December 15, 2016

A Community? *heavy sigh* Yeah, Right.


 
*Disclaimer: there will be some heavy language in this post so if that offends you, you’ve been warned. Also, this post may seem ramb-ly so bear with me. *

     I haven’t blogged in three months.

     It’s not because of college, work, or because my life has been hectic, although those things had a hand in it. I stopped blogging because I no longer felt like I was part of the book community. I felt like posting would have done nothing but anger people no matter what, because lately (aka the last year) the book community I had come to love has turned into a community divided. However, there is a common thread throughout the divided parts: hatred, judgement, and closed-minds.

     I stopped blogging and participating heavily on Twitter for three months because I was sick and tired of all the (excuse my language) bullshit going on in the community. I am still sick and tired of it. I am sick of the arguing, the name calling, the fighting, and all sides of the community making each other feel bad for being themselves and thinking their own thoughts. The book community is no longer the safe haven I once knew it as; it is now a place where your every thought, word, and even reading preference is scrutinized and if the majority doesn’t like it? Well, sorry Charlie, you are shit out of luck. I no longer feel like I can freely express myself without stepping on toes or someone getting pissed off. That is not a community I want to be a part of. Over the past few months, I have lost people I considered to be close and long-time friends because they didn’t agree with me on certain issue or topics (or so I assume from the tweets I read). They never approached asked me about it or bothered to see my side of things. They just…cut me out. They have a right to do that, of course, but I would have expected more from people who I called friends.

     You have a right to disagree with me, to not like me, etc., but nowadays, that isn’t enough for some in this community. No one can just quietly or respectfully disagree anymore. They have to spread the word about how horrid you are and you have to withstand people you don’t even know calling you horrible names. You have to lose close friends and be slammed by authors who you once respected. It’s not like I know from personal experience or anything. *Sarcasm* In case you didn’t catch that.

     Anyway. I just wanted to express how damaging and harmful this community has become for me over the past year or so. I can no longer jump onto Twitter expecting to see people talking about the books they love or just sharing their love for books. I jump onto Twitter now to fighting and hatemongering. There is a clear difference between fighting and debating. Debating is done with a clear goal to understand each side of things and possibly come up with a solution. Fighting is done with nothing but chaos in mind. You can respectfully debate. You cannot respectfully fight someone. No one is debating on Twitter, there is only chaotic fighting to say “my way is the ONLY way”. Calls for kindness are silenced quickly because apparently there is too much kindness in the world already, respect is quickly shot down in the name of making a point, and understanding wasn’t even in the damn mix to begin with. That is what this community has turned into to me.

     Just from what I have said so far, I GUARANTEE that I pissed someone off. Someone will take my words out of context or read too heavily into them and BOOM, something to get angry about. However, this post isn’t to silence anyone or intentionally piss someone off; it’s to call for a change. Because this community needs to change or else it won’t help anyone; it will only hurt, just like it is doing now. This community claims to be accepting, but it truly only accepts you if you comply and agree or gracefully change yourself to fit a certain mold. For a community claiming to be accepting, it isn’t very open to change or opposing opinions, is it? I want, no, I NEED that to change or else I will have no other community to turn to. This community has turned me off of reading and blogging aka doing what I love. I no longer feel accepted or welcome in this community, and THAT is not right. The whole demeanor and attitude of this community needs to change because I guarantee that I am not the only one brought down by the dark clouds hanging over this community.

     I no longer think, “The book community? It’s amazing, the people there are so nice and they are basically another family.”

     I now think, “The book community? *heavily sighs*”

     It’s exhausting. It needs to change. Things need to be better and the people need to become the accepting group they claim to be. I’m trying my hardest to be respectful, accepting, and kind to everyone I talk to. If I can do it (someone who has been through some shit on this site from a LOT of people), why can’t everyone else? Kindness and respect shouldn’t be so hard to master, but that’s the world we live in, unfortunately.

     I have no idea what I manage to accomplish with this post except to let the world know how fed up I am with everything.

     So.

     Be kind and show respect, even if you don’t agree, because you are talking to another human being who has a heart and feelings that can be hurt.

     Laters.

October 30, 2016

REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: The Naked Tree by Morgan Lee J.!

Hello, my lovelies!

     Today, I have a special treat for you. Don’t say I never gave you something for Halloween! I am going to share my review of a great indie sci-fi fantasy novel, The Naked Tree, with you as well as sweeten the pot with a possible winning of said book and more awesome goodies! Read on to see what I thought of The Naked Tree by Morgan Lee J.!

Author: Morgan Johnson
Genre: Young Adult Sci-fi/ Fantasy
Date Published: October 31st
Publisher: Redeemer's Ink Publishing
Page Number: 276

Synopsis:

It was one small taste that transformed the entire history of our world. Colette is Vaporless, an Outlander. No worth. No value. All because she lacked the sweet nectar of The Tree, and her heart had an extra piece. The land of Alvon is suspended high above the Earth, a judgment placed on it by God Himself nearly two ages ago. The story all began with the creation of the couple Adamek and Eviya and a lie spun by a serpent, named Levi. After creating Alvon in their own image, a world deeply rooted in technology and pleasure. Their very lives depend on the fruit and energy given to them by the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, but suddenly the tree begins to reject them. Slowly, the Tree starts to deteriorate causing all the humans to deteriorate as well. Eviya pinpoints the cause of the decay of The Tree and points the finger at Colette. On her journey to self-discovery, Colette meets Rowan, the leader of R.I.S.K. The two band together, emotional feelings ensue. With the entire land of Alvon against them, R.I.S.K. sets off toward Ilan to search for an answer. Will Colette survive?
 
Review:
 
     This sci-fi fantasy book is full of action, adventure, emotion, mystery, and everything else that makes you love a book. From start to finish, this book keeps you in suspense, and it’s awesome. This is not one of those that is just full of action to cover up for a lack in another area. Oh, no. This book has it all, and the abundance of excitement in this book is just the cherry on top of the cake. The book starts off, and you are immediately immersed in Colette’s journey and emotions. This is not a book that you have to force yourself to read at first to get into the story; the book starts, and you are hooked. Morgan knows how to write a great story. This book is proof of that. The emotions this book incites are varied and strong. I felt an immediate connection to Colette, and when she felt something, I was right there with her. It was pretty awesome. The characters are another huge part that I loved about this book.

     Colette is a head-strong, determined, secretly emotional, and awesome character. She actually reminds me a lot of Aelin Galathynius from the Throne of Glass series, and most of you know that I love that badass. As I said above, once I started the book, I felt as if me and her had a connection that only great writers can invoke. She goes through a lot of terrible things, but she uses those situations to propel herself forward and changes everything including the very world she lives in. She was not afraid to venture out and risk her life for the people she loved, which is a characteristic that I love in a character. She is the kind of heroine that everyone loves. Then we have the male interest of the story, Rowan, who is a very complicated and fascinating character that immediately catches your attention. He is a force to be reckoned with, and pared with Colette, makes for a pretty awesome story. The side characters were all interesting too, and they did not even come across as the side characters that they were. They all had their own unique personalities that shined through the story. Another thing that I really love about the characters in this book is that they are all diverse in every aspect of life. This book contains characters of different races, beliefs, personalities, etc. and that paired with a fascinating plot makes for one hell of a book.

     The one and only things that I would have liked done differently is the second POV from the truinity. I am not usually a fan of multiple POVs, but in the end, it didn’t take away from the story but added more. That is just a personal preference of mine.

     I usually stay away from Sci-fi fantasy books because they often use terminology that goes way over my head, but this book isn’t like that. It is also a book that rivals those that have been on the NYT bestseller list, in my opinion. I just fell into this book and held on for the awesome ride that it was. I am so glad that Morgan reached out to me about her book. The whole concept she created, which I could tell was loosely inspired by Christianity, was genius and also heartbreaking. The ending of this book ripped my heart out, and I hope and pray that there is a second book coming soon because if there isn’t, I might riot.

     Just know that this book is amazing and that you need to read it ASAP. (Which is possible because there is a giveaway for this gem at the end of this blog post!) Is it obvious that I give this book five out of five stars yet?

**Trigger warning for the book: rape (not terribly graphic, but the act is there)

*********

     There you have it, my review of The Naked Tree. Now, time for the part that you all have been waiting for, the giveaway! Enter the giveaway full of awesome goodies (bookmarks, the book, and other bookish goodies) from the Rafflecopter below, and may the odds be ever in your favor. (Sci-fi humor, anyone?)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

September 4, 2016

Starflight by Melissa Landers Review!


Author: Melissa Landers
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Date Published: February 2nd, 2016
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Page Number: 369
Synopsis:
Life in the outer realm is a lawless, dirty, hard existence, and Solara Brooks is hungry for it. Just out of the orphanage, she needs a fresh start in a place where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. She's so desperate to reach the realm that she's willing to indenture herself to Doran Spaulding, the rich and popular quarterback who made her life miserable all through high school, in exchange for passage aboard the spaceliner Zenith.

When a twist of fate lands them instead on the Banshee, a vessel of dubious repute, Doran learns he's been framed on Earth for conspiracy. As he pursues a set of mysterious coordinates rumored to hold the key to clearing his name, he and Solara must get past their enmity to work together and evade those out for their arrest. Life on the Banshee may be tumultuous, but as Solara and Doran are forced to question everything they once believed about their world—and each other—the ship becomes home, and the eccentric crew family. But what Solara and Doran discover on the mysterious Planet X has the power to not only alter their lives, but the existence of everyone in the universe...
 
Review:
     I just finished Starflight by Melissa Landers, and I am in shock. I had NO idea that I would love this book so much. From start to finish, this book had me hooked because Solara and Doran are the kind of characters that capture your attention and then capture your heart. At first, I hated Doran, and that's kind of why I loved this story because as time went on I got to see the real side of Doran, which was so lovable and amazing. I love stories that make me seriously change feelings about a character like that. That just shows how great the character development is in this story. Then we have Solara, who acts like a hard and unemotional person, but as the story went on, we get to see just how vulnerable and caring she really is. I fell in love with all of the Banshee crew members, honestly.

     This book was full of emotion, action, adventure, romance, serious character development, humor, mystery, and anticipation. I did NOT expect this book to satisfy me like it did. As most of you may or may not know, I usually don't read sci-fi book because in my experience, the featured topics are way over my head, use hard to understand technical language, or they just don't feature a story line that I like. However, this is probably one of my favorite if not THE favorite sci-fi books I've ever read. It had all the sci-fi elements that you love like space travel, space pirates, laser weapons, different worlds, etc. what I love about it most (apart from the characters that is) is that Landers doesn't feel the need to use tons of technical science language or anything like that to describe the atmosphere of the book or things that are happening. I didn't feel the need to have a dictionary close by like I did in the past with sci-fi books, and that was awesome. Anyway, for someone who doesn't usually like sci-fi books, the fact that I adore this one is shocking AND it should tell you that it's freaking amazing.

     I had so much fun reading this book from beginning to end, and I am SO glad that I picked this book up because it is a book that any genre lover would love. It has everything a book lover could ever ask for in it, and that's what makes it amazing. It's a plus that there is romance in there too because I love a good romance element, especially with Solara and Doran. Man, do I love those two. I seriously wish I had more time with them. I didn't want Starflight to end because I was having so much fun and I was so hooked on the story.

     Needless to say, I freaking love this book, and it took my mind away from my currently stressful life, for which I am also grateful for. If you are looking for an awesome book to read that allows you to get away from the world and your problems, then this is the book for you. It will take you on a wild ride and you will love every minute of it. I give Starflight five out of five stars!!

August 29, 2016

The Demand for Diversity + Authors: The Forbidden Topic

Disclaimer(s):

1. Anyone who doesn't like this post and decides to approach me with hate or malice will be blocked or ignored. If I feel like I am being attacked, you will be blocked. If I feel uncomfortable discussing this post with someone, I will not respond. This post is simply to get my voice and opinion out there, and I do not deserve to be attacked for it and I have the right to block, ignore, and/or not discuss my thoughts with anyone.

2. I am a young straight white female, and I know people will attack me for discussing matters that are supposedly “none of my business”. This post will be about diversity in books and that is a touchy subject for most people. No, I am not racist, homophobic, or any other name you will think of. I am not using my "privileged" status to attack anyone. I am merely stating my opinion in a respectful way. So don't come at me accusing me of things that aren't true, please.
 


    Now that is out of the way, it’s time to get to what this post is all about: the demand for diversity.

    First off, there is nothing wrong with asking/needing diversity. Diversity is essential for many reasons. Diversity is needed. Diversity is cool. I am not saying that I do not agree with that fact at all. What I am saying is that requiring an author to feature diversity in their books when they do not want to is wrong. Hating an author because their books lack diversity is WRONG. One of the reasons most authors don't write about diversity is because they fear misrepresenting diversity and that’s okay. You would rather be represented correctly, rather than incorrectly just because its required of the author, right?

    I am saying that authors should not be hated or badgered to write about something they don't want to or aren't comfortable with writing about. That's like someone forcing you to run a marathon by holding a gun to your head. You lose either way. This community is a loaded gun and its pointed right at a few authors who may shy away from writing what they aren't comfortable with for reasons that shouldn’t matter.

    We have got to stop pushing our wants and beliefs onto others. That is not to say that I don't want to see diversity in books or see authors working towards that. Not at all. I want to see more plus sized heroines like myself grace the pages of YA books, but I am not going to put an author on blast because they didn't feature a plus sized heroine in their book. I want everyone under the sun to feel included in the wonderful world of books no matter the color of your skin, who you love, etc.

    What I DONT want is for authors to feel pressured to create characters that they cannot correctly represent due to lack of experience or knowledge. What I don’t want is for authors to be hated for writing their books the way they want. What I don’t want is for those voices who are calling for change to turn into voices who are yelling for change “or else". I refuse to sit by and watch others call out authors for writing books that have a lack of diversity with hate and malice. No one should be forced to do anything they don't want. NO ONE SHOULD BE FORCED TO DO ANYTHING THEY DONT WANT TO.

    Yes, I am on the side calling for diversity. I don’t see why anyone wouldn’t be on the side of change. But I am also on the side where authors can write books how they want as long as they aren't hurting anyone in the process with their words. No author is required to create diverse characters and no author is required to write non-diverse characters. No author is REQUIRED to do anything but write what they want because I don't know if you know this or not, but authors don't write for us, they write for themselves. If we start demanding authors write books the way we want then we will start to see very bland and uncreative writing because they will start writing for US and not their own happiness. By saying that an author SHOULD write diverse characters, you are hindering their writing by adding in requirements or some sort of quota to meet. That is when you start to see misrepresentation and stereotypes because the author doesn’t know any better. They just know that people are demanding diversity so that’s what they give them the only way they know how. You want authors to feature diversity because they CHOSE to, not because they are forced to.

    In most situations like these, authors can never win. People holler and scream for diversity from authors who obviously don't know much about writing diverse characters because they have never done it before, but when they try those same people attack the author for not doing it right when they weren't even comfortable with it in the first place.

    You may say that I have no say in this matter because I am a young white girl who doesn't have to search hard to find a book targeted for her, and you are right. I am a white girl and it isn’t hard to find a book for me, but silencing me because of my race is exactly what these people are fighting against. I have a horse in this race because I am a part of the book community too. My voice matters no matter what color, sexuality, gender, etc. it comes out of. The same goes for PoC or LGBTQ+ book lovers, their voices count too. The reasonable and respectful voices of the community need to be heard.

    All I am saying is that yes, we should talk about diverse representation in books and ASK to see more of it in books. Asking and demanding are two totally different things. Let authors know that you want more diversity and let them know that you will support them no matter what because that is what kind people do. I support that 10000000%. What we SHOULDN'T do is DEMAND for authors to write diverse characters when no one is required to do anything they don't want to. We can ask for more representation (I sure as hell won’t stop asking for more plus sized heroines), and we can RESPECTFULLY ask why there is a lack of diversity in an author’s books and be okay with whatever answer you get because ultimately it’s the authors book to do with what they want. What we CAN’T and SHOULDNT do is disrespect and threaten an author because their books lack diversity. No one should feel pressured to fill an imaginary diversity quota. That’s how mistakes are made and people are angered.

    I know a LOT of people will get angry at me for writing this post and come to a crazy conclusion and say that I am against diversity or who will attack me because I worded something wrong or something else. I KNOW this is a sensitive topic, and I have had many people tell me to let this issue go, but I refuse to. I refuse to go on without adding in my two cents. You can yell at me, call me names, unfollow me, whatever. But that will not change my mind of this issue.

    I hope we can all be adults and discuss issues like this respectfully without intending to embarrass or hurt others. I am only human and so are authors, we all deserve respect and kindness. Remember that.

    I hope that no one is offended in any way by this post.

Cheers.

August 8, 2016

Inseverable (Carolina Beach, #1) by Cecy Robson Review!


Author: Cecy Robson
Genre: New Adult Romance
Date Published: June 21st 2016
Page Number: 238
 
Synopsis:
     How can you imagine forever with someone who's leaving everything behind?

     Callahan, a former army sniper, wants to make an escape from his past and everything he experienced at war, but most of all, just not feel. Feeling leads to pain and he’s suffered enough. When he inherits a house on South Carolina’s Kiawah Island, he packs his bags, lured by the peace and seclusion he thinks it will bring. But, Callahan never counted on meeting anyone like Trinity . . .

     Trinity has always been the cute, and funny one, who most guys overlook in pursuit of her "hot" friends. She became used to being everyone’s pal, until the day the young man she was attracted to, was drawn to her in return. He became her first great love, and first crushing heartbreak when she found him in bed with one of her closest friends.

     To move forward, and to carry out her commitment to helping those in need, Trinity enlists in the Peace Corps, but not before returning to Kiawah for one last memorable summer. She just never imagined it would be so unforgettable.

     Callahan doesn’t want to get close to anyone—let alone Trinity. He finds her perkiness insufferable and her attempts to entice a smile distracting. After all, he’s in Kiawah to leave all feelings behind. But when it comes to Trinity, who feels everything, it's hard not to feel something.

     Neither expected to fall in love. And no one could have predicted how inseverable they’d become.
 
Review:
     This book devoured me. That's right, the BOOK devoured ME. Not the other way around. This book captured my attention, my emotions, and then my heart and jumbled them up into a mess of feelings. This book was AMAZING. Cecy Robson is one of my all-time favorite authors and she can write no wrong (see what I did there?). This woman writes GOLD, people. GOLD. Anyway, once I saw that she was coming out with another book I had to have it. I read the synopsis, and I was hooked.

     Trinity embodies all that I love in a heroine. She is hilarious, goofy, carefree, and loving, but she is also a force to be reckoned with when she is crossed. I instantly had a connection to her because her character is so likable. She wears her heart on her sleeve, and she makes it her mission to make people smile. She is the type of character that you instantly love; it’s hard not to. And when she is with Callahan, she lights up. She puts everything she has into her relationship with him, and I loved it.

     Speaking of Callahan, his character was so complex and different that he instantly had me intrigued. It didn't hurt that he was extremely good looking. Don't judge. Anyway, Callahan struggles with his action in Iraq and it shows in the book how grief stricken he is. He has suffered a LOT, and he has closed himself off to everyone in fear of getting hurt in some way or hurting others. Trinity sees that and is determined to make him smile. She breaks through his hard exterior and Callahan finally allows himself to feel again. I love it when the heroine seems to save the hero and vice versa. Callahan's character is complex, which made it so easy to get interested in him. He definitely makes it onto my list of favorite book heroes.

     Then we have the plot that just wreaked havoc on my heart. I thought that the plot was going to be easygoing until the very end then things would go crazy. Oh, was I wrong. This book was interesting from start to finish and there was nothing easy going about Trinity and Callahan's story. As Trinity and Callahan work through the new territory of their relationship, there are plenty of sad and tense moments. Their journey was far from easy and it hurt to read about them going through those tough situations. They had me on the verge of tears quite a few times, and my heart broke for them at one point. The plot definitely stirred up a LOT of feelings because Cecy definitely knows how to make a reader's heart hurt. But that ending killed me with feels. I swear endings like that are the reason I read. Needless to say, this plot is full of funny moments, emotional scenes, and good and bad encounters that will get your blood flowing.

     I stayed up until 6 AM reading and finishing this book. Now, you know I need my beauty sleep, so the fact that I stayed up to read this amazing book should tell you something. I loved everything about this book from the characters, to the hilarious interactions, to the emotional scenes that had me on the verge of tears. This contemporary adult fiction novel has anything and everything you could possible want in it. Cecy has a true gift when it comes to writing. It’s no surprise that I give Inseverable 5 out of 5 stars.

July 12, 2016

Bestselling Authors Create A Night of Magic in Los Angeles, California, August 13, 2016 !

 
WHO?
Bestselling Authors Heather Lyons, Amy Bartol, Chelsea Fine, Shelly Crane, and Stacey Marie Brown are coming together to create A Night of Magic
 
WHEN?
Saturday, August 13th from 6:00pm-10:00pm
 
WHERE?
Whimsic Alley located at 5464 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90036.
 
WHAT?
With the door proceeds, as well as the money raised through the silent auctions, going towards the Race to Erase MS and Reading is Fundamental charities, A Night of Magic will be a special and intimate event where the attendee is able to spend four hours with the authors. Limited to 100 attendees, each ticket sold includes a special swag bag filled with limited edition swag, an author signing and Q&A session, finger foods, dessert, wine and drinks, as well as some special surprises!
 

Tickets are available HERE for an unforgettable and magical night!
 
Heather Lyons, Amy Bartol, Chelsea Fine, Shelly Crane, and Stacey Marie Brown are available for interviews and more. All interview and media requests can be directed to Jessica Estep of InkSlinger PR at jestep@inkslingerpr.com or by phone at 865-221-3393.

 

Heather Lyons is the author of the award winning The Collectors’ Society series, The Deep End of the Sea, and other epic, heartfelt love stories with fantastical twists. Coming soon—The Lost Codex the exciting conclusion to The Collectors’ Society.








Amy Bartol is the USA Today Bestselling & award winning author of the Kricket Series and the Premonition Series whose stories are enlivened by words that are sure to make every romance reader melt.


Chelsea Fine is the author of The Archers of Avalon series and Sophie & Carter. Tangled with friendship, history and heartbreak—not to mention a huge dose of humor—Fine's New Adult novel The Best Kind of Broken is not to be missed!






Shelly Crane is the New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of the Significance series and The Other Side of Gravity, Crane doesn't go anywhere without her notepad for fear of an idea creeping up and not being able to write it down immediately—even in the middle of the night, where her best ideas are born.






Stacey Marie Brown is the award nominated author of the Collector and Darkness series. Brown is a lover of hot fictional bad boys and sarcastic heroines who kick butt.

July 10, 2016

Royal Marriage Market by Heather Lyons Review!


Author: Heather Lyons
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Date Published: December 15th 2015
Publisher: Cerulean Books
Page Number: 335
Synopsis:
 
Fans of The Royal We will not want to miss this epic love story!

Every decade, the world’s monarchs and their heirs secretly convene to discuss global politics and social issues—and arrange marriages between kingdoms.

Elsa may be the Hereditary Princess of Vattenguldia, but she finds the entire situation archaic and unsavory. While she wants what's best for her country, she isn't about to jump into an unwanted relationship—let alone a marriage—with a virtual stranger. Of course, her feelings matter little to her parents, whose wheeling and dealings over trade pacts and alliances achieved at her expense begin the moment they set foot in California for the Summit. So when a blindingly handsome royal runs into her, she doesn't hesitate to tell him there's no way she's marrying him.

Christian is all too happy to agree: no marriage. As the Hereditary Grand Duke of Aiboland, his main goal is to get through the summit without a bride being foisted on him. Which is why he suggests they help each other field potential intendeds. As Christian slowly gets to know Elsa, though, he realizes they have a lot more in common than just their feelings about the Royal Marriage Market. Only he can't fall for her, because royal or not, they're not meant for each other.

Elsa and Christian will have to evaluate matters of the heart verses those of state and crown, and decide whether or not tradition trumps love.
 
Review:

     I cannot tell you how excited I was when Heather announced that she would be publishing a contemporary romance novel. Beforehand, Heather had only published fantasy/paranormal novels (whose reviews of you can find here: The Collectors' Society , The Hidden Library, The Deep End of the Sea ) so I was really looking forward to seeing what she had in store for me. Then when I heard that Royal Marriage Market was about royals, arranged marriages, and romance I immediately marked down the release date because I was not going to miss that wonderful combination.  Let's just say that I was NOT disappointed.

     The book is told from two different perspectives: Elsa and Christian's. Now, if you have been following me for a while then you know that I don't usually like dual POVs because it gets too confusing most of the time, but with Royal Marriage Market their perspectives flowed easily and they both had such unique characteristics that it was really easy to switch between them and not get them mixed up.

     I have to say that right off the bat I knew I was going to love Elsa. I was immediately thrown into the story and Elsa was a firecracker from the start. Even though she was a princess she was not afraid to speak her mind, but she didn't hold back for the sake of her being royal as well. She was also really funny. She made me laugh more than a few times throughout the book and I love it when a character makes me laugh like that. She was determined and she was not backing down even when her parents were forcing her to marry someone she didn't love. I loved that about her.

     Now for Christian. I really felt for Christian as soon as he was introduced. He was forced to behave all of his life since he was a prince, and he was ready to take the chains of his royalty off and call it a day. I also wanted to hit his mother, the She-wolf, because she was so freaking evil and mean to him. She definitely sparked my protective instinct towards Christian. I immediately loved him because of his determination to not do what his mother wanted. I also loved how quick witted he was. Basically I loved everything about him. He always had a good comeback when he and Elsa verbally sparred, and he made their interactions so fun. It didn't hurt that he was hot as hell. The scenes where Elsa and him interacted were always filled with snarky remarks, hilarious jokes, and secret glances that were filled with passion. Together they practically burned up the pages, and I was SO jealous of Elsa, you have no idea. I need a Christian in my life (that sounds funny, but you know what I mean).

     Now let's talk about the plot, which is amazing. First of all, this book is about kings and queens, princes and princesses, I mean that's cool enough, right? But to add to the awesomeness, all of the royals attend a summit meeting where the Monarchs force their heirs to marry. Talk about adding a plot that will definitely stir your emotions and have you hooked from the start. I cannot tell you how invested I was in this book. From the very start, I knew that my emotions would be sucked into the story, but I was not expecting this book to make my heart race and hurt as much as it did.

     I swear Elsa and Christian's parents pissed me off so bad that I couldn't put the book down. I was determined to see if Elsa and Christian would show their parents the error of their ways in a very mean and large scale manner. Along with this book's ability to make me extremely angry at the characters it also made me wish I was a princess. Don't laugh, it's true. It also made me want a love like Christian and Elsa's. Their love was a slow burning one, but once they both realized how they felt, nothing could keep them apart not even their crazy parents. And let me tell you, the sexy time they had practically burned up the pages. Whew. Heather did an amazing job at making me fall in love with Elsa and Christian's love. I cannot talk about them enough, to be honest. This whole book surprised me because not only did it have conniving parents and an epic love story, it also had a touch of suspense and danger towards the end, which I did NOT expect. This book really had it all.

     To sum it up, I loved this book. You wouldn't think this was Heather's first time diving into the contemporary romance genre because she portrayed the genre perfectly and added her own special touch to it. I not only want to see more contemporary romance books from Heather (among her other genres), but I need to. If you don't believe that I loved it so much then maybe the fact that I stayed up until 6 AM to finish this book will convince you. 6AM. I'm not even kidding. I don't think I've been that dedicated to finishing a book in a while. Needless to say, this book is one of my favorites for sure. I definitely plan to reread it again soon. I give Royal Marriage Market five out of five stars!

June 17, 2016

Rock Wedding by Nalini Singh Cover Reveal!


New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh continues her Rock Kiss series with a hot, sweet, emotional contemporary romance about love and forgiveness…

     After a lifetime of longing for a real family, Sarah Smith thought she’d finally found her home with rock star Abe Bellamy, even if she knew Abe didn’t love her the way she loved him. But their brief relationship, filled with tragedy and heartache, nearly destroyed her. Alone, emotions in turmoil, and already shaky self-esteem shattered, Sarah struggles to pick up the pieces in the wake of their divorce.

     Abe knows he’s to blame for the end of his marriage. Caught in a web of painful memories, he pushed away the best thing in his life – the sexy, smart woman he adores – breaking them both in the process. Then fate throws him a second chance to get things right, to prove to Sarah that she means everything to him. Abe desperately wants that second chance at love...even if he knows he doesn’t deserve it.

     But can he convince Sarah – now strong and independent without him – to risk her wounded heart one more time?
 


     I LOVE books like this because I am always able to relate to the heroine so easily. I loved the first book in this Rock Kiss companion series, Rock Addiction (click the link to read my review) and I cannot wait to get my hands on Rock Wedding! Nalini is one of my favorite adult authors, and I know she will not disappoint me. I highly suggest any and all of her books!
Are you ready to see the awesome cover?



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Voila!

Isn’t it gorgeous? I love how simple yet eye-catching it is. I love covers like this. All of the covers in the Rock Kiss series are amazing, and they would look so pretty on your bookshelf! Do you love the cover? Will you be getting the book when it releases on July 19th? I know I will!

Add Rock Wedding to Goodreads!

Check out Nalini's Website!

June 15, 2016

Is YA Fiction Really Adult Fiction in Disguise?

 
     The Young Adult genre is no stranger to snide comments, hateful opinions, or condescending attitudes so it is no surprise that yet another voice was added to those that see YA novels as “less than”. Anthony McGowan, a journalist from The Guardian, released his article titled “Most YA fiction is grown-up fiction in disguise”, and I immediately knew that I would be writing a post in response to this opinion article because I know that so many people view the YA genre as this man does. That view needs to change. Therefore, I will be listing parts from McGowan’s article that I had issues with and giving my opinion on them.

Disclaimer: I am aware that McGowan’s article was an opinion post to an extent. I fully believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. However, when someone’s opinion starts to sound like an attack rather than a peaceful statement, that’s what I have an issue with.

     Right off the bat the article brings up red flags. Ignoring the article’s title, the very first sentence in this article infuriated me.

• “The boom in YA fiction is fueled by adult stories, told by adults in a grown up fashion…”

     I am sorry, I wasn’t aware that books can’t be influenced by stories outside of their targeted age range.YA books are not just focused on telling stories from a young adult’s point of view. They are about experiencing life, dealing with the trials of being a teenager, and reflecting on the events that occurred in that time of your life and then learning from them. Just because a book seems “too adult” does not mean that it’s about an adult’s story edited for young adults. Assuming that suggests that you don’t believe that that a teenager can experience or handle “adult problems” like bills, stress, relationship problems, death, depression, etc. News flash, teens are having to grow up faster than ever these days so those “adult problems and stories” are becoming the stories and problems of all ages.

     I also wasn’t aware that YA novels were not allowed to be written by adults. I wish I had known that sooner because as a 22-year-old adult writing a YA novel, that might cause problems. (That was sarcasm in case that was unclear). The YA genre is not some selective genre that only young adults can contribute to. Trust me, there isn’t a lack of teen writers, there is only an abundance of adult’s writing for the YA genre, and THAT IS NOT A BAD THING. One reason mainly adults are publishing YA novels is because they have experience behind their writing, they actually have time to focus on their writing, and they have people to help them publish their books. Teen writers don’t usually have the backing adults do or the time to focus solely on writing. Sadly, no one usually takes young adults seriously. With age comes respect and experience.

     Anyway, my point is that of course YA novels are told by mostly adults in an adult fashion because young adults are practically “adults” both physically and emotionally. We (as in those of us who read YA and are young adults) don’t need to be talked to or written about as if we are children.

• “YA fiction means many readers will never experience some wonderful writing.”

     Now, McGowan did not say this. Here he quoted a director of a children’s program at the international book festival. Did A DIRECTOR AT A BOOK FESTIVAL imply that YA fiction doesn’t contain wonderful writing? Interesting. I really have nothing to say to this except for I obviously do not agree.

• “80% of YA lit is read by people over 25.”

     Now that statistic doesn’t bother me, mainly because it isn’t true. 80% of YA lit is BOUGHT by people over 25, not read by them. Mostly because young adults are broke AF, me included. No, what bothers me is that McGowan then goes on to suggest that based on his INCORRECT statistic something is wrong with publishing and us readers.

     First of all, ignoring the incorrectness of that fact, how is that fact a bad thing and how does that mean that something is wrong with readers? Last time I checked I could read whatever I wanted.

     Second of all, McGowan supports his point by saying that the publishers of YA books claim that the YA genre is intended for teenagers therefore the target audience is missed completely. Let me stop you right there. I have never seen a YA publishing company advertise YA books as being exclusively for teens. Sure, they advertise that their YA books are ABOUT teens and perhaps it’s expected that teens read it, but never intended SOLEY for teens. In fact, those that come up with the advertisements and press releases for YA novels are ADULTS who love the YA genre as much as any of us. So why in the world would they exclude themselves that way? The targeted audience isn’t missed at all, it’s simply expanded.

Side note: the only reason YA books have a reading age minimum is because some of the content might not be suitable for someone under 13 or so. At that point, it is up to the parents to say whether it is okay to read or not, but there no reading maximum on books. It always 14+ or 15+ or something like that. Therefore, the “targeted audience” are those that are 14 or 15 years old and up.

• McGowan states that the world (specifically teens) is losing interest in books (and for the most part, it is) and goes on to claim that this is because YA books, which should belong to teens, are actually directed at older readers.

      I hate to burst this guy’s bubble, but teens aren’t losing interest in books because “teen books are actually directed at older readers”; they are losing interest because sadly, most teens find other things interesting like hanging out with friends, going to parties, focusing on school, or they associate books with school and they try to stay away because they immediately think they are boring. The idea that someone actually believes teens aren’t reading because YA books are actually intended for older readers is ludicrous. Why would it matter anyway? If they wanted to read a book, then it wouldn’t matter who the book was aimed towards.

• “I’d contend that at least some of these books appeal to me, as an adult because they are not teenage books at all. They are adult books.” McGowan further comments that the themes, the style, and often the characters belong in the world of adult lit.

     I wish McGowan would have given examples of the themes and styles he has come across that don’t reflect teens. Maybe that is because themes and style aren’t exclusive to certain genres or age groups. I have read a lot of YA and adult books, and I have never come across a theme or style that made me think “oh that belongs only in a YA book or vice versa”.

     Maybe he is talking about sexual content in YA books, but not all YA books talk about sex. I haven’t encountered many YA books that have sexual content in them and I have read a LOT of YA books. Anyway, that shouldn’t matter because teens do have sex, just like adults. I am not saying that I approve, I am just stating facts. Plus, the emotions that come with sex and the complications it may bring effect teens just like adults and so writers write about it and try to give readers a different outlook or advice on those topics. Like I said earlier, teens can experience anything an adult could.  The only difference between teens and adults is their age.

• “Much of YA is a lazy, disheartening, mush of false problems, fake situations, idealized romance, second-rate fantasy, (and) tired-dystopias. Easy to read: easy to forget.”

     Rightfully so, this sentence enraged me. How dare this man insult such a widely loved genre that has inspired millions and given readers the escape they needed.

     First of all, writing of any kind is NEVER lazy. Writing takes work, time, and effort, which is the opposite of lazy. However, there is writing that could use some work.

     Second of all, in my experience and many others, YA novels are the exact opposite of disheartening. Personally, YA prompted my interest in reading, which ultimately led to my decision to become an editor. I was inspired to join the publishing world, and I was also inspired to write.

     Thirdly, I hate to break it to you, McGowan, but fictional books are full of fake problems and fake solutions because FICTIONAL BOOKS ARENT REAL ERGO FAKE EVENTS, PROBLEMS, AND SOLUTIONS.

     Next, sure, there are books featuring idealized romances but that’s what some books are about, showing you a perfect picture of romance so you can escape the messed up and scary versions of romance in real life. Readers read to escape reality and the reality is that romance is difficult and hard; therefore, writers write about the opposite to satisfy the readers’ need for something easy and fun. It may occasionally send a bad message (not always), but most of us are smart enough to recognize those signs and often times, it is the writer’s intent to show the ugly side of romance too.

     Lastly, McGowan has obviously never read the Throne of Glass series or the Alienated series or any other YA fantasy or dystopian novel that I’ve read because he would never have said that YA is full of tired fantasy and dystopian novels. Those books are never easy to forget. Also, why would someone want a hard book to read unless that is what you are in the mood for? I don’t know about you, but I want easy books to read because reading is what I do to relax, not get stressed out over. I will never actively go after hard books to read like Shakespeare because that is just too much work to read.

 Towards the end of McGowan’s article, he “graciously” identifies the three reasons for this problem of “YA books in disguise”. He blames writers, editors, and publicists/bloggers. He basically blames everyone.

     First, he blames authors saying that their adult tastes appear in YA books. Well, obviously. It is their book after all and their tastes are going to influence their writing. Writers find inspiration from everything around them including themselves. I don’t know what McGowan means by adult tastes because I have never even heard of tastes being exclusive to age, but okay.

     Second, he suggests that editors, who are usually over 25, somehow influence YA to sound more “adult” so that it fits them. I had to laugh at this one because I thought, “what? You want 15-year-olds to edit YA books and 8-year-olds to edit middle grade books?” It is not like that can’t happen because it can, but it’s unlikely because it takes a lot of education and experience to become a great editor. Therefore, its 100% likely that an editor will be 20 years or older.  Another thing is that books go through multiple rounds of editing and final edits, and if an author saw that their book was being negatively influenced, I’m pretty sure that they would put a stop to it.  It is an editor’s job to fix mistakes in books and give the author ideas to help make the book better. I don’t even see how it would be possible to influence a book in such a way that makes it sound more adult unless that is what the book calls for.

     I also found it really condescending when he suggested that a YA book can’t or isn’t supposed to sound “adult” whatever that means. I assure you, not all teens are immature, and YA books show that. YA books show the side of teens that people rarely get to see. So sorry if that doesn’t give you ammunition to suggest that teens are stupid and immature like most people would like to believe.

     Lastly, McGowan states that almost all bloggers are adults and that they/we favor a particular type of book.

     First of all, I don’t see what that has to do with anything, Yes, about 50% (not almost all) bloggers are adults, including me. Does the fact that I’m an adult prevent me from talking about what I want? Is there some rule somewhere that says I can’t blog about young adult novels because I am an adult? Just because I am an adult doesn’t mean I can’t give my honest opinion about books.

     Secondly, of course we favor a particular type of book, good ones! Personally, I like fantasy and high fantasy novels, but I read all kinds of books. I don’t see how that pertains to this article at all. I am assuming that McGowan meant that us adults favor books for adults. Again, is it such a crazy idea that adults can like anything outside of the socially constructed idea of what adults should like for example, action figures, plushies, coloring, young adult and middle grade books, etc.? If anything adults want to forget that they are adults and read a book about young love, crazy adventures, etc. I know I do. I’ll say it again, books aren’t categorized into genre’s to alienate anyone, they are categorized into genre’s so that you know what you are getting into.
 
     People need to realize that YA books aren’t just about teens who go to parties and hang out. YA novels are about showing you how to stand up for yourself, overcome hardships, navigate through broken friendships or a broken heart, how to handle abuse, or how to survive in a world that wants to tear you down. YA novels are about growing up and learning lessons and becoming the person you are meant to be, but that doesn’t mean that adults can’t learn from YA books too. Adults grow up and learn lessons too, the only difference is that they are older when they do. YA books aren’t “adult books in disguise” they are books about teens who experience life, grow up, and learn lessons just as adults do. 

     The YA genre is a legitimate outlet for expressing yourself and learning something about life. There is nothing wrong with adults reading and liking a YA book, it happens all the time. There is no need to say “oh I like this YA book but it’s really an adult book in disguise” to try and make yourself feel better about liking a book “that is only for teens” because there is nothing for you to feel bad about. Read what you like and love it for what it is. Don’t ever be ashamed to read a book that is considered by society to be out of your age range or unsuitable for you.

     I hope this post was enlightening in some way or I was able to do justice to the YA genre. Share this post if you agree with anything I said or you want to show that world that you are a proud reader of YA books no matter what.

Cheers.

May 19, 2016

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas Review!


Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: YA/New Adult Fantasy
Date Published: May 3rd, 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Page Number: 624

Synopsis: 

 Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.
 
Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.
 
With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.
 
Review:
     A Court of Mist and Fury is a fantasy book that will blow you away. If you were hesitant to read this book after A Court of Thorns and Roses, then rest assured that this book will leave you full of emotions and stunned at the magical world that is A Court of Mist and Fury. The first book in any series is always touch and go due to the need for in depth descriptions and heavy world building. This often results in a lull of action and adventure, but it is necessary. You may have experienced that in ACOTAR, but in ACOMAF, there is no lack of action, emotion, or adventure. Below you will witness my ramblings about my love for this book, how crazy it made me, and basically me fangirling over everything about this book.

     There really is no way for me to express how much I loved this book. This book.... man. Where do I start? This book wrecked me in the best way possible. It left me gasping for air and wishing I had just a hundred more pages left with Feyre and Rhysand. You know that feeling when a book consumes you so completely that once you finish it you are just numb? That was me after I finished this book. I have said it once and I will say it again, Sarah J Maas has a gift from the gods when it comes to writing. She can spin the most beautiful tales and the most terrifying scenes. She can take a fictional character and make her/him feel like a tangible person that could easily leap off of the page and become real. Sarah doesn't sugar coat her books. She writes it like it is, and that raw power that she has so graciously woven into her books makes them that much more magical. When you read a SJM book, you are able to feel what the characters are feeling and experience every moment of their journey as if it were your own. When you read a SJM book, you will know that the magical world of books is a powerful one.

     I started out reading ACOMAF not knowing how devastatingly beautiful it would be or the emotional journey it would take me on. In the first book, we just scratch the surface of the possible devastation that can befall our beloved characters. In ACOMAF, we finally see that not everything is what it seems and the people who are seen as monsters are the ones who are actually salvation. Feyre is put through so much in this book, and she gives so much that her generosity and strength never failed to amaze me. She survived the horrors under the mountain, barely, and she finally got a glimpse at the future she so rightly deserves only to have it taken away at the wave of a hand. The moment all of that was taken away from her I felt a rage come over me that only a SJM book can conjure.  I didn't know whether to cry or scream or both. This book had a way of capturing my emotions and playing them like a fiddle. I read this book in one day, and in that one day, I was sucked into the world of Prythian and taken on an emotional journey that I didn't think my heart would be able to withstand.

     One of the many things that I loved about ACOMAF is that it made me feel things so strongly that I forgot the feelings were driven by fictional characters in a book. This book made me feel so strongly that I forgot the physical world around me and was devoured by the fictional world. I knew ACOMAF wouldn't be an easy book to read, but I had no idea my heart would hurt so much for Feyre or how much I would hate characters I had come to love in ACOTAR. Maas has a way of twisting my heartstrings (pulling them is too docile for her) and tangling them up into a ball of emotions that range from sadness, rage, terror, and occasionally happiness. But this book had me raging from the start because Maas has a way of writing characters and stories that can piss you off so easily that it is an art form.

     Another thing that I admire about Maas and her writing in this book is her ability to address issues of abuse in such a gentle yet compelling way. In ACOTAR, we are introduced to a character that both physically and emotionally abused those around her, but we never got to see the aftermath. In ACOMAF, we get to see the fall out and how the abuse of one character can damage so many lives. This book addresses what it is like for the victims of physical and emotional abuse and how that abuse can affect them. PTSD, horrible nightmares, becoming an abuser themselves, low self-esteem, and many more topics are addressed in this book and it was eye opening to see such dark topics discussed in this book. However, the book does not focus on those topics heavily. I would suggest that if any of those topics are a serious trigger for you, then you might want to read this book with caution because even as a person who hasn’t really experienced any of those things, it was a lot to take in and it made me very emotional.

     That being said, I cannot tell you how much I loved Feyre. She is not the perfect heroine that is too often portrayed in books these days. She didn’t get things instantaneously, she had her struggles with many things including reading, and she was living in a world she didn’t understand with people who had been hiding things from her since she got there. However, despite all of that, despite the horrors she went through under the mountain, she SURVIVED. She dealt with her shortcomings and her terrible past and used it to make herself stronger. THAT is the kind of character young girls and boys should be reading about. Feyre is the kind of character that was an underdog at first, but because she refused to give up, she became stronger throughout the whole book.

     I don't want to reveal much because this is a book that needs to be discovered itself and not simply told about. Just know that as someone who has read over 2,000 books, this book is among my top ten favorites of all time. This book was full of action, romance (my God, the romance is not for the young or faint of heart), adventures, schemes, revelations, and funny moments thrown in. This book is one that you cannot and should not miss out on. Maas has outdone herself again, and while I wait for the third book in the series, I will be trying to pick myself up from this book. Is it any surprise that I give this book the five stars it deserves?

(P.S. In Night Court fashion, all I can say is that I hope that Feyre and Rhysand's enemies blood will flow like a river in the next book, and I cannot wait to see them on their knees begging for mercy where Feyre finally has her revenge.)

March 10, 2016

My Thoughts On White Authors Writing About Peple of Color.

 
A term to know: PoC means person/people of color

DISCLAIMER:

     A few things for you to keep in mind while you read this post:

     This post contains my opinion on a very sensitive and controversial topic, and I am aware that people get huffy about that stuff; but this post is not for the faint of heart. I have held my tongue on this topic long enough, and I am tired of sitting back and watching it all happen.
 

     In this post, I am defending the white authors who have been brave enough to feature a PoC in their books. I am in no way shape or form defending those who have incorrectly portrayed a diverse character (correct portrayal of a PoC to me is to portray them without stereotypes or myths), but I am defending the authors who have done their research and correctly represented diversity.

     This post is about how unfair it is to bash white authors who have written about PoC AND done it correctly. Therefore, whenever I mention white authors writing about PoC, remember that I am talking about the authors who have done their research if the characters call for it, and are correctly and accurately representing diversity.

     I know some of you are rolling your eyes or foaming at the mouth already because I am part of the majority that publishers cater to, which makes it seem like authors do as well. I am a white female and there are millions of books targeted towards me and my preferences. I get it. You think I don’t have a horse in this race because I am not a PoC, but as a writer who enjoys creative freedom, I sure as hell will not step down and allow fellow authors to be attacked because they wanted to include diverse characters in their books.

(Although this post is specifically about writing about PoC, I am also referring to all forms of diversity)

Without further ado, read on at your own risk.

WHY I AM WRITING THIS POST:

http://www.diversityinya.com/

     The book community has been through the ringer these past few years with many different tiffs and troubles, but one issue in particular really stuck with me… The issue of diverse representation from white authors.

     Now, this post is not targeted towards the people who cry out for diverse books. Oh no, I am with them 100% because I want equality for everyone. I want everyone to be represented in books. I understand PoC getting mad about not being represented correctly in books. I understand being angry about possible stereotypes, and I understand wanting to feel like every time you pick up a book that you will be able to relate to the character in some way. I really do. I am in no way shape or form saying that I am against diversity or those calling out for it. I AM against bashing white authors for writing accurately portrayed diverse books.

     I am against those who belittle and shame the authors who make an effort to add diversity into their books. I am talking to the people who go out of their way to make accusations saying that an author is just adding in diverse characters to “placate people” or “check it off of a diversity list”. Am I the only one who is floored by those accusation? I wasn’t aware that if I wanted to add a diverse character into my story that I was only doing it for everyone else, and not myself or the story. The fact that we are being so selfish about the books that authors write is one of the problems. Authors write their books for themselves and no one else. I am sure that authors want to make money, everyone does, but I highly doubt that they would add in an additional character for no reason but to make some people happy. Even if they did add a diverse character just to add a diverse character then why is that so bad? What is so wrong about an author writing what they want?

     I am all for equality, equal representation, and making those not in the majority of the population feel like they belong, because they do. I will strive for equality as hard as the next person, believe me. However, I am not a fan of how some of those who are hungry for diversity are handling the white authors who are trying to feature more PoC in their writing. I have heard/seen the statements listed below mentioned by so many people and I know some, if not all of you have seen them or statements similar.


“White people do not have the right to write about PoC.”


     “White people shouldn’t write about black people because they aren’t black.”

    
     Generalizing about these things will not help anyone. Instead of saying “white people shouldn’t write about PoC”, you should say “those who do not correctly research the topic or try as hard as they can to correctly portray that PoC should not be writing about that PoC.”

Another statement that I see so often that floors me is something similar to this:


“You killed that diverse character and no one else. You killed them because they were different/diverse and you can’t do that because that is racist (or other form of discrimination that applies).
 

     Here is what I have to say to that: Authors create books because they want readers to be able to escape into their book world and enjoy every minute of it. They write books with the intention of providing readers with a good and exciting time. I may not know every author on the face of this earth, but I can guarantee you that 99% of them do not single out characters to kill because of their skin color unless that is part of the plot (Ex: a book about slavery or prejudice). The idea of it is absurd.

     Many people on this bandwagon have targeted Sarah J. Maas because one of the characters killed in her book happened to be a PoC. If the character had been white, there wouldn’t have been an uproar, but that goes to show you that color has nothing to do with a character’s demise. I hate to spoil your fun, but authors kill white characters all the time because that is often how the plot goes. Their skin color has nothing to do with it. A character dies because that is what the story calls for and it propels the storyline forward. So many people have condemned Sarah for killing that character because they think that she targeted her because of her race and used her to further the story. I hate to break it to you, but EVERY character in every book ever created is used to further the story. That is kind of the point of additional characters. The fact that that character was killed had nothing to do with the fact that she was a PoC. It had to deal with the fact that because she was close to the main character, she was killed to propel the main character into action. In fact, the same thing happened earlier to another character in the Throne of Glass series. That death had to happen or else the main character wouldn’t have been hell bent on revenge, which is one of the major plot points of the series. That character was a white man, and no one else condemned SJM for killing him. SJM couldn’t have furthered the plot with any other characters and gotten the reaction that she needed from the main character that made sense because those characters were so close. The cause of the two character’s demise had to do with propelling the main character into action. One of them just happened to be a PoC, but she could have been white too. THE COLOR OF HER SKIN DIDN’T MATTER. However, people are so blinded by their own misconceptions that they project that awful intention onto SJM and tried to crucify her for something that never even crossed her mind.
 
http://www.diversityinya.com/

A FEW REASONS TO CHANGE YOUR TUNE:

•      It is NOT okay to dictate or bash an author for writing about a PoC just because they are white. As long as they do it correctly and accurately, I see no problem with it. People are telling white authors that they shouldn’t write something simply because they cannot relate to it. If that is the case then we would be without fantasy, sci-fi, paranormal, urban fantasy, contemporary, and romance books, along with so many more genres. Why? Because I am pretty sure that most authors cannot relate to being a shapeshifter or crime fighting powerhouse with magic. You get what I am saying? Telling an author that they shouldn’t write about something that they cannot relate to is like telling an author they shouldn’t write. No one has the right to tell an author that they shouldn’t do something because of the color of their skin. Sound familiar? Yeah, I thought so.

•      Having an author stay in their own little box and write what they know would hinder them from writing fantasy novels or any novels that would require creativity. To be an author, it is essential for you to be creative and think outside the box. Michael Chabon, when interviewed by Slate.com, stated my thoughts perfectly. He said,

“...if I can’t write from the point of view of a black woman nurse-midwife, then I can’t write from anybody’s point of view. That’s why I do this. I use my imagination to imagine myself living lives I don’t live and being people who I’m not.” (Read the full article here).

•      No one has the right to tell an author what they should or shouldn’t write about. No one has the right to shame an author for writing their book the way they want to because it is THEIR book and no one else’s. If they are doing something offensively then they should be reprimanded respectfully, but that is a different blog post.

     By telling a white author that they shouldn’t write about PoC, you are basically telling authors to isolate their writing because of their race. You are hindering their creativity by saying that white people should only write about white people, and on a larger scale that black people should only write about black people, Hispanic people should only write about Hispanic people, etc. By that logic, you could take it even further and say that those who belong to a certain religion should only write about those who belong to that same religion, or democrats should only write about democrats. You could check off every little category a person can put themselves into and say an author should only write about these things because that is what they relate too, and what do you have? A book that lacks imagination, creativity, life, and freedom.

     The bottom line is that an author has the right to write whatever they feel like writing as long as they are being respectful and not intentionally being offensive (some things can sound offensive without intending to be) because the books they write aren’t for us, they are for them. Sure, we get to enjoy the books, but authors write for themselves and no one else.

     I probably sound like I am all over the place, and that is because I am. I have so much that I want to say, but I cannot seem to pick what to say first. But know that I am tired of seeing people shaming authors for writing diverse characters into their books because they are white. Save that energy and channel it towards promoting authors of color who write about PoC if that makes you feel better. DO something about the lack of diversity in books that is actually helpful, and stop making authors feel bad for writing their books the way they are allowed to. There are so many issues in today’s society that another problem to argue about isn’t helping anyone. I know that people have the right to speak their mind, but when that opinion starts hurting others then it is time to put a stop to it.

HOW TO PUT DIVERSITY INTO THE SPOTLIGHT THE RIGHT WAY:

     There definitely needs to be more diversity in books and believe it or not, there are white writers chomping at the bit to feature diverse main characters that you all have been asking for. The reason they haven’t written about them is because they are scared about the backlash. Authors are terrified of hateful criticism and hearing opinions and phrases like I mentioned earlier. That isn’t what you want, is it? There are ways to bring the concept of diversity into the light the right way, without bashing the authors who are attempting to help. Here are my suggestions on bringing diversity into the forefront of everyone’s mind:

1)      Support ANY author who is writing about a PoC (as long as they are doing so correctly). If a white author publishes a book featuring a PoC then spread the word! Let everyone know that that author correctly portrayed a PoC or other diverse character and that will encourage the author and others to write more PoC into their books.

     - This is a list of books I’ve read by white authors who were brave enough to handle possible criticism and featured a PoC in their book, and they did it flawlessly:

1. Joyride by Anna Banks
2. Wildfire by Karsten White
3. Darkness Rising Trilogy by Kelly Armstrong
4. The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

(This isn’t a complete list by any means, but they are the ones I thought of right off the top of my head.) 

     - On the flip side of this, do not bash an author who has mistakenly misrepresented a PoC or other diverse character. Privately tell them what is wrong with the representation and how they can fix it. Give them tips on how to research better. Beating down ignorance will not solve the problem; correcting said ignorance will.

2)      Nicely let publishers know that you want diverse books. Authors can write all day about whatever they want, but if the publishers do not see a market for that book then they won’t sell it. Publishing companies want to make money, like everyone else, and they want to sell something that the public is wanting/needing. Therefore, if there is a huge demand for diverse books, then publishers will definitely start putting diverse books onto the shelves. It is a simple supply and demand issue. If the supply of diverse books is high, but the demand is low and vice versa, then publishing companies do not want to spend the money to publish it only to lose it. However, when the supply AND demand are high then voila! We have diverse books. So let publishers know that you want more diverse books, start a campaign on you twitter or blog, make it your mission to get publishing companies to notice your cry for diverse books.

     - There is also a flip side to this too. Do not angrily demand diverse books or bash publishing companies calling them prejudice because they are not producing the diverse books that you want. We are so quick to suspect everyone of being sinister when in reality publishing companies just don’t see a high enough demand for diverse books; therefore, they don’t publish them. Most of the time, the fact that there aren’t more diverse books has nothing to do with the skin color of those that work at the publishing companies. Saying so without proof would make you sound ignorant.

3)      Lastly, support authors of color or diversity. Supporting these authors and their books about PoC and other diverse people will propel the book world into a time of diversity and equality. Showing support to the minority of authors who often get left behind will encourage them to keeping doing what they are doing and make a difference. As a community, we can make a difference, and all we have to do is nicely and respectfully voice or opinions and requests, and I can guarantee you that we will see a change.

     If you read this far then I should send you a cookie or a book because you are a trooper. I know this was a heavily opinionated blog post and I know I will get flack for it, but I was/am tired of keeping my mouth shut. I doubt this post will change anything, but I had to try. All I have left to say is be kind to each other and target your energy into making a difference, not crippling creativity.

Cheers.

P.S. A huge thanks to Taylor Tracy and Adriyanna Zimmermann for helping me edit this huge post! Check out their blogs by clicking on their names, you won’t regret it!