This is an unfortunate post. It's all because of some things that have happened recently. I must warn you, I will likely mention spoilers for the first four ToG novels. So if you haven't read them, BEWARE. Also, this rant is very long.
So. Empire of Storms was released early by some booksellers, and there has been a lot of hate going around the community after some spoilers were revealed. I have personally not seen these spoilers. I avoid them like the plague. But still.
People have been attack SJM for many different things, and I would like to address that here. First, these people, who are attacking an author about a book that hasn't even been released yet, shame on you.
Shame on you for sending hate mail. Shame on you for shitting over an author's hard work.
You are perfectly welcome to critique a book. You're welcome to dislike or even hate it. But what has been happening is unacceptable. Threatening people is serious. It's a crime. Don't be like that.
People tend to forget that authors are people too. Just like them! (le gasp!) Yes. Sarah J Maas is a real live person with feelings and wants and needs. She has likes and dislikes. Sending hate is harmful on all fronts. Authors are notoriously self-conscious. So saying her book made you suicidal? No. Just no. You're allowed to not like a book. That's fine. Don't be an ass about it. How do you think the shit you're sending her makes her feel? She could be within her rights to decide to not finish the series or not write for publication again. Hell, the readers are just too much to deal with, right?
Many people also forget that Throne of Glass is not their story to tell. So you didn't like the story. So fucking what? Sarah has been working on this story since she was sixteen. It's hers and hers alone to tell. No one else's. So your ship didn't sail? Well too fucking bad. That's not how the story goes. Maybe go write some fanfiction with your OTP to make yourself feel better. But you don't get to decide what is right for the story. The only person that does that is the author.
Veronica Roth caught a lot of shit for how she ended Allegiant. Did I like the ending? Nope. Nope nope. But that's that. That was the ending she planned from the very beginning, and since I'm not in her brain as she writes, who am I to argue with her? Just like who is anyone to argue with how or what an author puts into a work of fiction.
So. I don't know what these spoilers are. I have suspicions, but nothing is confirmed. I have, however, been seeing a lot of people trying to shame SJM for her lack of diversity. Really people? Say it with me.
Not every book needs diversity.
Yes. We need diverse books. But adding it just for the sake of diversity is asinine. It doesn't work. You can't just add it in at random and think everything will work out. Not all books require it to be good books. We need a balance of good books from all walks of life in the publishing industry. I'm fully aware there is an imbalance currently. But saying a straight white story is bad simply because it's straight white is no argument.
Edit for clarification: I want to clear this up. I love diversity in books. But when it's thrown in because the book community is yelling that it's a box that needs to be checked off, we see problematic representation and misrepresentation. End Edit
And I saw people yelling about how Nehemia died and it was just to further the agenda of the white female. Ooookaaaay.... I am pretty certain that Nehemia dying had nothing to do with her skin color. She had a plan and in that plan she died. Get over it. So let me tell you a little story about the first book I ever wrote.
The first book I wrote is permanently trunk. It would have been a duology. At the end of the first book, one of the protagonists gets infused with lots of power, goes a little wonky in the head, and then ends up turning into the antagonist in the next book. The thing is, everything he did throughout the first book and everything he would've done in the second were all justifiable by the way he saw things. He was trying to do what was right. Just in a warped way.
My point is, that character was homosexual. I didn't know this until I was halfway done with the first book, but there it is. I am not saying anything about homosexuality. It has absolutely nothing to do with his turn to villainy. In fact, there are other homosexual individuals in the book that are still on the side of "good" (and in reality I had planned for him to be redeemed in the end). One of my best friends is gay, and I love him to pieces. Making a homosexual character gay or die or whatever has nothing to do with his sexuality. It's all about the story.
This rant has gone on long enough, so I end with that. Sarah, if you're reading this, please know that I support you and all authors. Thank you for doing what you do. 💖
Another Edit: Over the past day people have been yelling about authors should make the effort and do the research to always include diverse characters. That's nice and all. But you're yelling at me to write something I don't feel comfortable with. And then you will yell at me when it doesn't come out right, because research and sensitivity readers still aren't enough to really do a community justice. Why can't authors just write what they want to write? What's wrong with that? People telling me I have to write something... Well, it makes me feel like shit and like I want to stop writing altogether. I've loved writing since I was a small child, but maybe I should just stick with my day job. Because this negativity is making me super uncomfortable.
Really. I want diverse books. I love diverse books. If you don't believe how much I feel like we need them, please read my post about the Orlando shootings. I'm a local to the Orlando area.
Title:The Female of the Species Author: Mindy McGinnis Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books Release Date: September 20, 2016 Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it. When her older sister, Anna, was murdered three years ago and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best. The language of violence.
While her crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people, even in her small hometown. She relegates herself to the shadows, a girl who goes unseen in plain sight, unremarkable in the high school hallways.
But Jack Fisher sees her. He’s the guy all other guys want to be: the star athlete gunning for valedictorian with the prom queen on his arm. Guilt over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered hasn’t let him forget Alex over the years, and now her green eyes amid a constellation of freckles have his attention. He doesn’t want to only see Alex Craft; he wants to know her.
So does Peekay, the preacher’s kid, a girl whose identity is entangled with her dad’s job, though that does not stop her from knowing the taste of beer or missing the touch of her ex-boyfriend. When Peekay and Alex start working together at the animal shelter, a friendship forms and Alex’s protective nature extends to more than just the dogs and cats they care for.
Circumstances bring Alex, Jack, and Peekay together as their senior year unfolds. While partying one night, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting the teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.
Title:A Shadow Bright and Burning Author: Jessica Cluess Publisher: Random House BFYR Release Date: September 20, 2016 I am Henrietta Howel. The first female sorcerer. The prophesied one. Or am I?
Henrietta Howel can burst into flames. When she's brought to London to train with Her Majesty's sorcerers, she meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, young men eager to test her powers and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her. As Henrietta discovers the secrets hiding behind the glamour of sorcerer life, she begins to doubt that she's the true prophesied one. With battle looming, how much will she risk to save the city—and the one she loves?
Title:Stalking Jack the Ripper Author: Kerri Maniscalco Publisher: Jimmy Patterson Release Date: September 20, 2016
Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord's daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.
Against her stern father's wishes and society's expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle's laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.
Title:Kingdom of Ash and Briars Author: Hannah West Publisher: Holiday House, Inc. Release Date: September 15, 2016
Bristal, an orphaned kitchen maid, lands in a gritty fairy tale gone wrong when she discovers she is an elicromancer with a knack for shape-shifting. An ancient breed of immortal magic beings, elicromancers have been winnowed down to merely two - now three - after centuries of bloody conflict in the realm. Their gifts are fraught with responsibility, and sixteen-year-old Bristal is torn between two paths. Should she vow to seek the good of the world, to protect and serve mortals? Or should she follow the strength of her power, even if it leads to unknown terrors? She draws on her ability to disguise herself as a man to infiltrate a prince's band of soldiers, and masquerades as a fairy godmother to shield a cursed princess, but time is running out. As an army of dark creatures grows closer, Bristal faces a supernatural war. To save the kingdoms, Bristal must find the courage to show her true form.
Building on homages to Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Jane Austen’s Emma and the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, Hannah West makes a spectacular debut.
Today is super special, because I was fortunate enough to interview Kerri Maniscalco, author of Stalking Jack the Ripper, an upcoming historical fiction set in Victorian London about the notorious murders. I absolutely loved this book (don't worry, my review is on the way lol), so I can't tell you how excited I was to get to interview Kerri.
Title:Ripple Author: Heather Smith Meloche Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers Release Date: September 20, 2016
When their too-adult lives lead them down self-destructive paths, these broken teens find a way to heal in this YA novel perfect for fans of Ellen Hopkins.
With her impossible-to-please grandmother on her back about college and her disapproving step-dad watching her every move, Tessa would do anything to escape the pressure-cooker she calls home. So she finds a shot of much-needed power and confidence by hooking up with boys, even though it means cheating on her boyfriend. But when she's finally caught red-handed, she’ll do anything she can to cover up what she's done.
Jack is a prankster who bucks the system every chance he gets—each transgression getting riskier and riskier. He loves the thrill, and each adventure allows a little release because his smug smile and suave demeanor in the face of authority doesn’t make life at home with his mom any less tough. He tries to take care of her, but the truth is he's powerless in the face of her fragile mental health. So he copes in his own way, by defacing public property and pulling elaborate pranks, though he knows in the end this’ll only screw up his life even more.
As they both try not to let their self-destructive patterns get the best of them, Tessa and Jack gravitate toward one another, discovering the best parts of themselves in the process. An honest portrayal of the urges that drive us and finding the strength to overcome them.