I wanted to read something light and fluffy for my last book of 2022, because I'd just finished a pretty unsettling (but excellent) read on 12/30, and I wanted a sort of palate cleanser.
Okay, now that I'm looking at it that way, I'm not sure why I picked Stacy Willingham's All The Dangerous Things for that because while it's twisty and I really, really enjoyed A Flicker in the Dark, it is about a baby abduction (but also sleepwalking and tracking down the person responsible). Not exactly light material, but usually a sort of twisty, low-effort read.
OH HOLY JEEZUM.
I got to page 27 and read a line that made me instantaneously furious. I kept reading to page 51, but it just kept coming back to me. Taunting me. Pissing me off. Here is the offender, emphasis mine:
"It's always the same: searching for them on Facebook, sifting through profiles and trying to determine where they might live. I look for childless women, maybe. Lonely souls with too many cats and too much free time..."
What. the. actual. FUCK. How insulting.
And a boring, overdone trope. Ohhh, it must be the desperate childless woman sneaking into the nursery to get a baby of her own. GUESS WHAT, ASSHOLES? The person who climbs into windows and steals babies/children from cribs is pretty much always a man. And it has nothing to do with childlessness, or how many cats you have, or how much perceived "free time" you have, or the perception of loneliness.
It was almost a throw-it-across-the-room moment, but then I just...decided. Would I rather end 2022 with a disturbing but well written book about an increasingly unhinged woman with mother issues? Or with a book that is diametrically opposed to EVERYTHING I STAND FOR? Even if it only shows (so far) in one line?
I started our Young Adult Book Club's pick, Eight Nights of Flirting by Hannah Reynolds, a light and fluffy (but longish) YA Hanukkah rom-com, knowing I wouldn't finish it. And resolved myself that my last book of 2022 was Motherthing by Ainslie Hogarth (again, excellent, but very much like Tender Is the Flesh by Augustina Bazterrica in that you have to sit and think in silence for a good 15-20 minutes after you finish it, and you feel a little like you need to jump in the shower, but you admire the ingenuity and the way it's written).
I'm mad that my first post of 2023 is a rage against a book, but that's the way it goes I guess!
Please, please, PLEASE authors... find some way to NOT be horrifically insulting and outdated with how you portray women that don't fit into a neat and tidy heteronormative mold. Ugh.
Have you ever abandoned a book that made you mad? Or did you rage-read it to the end?