*deep, resounding sigh*
On Monday DA posted a verbose Letter of Opinion about reading diverse books. The actual point of the letter was a little muddled but the overarching idea was that that no one should feel forced to read or purchase diverse books just because they are diverse.
She also mentioned how the authors of color that she has reviewed say she goes harder on them. I mean, that’s just facts. I’ve read reviews where the author’s work was dissected line by line or even stripped bare by two reviewers in a way that most of the mainstream books and authors aren’t.
But that’s DA. I’m used to that brand of bullshit from them but….
This was supposed to be a list of ten must-read romances, right? So why did this blogger not mention what she likes about the Beverly Jenkins book instead of “get your points for diversity here!”
That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this fucking works.
I really don’t get why everyone is making this so hard. And all this defensiveness says something else that I’m going to circle back around to later. But first, let me make myself very clear–do not read my books just because I am an author of color or because I write about people of color. Read my books because they read just like some of the popular mainstream books out there. Read my books because they are part of your favorite genre to read. Read my books because they appeal to you as a reader NOT because you’re trying to get your diverse reads merit badge.
This resistance to what’s unfamiliar is so ingrained that most of you don’t see what you’re doing. You think you’re doing us a solid by including us in your “very white” list, but it falls down when you say that’s why you’re doing it. Just say why you liked the book. It’s that simple. Read a book and review it just like you would any other. It really is that simple. You don’t have to hashtag it or even mention that there are diverse characters in any way unless it’s important to the story. The whole point of my #AOCReads2015 is to get eyes on books that are overlooked. Sites like BookRiot and Dear Author could do that by just reading and reviewing. The fact that there is so much complaining about books with diverse characters just says to me that you all really don’t want to read them and honestly, maybe that’s okay.
I’d take that over a half-assed shoutout any day.