(Trigger warning: dating disasters)
My love life, for once, is going well.
I can’t say the same about my reading life.
This started out as a jokey blog post that turned really serious. (I wrote it during the December Sads.)
To avoid the dark, woe-is-me implications of something I’d INTENDED to be funny, I turned that post into a book tag.
1. Answer the questions.
2. Link back here.
3. Tag friends, family, and fellow bloggers.
4. Try not to cry.
5. Cry a lot.
A book your friend swore you’d love
To begin with, I don’t think The Samurai’s Garden was my kind of story.
My friend Claire loved it, so I thought I’d at least try.
I pushed myself to keep reading for about 60 pages.
After snapping yet again at the drip of a protagonist, I decided to stop.
Awkward Second Date
A book you finished and decided you didn’t like
I called myself an A Song of Ice and Fire fan for the better part of a year.
I dedicated many, MANY hours to all the happenings in Westeros.
I hit my limit at book five.
Things kept getting worse for the characters and I no longer wanted to witness it.
Perfect on Paper
A book that, by all accounts, you SHOULD have loved
I know I expressed doubts about Geekerella before I read it, but I expected, at the very least, to have fun with the story.
I might be the only person who actively hated this book.
It’s hard for me to explain why. It had a lot of elements I should have loved. For one thing, the main character works at a vegan food truck with her queer enemy-turned-best-friend.
Too twee, maybe? Trying too hard?
I might come back to this book when I have a better explanation.
For now, I tried and failed to enjoy this book. It happens.
Worst Date Ever
A book that almost ruined an entire genre
I have been searching for this book for over a year and I FINALLY FOUND IT.
The Peculiars almost ruined steampunk for me.
I held very cynical opinions about the genre for YEARS after reading this wannabe X-men tale.
(Question: why was “steampunk X-men” such a popular plot in the early 2010s? WHO OKAYED THIS TREND?)
This is a book I was really hyped about, too.
It’s not great, it ends on a sequel hook, and the author never wrote a follow-up.
I’m not sure where the “sexy inventor” trope came from, but this book leaned on it HARD for its love triangle.
At least, I think there was a love triangle. It was 2012, after all.
A book you think would be perfect for someone else
The magical realism elements in Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s books sound interesting, but I think the thriller angle would be better appreciated by my dad.
A book with a questionable message
I should start by saying Josh Harris has since renounced the ideas professed in this book.
Call me ungenerous, but I say too little, too late.
I Kissed Dating Goodbye is the granddaddy of bad advice.
Do you like nineteen-year-olds creating bogus, unrealistic dating expectations sprinkled with a dash of homophobia?
If I haven’t made myself perfectly clear, I think courting is ridiculous.
While I appreciate Harris’ apology, lasting damage has been done to Christian dating culture.
“Give Them a Chance!”
A book you chose that was outside your comfort zone
I used to read a lot of historical fiction in verse, but I haven’t in a while.
Recently, my friend lent me Inside Out and Back Again and my partner recommended Blood Water Paint.
Though I’m skeptical of both books, I’ll still check them out.
(For anyone who might be curious about either book, proceed with caution.)
A book that didn’t deliver on its promised premise
WHERE WAS THE WITCH VS. TECH NERD WAR IN ALL THE BIRDS IN THE SKY?
Didn’t I hear something about a love story, too?
The One That Got Away
A book you used to love
I’ve read The Princess Bride a thousand times.
I had it ruined for me by an ex-friend and by some really uncomfortable racial slurs in the final 100 pages.
The aforementioned ex-friend called The Princess Bride “the best, most perfect book ever written.” I can only see the book’s GLARING flaws when I reread it.
For instance, it’s hard to enjoy and recommend a book that makes multiple jokes about Spaniards.
I don’t want to promote that.
Good Enough for Now
A book you have mixed feelings about
The friend I mentioned above also ruined the Harry Potter series for me.
Again, to be fair, so did J. K. Rowling.
I’m really afraid to revisit the series. I have too many memories of my friend criticizing all of my opinions.
I just REALLY hate Ron Weasley. And Hermione Granger.
And I don’t think that makes me a bad person.
Just Got Dumped
A book that it still hurts to think about
I like Debra Fileta more than I like most Christian authors.
Her advice is usually sound and she makes a point to avoid gender, ethnic, and racial stereotypes.
The silence of Fileta and other big-name authors on LGBTQIA+ issues strikes me as irresponsible.
I think they miss that “staying out of it” is a form of privilege.
It hurts, too, because really simple steps could be made to promote inclusion.
Authors could, for instance, avoid the use of gendered language. (E.g., only using husband-wife examples, etc.)
They could also avoid generalizing about readers’ spiritual, romantic, and sexual experiences. (Not every person fits the straight, white homeschooler model.)
Here’s a special tip for Dr. Juli Slattery: stop making doom-and-gloom predictions about concepts and cultures you’re unwilling to understand further.
To non-Slattery authors: staying silent and hoping for the best is no longer a viable option. Try harder.
This post turned serious after all!
If you read this post and would like to participate:
I AM TAGGING YOU.
I would love to see your answers.