Recently I got a message on tumblr, criticising me for liking Sarah J. Maas "problematic books".
At first I was pretty confused. While reading the first books of the series I didn't notice any problematic stuff. So I decided to educate myself and after a quick search on tumblr and a bit of asking around I realized, that yes, the Throne of Glass, as well as A Court of Thorns and Roses are both indeed problematic.
And this made me wonder, aren't all books problematic? And can't I just enjoy them nevertheless?
The answer is pretty simple. Everyone and everything is problematic. You can't find anything that is perfect. No book nor movie nor person is.
And that's totally okay. Something can be both flawed and amazing at the same time. A book can contain problematic aspects and it's not terrible if you still like it.
(There's this awesome video by Laci Green about this topic if you're interested.)
I think the most important thing in that case is to acknowledge the problems, never excuse or ignore them, get educated on the topic and discuss them.
Please, never ever shame or judge someone because they liked a book you found super problematic. Instead discuss it with them. (@that anon who started all of this: Thanks for informing me, next time maybe elaborate more if it's possible.)
I often oversee problematic stuff in books, they way I did with the Throne of Glass books. But I got informed about it, and while I'm really sad that Sarah J. Maas included those aspects, I still love the first three books (if you've read my Queen of Shadows review you know I didn't like that one very much). And there is nothing wrong about it.
For those TOG fans may be interested about the mentioned problematic aspects, here they are:
- racism: a) there is the lack of POC characters and b) the only two WOC characters were brutally murdered for the development of white characters
- slut-shaming: some people consider Celaena this amazing feminist, yet she goes around and slut-shames her fellow female characters
What about you guys? You have any problematic books you can't help but to love?