Thursday, June 30, 2016

How to Handle Books that You Disagree With (Satire)

1. Don't read the book
Other people's reviews and opinions are more than enough to inform your rock solid stance on the issue. If you're stance starts to waver, get far away from the book and go read another blog post.

2. Steel your defenses
If you really cannot resist the temptation to read the book, make sure you go into it with your opinions already formed. This is the best way to make sure that the book does not force you to re-evaluate your standpoints. The person who said "if your opinion is truly correct than it can stand up to any questions" has clearly never been in a Twitter battle before.

3. Keep the controversy front and center
Now that you've got your opinions fortified for battle, don't lose sight of your enemy. Characters may be charming and the writing may be poetic, but don't let those features distract you from the purpose of your reading. By all means, do not let yourself get emotionally involved; boarding a ship will only sail you away on a sea of feels away from that controversy.

4. Align the characters' opinions with those of the author's
The author wrote the character's offensive behavior and ideals, so they must reflect the author's personal viewpoints. Write what you know, eh? This is especially applicable if the offensive behavior is coming from the main character, who is supposed to be the good guy.

5. Make no distinctions between glorifying and discussing an issue
If an issue is being talked about, it is encouraging the reader to participate in said activity. All publicity is good publicity. Characters must outwardly (and preferably verbally) condemn the controversy so that the reader is not required to draw their own conclusions (possibly allowing for the wrong one to be drawn). At all times, protect the reader.

6. Post a damning review on social media
Once the book is read, it's time for the review. The best reviews get right to the meat of the topic: the controversy. Most book reviews break the book down into sections like, characters, plot, writing style, etc., but the reviews for books that you disagree with can be different. Nobody cares how well-crafted the book was, tell us what you think about the issues. Don't forget to include a few details about the book; character names are usually helpful! This step is even better when combined with step 1.

7. If in doubt, disengage
If at any point you are wildly confused with where you stand on your stance, that you developed in step 2, disengage. The best way to protect your opinions from change or development disintegration is to walk away from the conversation, even the conversation that you are having in your own thoughts. Don't listen to either side of the argument, just pretend it never happened.

This tutorial has really been weighing heavy on my mind lately, so I hope you enjoyed it. If you found these tips helpful, please let me know! Let me know all your thoughts below (by "all your thoughts" I mean the thoughts that align with my own, obviously). Comment away!

Reading: Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix
Watching: Casey Neistat vlogs
Listening: Lights

*If you didn't pick up on the large amounts of sass in this post, this is a heads up that this post was completely satirical. I hope you enjoyed this departure from my usual style. 


  1. So many people I knew in high school did this! I always though I'd hate Twilight, but I read it anyway so I was well-informed and capable of giving an opinion that wasn't just based on "I don't like sparkling campires". You should've seen my friends' faces! After reading the books I still didn't really like them, but at least I could tell exactly why and have a polite conversation about it.

    x Envy
    Lost in Translation

    1. Good for you! I always advocate for reading books that create a lot of buzz so that you can properly discuss it. I also love that you said "polite conversation," being polite is key.

      Thanks for commenting!

  2. In some regards, I think this is valuable because I have needed to do commit to a process like this, especially when I am in the process of disengaging from certain values that I was raised by. Having realized that the religion I was raised on has many supporters who are doing more damage than good with their words, I find it really important to put reviews of their work out there that make it clear that these religiously-based books are not good.

    At the same time, I feel like it's important to make a habit of reading things you disagree with. If I hadn't decided to read works that dealt with feminism, LGBTQ+ issues, sexuality, and so forth, I would still be in the dark today on a lot of issues. And even in matters that don't matter so much, if I'd stuck to a militant hatred of the Twilight Saga I'd never have known how much I adore the series now (as problematic as it might be). And the same goes for many other YA novels!

    So, in that regard, I think these are good ideas, but should also be taken with a grain of salt. If you don't read things that make you uncomfortable, then I don't see how you can grow. And personal growth, to me, makes a lot more of the difference.

    1. And I knowwwwww that it was satire but I think that even if it was there are some situations where it can be good. And also the satire notice was too small and I thought you were serious so I noticed as an afterthought.


    2. Haha, it's all good. I wasn't even going to put the notice, but I'm glad that I did.

      I definetly agree with what you said about reading things that you disagree with. I've had similar experiences with gaining new perspectives on hot issues that I had already decided on. I love what you said about reading things that make you uncomfortable, because it encourages growth.

      Thanks for sharing some of your ideas:)

  3. This is very good advice because there is a fine line between forming your own opinion, following the opinion of your crowd, and letting the material get to you despite your convictions.

    There are some books that once I found out more about I am never going to read because I know I disagree with the themes and don't want to become part of the emotional warfare that wants to make me believe otherwise (Me Before You). However, books like The Hunger Games and Divergent I read because I was curious as to the worldview of the author behind it all. I was able to absorb and judge the content for myself despite whether my friends liked it or not. In the end, I enjoyed HG and liked most of the points the author made. With Divergent, though deeper, I could not get past some of the content and shallow characters. It really just depends. But I am better armed to discuss the last two because I read them for myself.

    Again, great post! :D

    1. Although this post was largely satirical, there a a few points that might be useful in certain scenarios. I definetly think it's best to read books that challenge you, like you did with The Hunger Games and Divergent.

      Thanks for commenting and your kind words:)

  4. Haha, I knew I sensed sarcasm! Especially when you said 'if your stance begins to waver'.

    I read books that I disagree with and sometimes I like them, other times I don't.

    1. You sensed right!

      You should always read books that you want to read. If you want to read books you disagree with, then you should, but if you want to read for pleasure than you should do that too.

  5. I was reading this and I was like "wait. wait. There is a catch right?" BUT YES hahah of course you MUST stick with your opinion. Opinions can never change ;) And of course characters reflect the author's standpoint. That's why they were written, am I right or am I right?

    Ok but on a less sarcastic note. I actually read A Court of Thorns and Roses (and one day the sequel too) just so that I could understand what everyone was talking about. I still was pretty mixed about it, but hey, at least I kept an open mind!

    Absolutely loved this post Sunny!!

    1. Haha, glad that you liked the post!

      I have yet to read A Court of Thorns and Roses, but I probably should since I loved the Throne of Glass series so much. It's always good to read popular books with an open mind.

  6. I'm curious ... what book brought about this discussion? Because it's a good one. There are several books I don't agree with but I sort of want to read just so I have a formed opinion like Twilight or Me, Before You. This is a good thing to bring up. There are some books that are popular but just aren't morally right.

  7. I'm over here struggling with my own smugness about the people who couldn't tell from the first sentence that this was satire. Kind of an embarrassing thing to see in myself. Excellent post. I'm remimnded of the young man I met recently whose parents didn't let him read Harry Potter "because it was witchcraft," but paid no attention to all the other fantasy he read.

  8. LOVE the sarcasm here...makes me smile! I am a sarcasm enthusiast.

    I wish you a wonderful start to the week :)


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