I usually refrain from leaving negative reviews. Believe me. I know how it feels to get those. Not nice! And sometimes, they are completely crazy off the wall, like "did you even read the book?" So, I didn't leave a review. I internalized what I'd read...over and over for several hours. The book made me roll my eyes, groan, get defensive, and then--eventually--made me mad.
But after running through the emotions of dislike, I got to a point where I'd processed enough to see a bigger picture...and I wondered, How does a fiction novel influence our decisions?
My own conscience feels a responsibility to the reader.
1. not to be too biased or one-sided: double-edged sword here in today's world.
2. do my research
The book I stopped reading yesterday had some immature moments, some moments of disbelief. I can take all of that, but then the author stepped up onto a platform for mental health. The move surprised me and made me hesitate. I tepidly kept reading, wondering what she was going to do next.
And then I got mad. Because the author presented the use of drugs as a good, normal way to fix a problem, when all the reading and research I've done...the talking to other people...has left me feeling completely uncertain [please note, I didn't say 'left me feeling like it was wrong for everyone']. The side effects can be harsh and far-reaching: from headaches to suicide.
And then--the icing on the cake--the author compared the use of these drugs with a Type I Diabetic using insulin. And it didn't matter that I was a breath away from finishing the book. I didn't finish.
T1D is NOT a mental disorder, to be determined based on talking about things. It's a disease. A person with T1D is BROKEN. Without insulin, a T1D will DIE. So, tell me how that's the same as this hero having a temper he can't control and taking mind-altering drugs?
I couldn't relate at all. I felt the author glossed over the reality of using SSRI [selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors], and it made me sad for people who won't do the research on the drugs or who are being pressured to use it, who might actually be influenced by--yes--a romance novel.
I think I could have taken the presentation of the SSRI in the story, if there had been more... conflict, less of a stance or platform in how it was shown in the story. And definitely, it would have been key to not have the use of SSRI compared to the use of insulin.
Writing books is a hard business. It's often that we--authors--will offend someone or write a point of view that differs from a readers beliefs. There's nothing wrong with differing beliefs--usually. And maybe that means there is nothing wrong with the book I didn't finish. Maybe for some it offered hope! And they left the story filled with a good feeling.
I felt sad. And I felt convicted to be more careful... but also, to be truer to my values in my own books. :) So, I'm ending this thought process with acceptance toward this author's mistakes. It didn't make me happy. It ticked me off. I think she should have done more research and made a better show of....life.
But, I'm not mad anymore--processing things will do that! And I feel better because I've had my say, which is what blogging is for, right?