I’m one of the people who stick up for us bloggers constantly and defend our honour when it’s called into question by jumped up cunts! The point is simply this, I’m fed-up with seeing reviews on Goodreads hating on books from my favourite genre due to stupid and inane reasons by people who don’t like the genre. Let’s face it, if it was your favourite genre then you’d be annoyed as fuck too!
Don’t be a hater, don’t berate a book merely for containing all the things fundamental to that specific genre! It’s detrimental to the author and book and it’s also uncool! If you don’t like it, don’t read it, ya dig! To those who do it, I offer you my best Chris Jericho impression and state ‘You just made the list!‘
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