You might be confused by the title and thinking “is this a list of her most recent reads?” Nope, it isn’t a list, but rather a discussion about two books that I read recently. One was borrowed from the library and the other is an ARC. I normally don’t post too much about the books that I read, but due to some of the content in these books, I figured I would discuss them. The books are marketed towards two different age groups.
The first book that I am going to discuss is Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly. “Beauty and the Beast” is my all-time favorite Disney movie, it always has been, so when saw this book I was really excited for it. It is marketed for kids aged 12 and older. When I started reading this book, I noticed that it had issues right away. The issues I had were with the adjectives that were used to describe one of the characters. While the character is a side character, she still plays an important role in the story. In my Goodreads review, I acknowledged the issues not only with text but with the exact page numbers as well.
The other book that I read recently that I found issues with is Royce Rolls by Margaret Stohl, this book won’t be published until April 4, 2017. I requested an ARC of this book from NetGalley and was approved. This book is marketed towards young adults and has its issues. The biggest issues I have with this book are the homophobia and body shaming, I wrote about them in my review.
Were there things that I liked about both of these books, yes, however I could not overlook the issues and those issues were addressed before anything else. What am I saying is this, a book may have a mix of offensive/problematic material and non-offensive/non-problematic material like these books did. It is important to read reviews and make informed decisions on whether to read these types of books or not.
I get a lot of my information about whether to read a book or not from reviews. While I trust no one reviewer completely I do trust a gaggle of reviews that mention similar aspects of the book. Its important that as reviewers we think at least a little critically and rate books based on more than how much we liked it. We have to be able to say “I liked this book but hey there was some uncool stuff going on” or “I didn’t like this book but you might if you like __”
Exactly! If a lot of people say that a book is racist/harmful and not only in reviews I’m going to make an informed decision as to whether or not I’m going to read the book.