Is it truly a bad thing to be a loyal fan?
I’m sure we’re all familiar of how it feels like to be part of a fandom! We’re all fans of certain book series, movies, TV shows…if there’s a name for it, there’s a group of people passionately carrying it somewhere out there. But, of course, being in a fandom can become hella complicated pretty quickly, and as bookworms, I feel like it’s a conversation that has popped up often.
I would say there’s definitely been a push for readers to approach books critically, not just being able to say a book is bad if you think so, but also pointing out things that could be portrayed as problematic or harmful to other potential readers, which is fantastic, and I’m pretty sure we all have enough compassion and empathy to understand why that is necessary and have the drive to do it. That situation can become a tad bit complicated when it turns to our favorite series and authors, though, which begs the question: how the heck do we figure it out?
I think we all probably have a particularly unhealthy attachment to a certain fandom, whether it surrounds a book, a show, a movie, etc.
You’re dedicated to it, you buy all the merchandise, you keep up with all the news, you bond with others over it…but what to do when something you love is criticized? Personally, my base instinct is to be overprotective and angry. I’m someone who doesn’t enjoy reading one-star reviews of my favorite books or likes to hear people complain over and over about things that I genuinely enjoy and love. I feel like there are lots of things I enjoy that get a bad rap or are so constantly hated on that when I hear criticism for it, I just huff and puff and move on because it’s the same old, same old.
But, when it comes to loyal fans in other areas, I tend to roll my eyes – when Taylor Swift fans say Beyonce isn’t that great, when Fifth Harmony fans constantly trash Camilla, when fans of 50 Shades of Grey try to tell others that the relationship between Christian and Ana isn’t abusive. So why do I always feel so differently when it comes to my own faves?
(Also, the examples just came to me; PLEASE DON’T FREAK OUT.)
I think we all like to think that we are critical and fair reviewers when it comes to books.
If I genuinely don’t like a book, whether it’s part of a fave series or author or not, I give my honest opinion, and if I love a book to death, I’ll rave about it until you’ll be begging me to stop. I have favorite authors I’ve loved who I will gladly criticize if I feel like a book just isn’t up to par. I think it’s easy to come to the conclusion that it’s perfectly fine to criticize the things you enjoy and know you can love and enjoy something that is problematic, but at the same time, it might be hard to apply to your life.
So, obviously, I decided that I would take a step forward and talk about some things I don’t like regarding three authors that are my favorites that I’ve absolutely adored (and I’ve met in real life), because why not?
- I didn’t think the first book in either series was that great. Are Throne of Glass and A Court of Thorns and Roses both addicting and fun reads? Hell yeah. Are they the best in the series? Definitely not. I personally feel as if Throne of Glass doesn’t fit the vibe of the rest of the series, and A Court of Thorns and Roses relied way too much on the relationship between Tamlin and Feyre, which I didn’t ship at all (I KNEW IT ALL ALONG). The second books are both fantastic, though.
- Dorian was a completely unnecessary love interest. There will never come a time where I am not befuddle by those who genuinely think that Aelin and Dorian belong together. Like, why? They barely have a connection. They share the most boring kiss ever (do they even kiss? I DON’T EVEN REMEMBER BECAUSE IT’S SO IRRELEVANT). She never even loved him. I mean, the one time the main character doesn’t stereotypically fall for the player prince is the one time people are begging for it to happen. STOP TRYING TO MAKE DORAELIN HAPPEN.
- I wish Nehemiah was still alive. Okay, I know Nehemiah died for the good of the people and it really pushed Aelin and her wonderful character development, BUT I STILL WISH SHE WERE BREATHING. Just imagine her and Lysandra and Aelin being best friends forever. IT WOULD BE MAGICAL.
(Also, off-topic, BUT DID YOU SEE THAT SHE’S PREGNANT? OH MY GOD.)
- I didn’t like A Darker Shade of Magic that much. I KNOW, I KNOW. I really wanted to love it, especially since I read it when I was on Goodreads, and pretty much all my friends adored it, but I just wasn’t impressed. I think I gave it four stars, but then docked it to three stars because I just felt meh about the whole thing.
- I hated how long it took for the games to start in A Gathering of Shadows. If you’ve never read the book, you won’t understand this, but in the summary for the book, it talks about a tournament, AND I LOVE A GOOD TOURNAMENT. Unfortunately, it takes more than HALF the book to actually get to the tournament. And then it’s over after a couple of chapters. I FELT SO MISLEAD. I still love the sequel, but this still annoys me to this day.
- I found A Conjuring of Light slow-going. I’m actually still reading this one (technically), and I have to admit, I was sort of bored? So many people said it was action-packed and exciting, but I just felt sort of meh about it all. AH WELL.
- I wish Blue had more female friends. I LOVE BLUE’S FAMILY; I REALLY DO. But I think it would have been truly badass to see her have a couple friends that are women. You know, like Stranger Things? Just think if some girl came in and had magic powers? I WOULD HAVE BEEN DOWN.
- I request more Pynch. I mean, we ARE getting more Pynch, but I still wish there had been even more in The Raven King. I loved what I got, but I don’t think there could ever be too much kissing when it comes to Ronan and Adam. NEVER.
- I hated the inclusion of Henry Cheng. I just did not like him at all. I didn’t like him in Blue Lily, Lily Blue, and I was really not into him randomly being inserted into the group in the last book out of nowhere. Especially when Blue and Gansey go to his house for some little party, and Blue attempts to do some sort of “they were my raven boys” to Henry. Yeah, no. Also, Blue, Gansey, and Henry deciding to cross-country the road together was the dumbest thing. I COULD RANT FOR DAYS. I WANT A MAGICAL GIRL.