Okay guys, so if you follow me on GR you might already know that I read Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee earlier this month and I had quite a few thoughts on it. Or more specifically I had quite a few thoughts on how we, as a bookish community have reacted to said book. So, sit back, grab some tea and a biscuit because I’m about to rant.
Tash Hearts Tolstoy is your run of the mill, typical geeky YA book. Think, Queens of Geek for classics nerds. It’s not a bad book, in my opinion, it’s just mediocre ya contemporary (keeping in mind that ya cont is not my fave genre). So what’s my gripe with this book? Well, actually nothing. It has good rep, it has different and 3D characters and a pseudo-interesting plot. Tash Hearts Tolstoy has a lot of good things going for it. So why am I writing this blog post??
Well, as I was reading Tash it occurred to me again that whenever I have heard someone talk about the book, it’s been only to brag abt the Asexuality rep the book contains. The mc, Tash is romantic asexual and that’s all you will know via booktube or most blogs unless you read a review or look the book up because no one seems to be divulging any other information. Which got me thinking, why do we treat diverse books like this? We show them off in our hauls and tbrs but how much are we actually paying attention to the book itself?
My issue is not with the book. My issue is with us as a community. My issue is with how we flaunt sexuality without paying attention to the content. This is not in reference to anyone in particular, or even to the whole community. But, I have noticed that a lot of us do this. We attain a book purely because of the rep and that’s it. I’m not discounting the rep, or saying representation (good rep, that is) is bad. But, I am saying that the actual content should matter, not just the characters’ sexuality, skin colour or position in life etc.
I am all for accurate representation in books, but I think the actual book itself should matter too. Don’t just buy the book because of the rep, get praise for it in your tbr, and then never touch it again.
And, on the flip side, if you do read it, don’t expect a pat on the back and don’t give it five stars just because the mc is black and you’re not. Don’t give the book 5 stars just because it taught you what Asexuality is. It’s great that you learnt something new, but what about the book itself? Taking the rep out of the equation, was it any good? If the book had been about a straight white teen would you have rated it so highly?
Don’t hate me, and if you have a different opinion please talk to me in the comments! But, I think that it’s almost an insult to the author to give their book 5 stars when you really thought it was pretty lacklustre. Also, with the rise of authors chucking ill thought out and terrible rep into their books (particularly non-ownvoices) shouldn’t we be praising our diverse rep and showing these authors that hey, I loved the rep but maybe the plot left a bit to be desired?? But, I’m still looking forward to seeing you improve and seeing yourr writing develop over the course of your career!
Shouldn’t we be building up and supporting our diverse authors instead of just reading books written by people who honestly don’t really know what they’re writing about (*coughs* Becky Albertalli)???
Look, I honestly don’t know where this discussion has gone as I’ve been writing it but, I stand by what I’ve said and if I lose a few followers over it, so be it. But, having a book with good rep (aka Tash) is amazing but, shouldn’t we actually then go ahead and read the damn thing??? All I’m saying is we need to actually pay attention to these wonderful diverse books we’ve been blessed with and actually read them instead of hauling them or putting them on a tbr and never thinking about them again.
If you want to read any of my thoughts while reading Tash Hearts Tolstoy click here.
I hope this discussion/rant (???) wasn’t too dramatic and that I actually managed to get some kind of a point across within my rambles. Either way, thanks for clicking on my post and have a god day!