Wonder Crush Wednesday is a weekly post by yours truly where I choose to discuss the wonders of diversity. We all have Superman and/or Superwoman within us. The right representation is needed to make sure that everyone knows that. These posts aim to highlight diversity in both literature and other aspects of life. Feel free to adapt this on your blog too!
Every week (not recently, due to exams) I try to highlight positive aspects of diversity. I don’t know if you watch Modern Family but there’s this episode when Cameron and Mitchell’s daughter starts speaking and they clap anytime they mention adoption to try to destigmatise the word. That’s what I feel that I have been attempting to do with these weekly posts. Today, I thought I’d take another approach and write a bit about “diverse” books I’ve had an issue with and why.
Me, Earl, and The Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
I read this book almost a year and a half ago and I still fume when I hear it being mentioned. It’s been made into a film so I’m guessing everyone knows what it’s about. It follows the typical “annoying boy redemption” arc that I hate with a passion.
This book was so frustrating. But half way through I just stopped being angry and started writing in the book. There are so many things I hate with this book. But the most annoying thing was how the author seemed to take claim of issues and questions that weren’t really his.
The stereotyping was tiresome. The biphobia was jarring. The unnecessary content was abhorrent.
I really should have listened to the epilogue, and every other line in the book, that told me to put it down. The narrator admits it’s a shitty book, and I’m so glad that is a fact. Ugh don’t read this ignorant excuse for literature. The book was not funny, it was offensive, it was racist, it was biphobic, and extremely gross. If there’s a reason I hate men, this book is one of the many reasons.
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
Eleanor, a chubby redhead, and Park, a half-Korean, fall in love and the whole book community die over it. I totally fell in love with the book as well and I won’t hide the fact that I gave it a four star rating. Despite that, when I put it down there were some things that didn’t sit right with me. I don’t feel angry, like I do with the Jesse Andrews book, but like I’ve been slapped across the cheek with a wet fish…
Ignoring the fetishisation, what really bothered me was Eleanor’s “othering” of Park. She never seemed to look at him like her boyfriend, someone she was in love with, or anything other than someone stereotypically half-Korean. It made me feel weird because it made me wonder if every white in a mix-race relationship is like that? It made me think of my white friends, do they always think of me in that way? If I do something extraordinary do they think it’s because I’m just awesome or will they attribute it to my “Arabic magic”?
It was just written from a very uneducated and stereotypical POV, I really hope people don’t actually think like that because it would make me very sad…
The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
This is one of my all time favourite series of all time in the world that is my favourite. That didn’t make sense nor do my feelings for the characters in this book!
Blue “othering” Adam: “Oh, no I don’t mean Adam’s type of country people.”
Blue being upset that Orla wears a two-piece in front of the guys but reduces her feminism to “not shaving my legs.” Fucking. White. Feminism.
My constant thought throughout the series was how much space was given to every character but the women. Yes, they were important, but it seemed like they were tools to explore the stories. The guys were all fully rounded and had redemption arcs and character development.