I had quite some trouble with this week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt, which is ‘Top Ten Books I Wish Had (More/Less) X In Them’. I couldn’t think of anything, until I had a conversation with my friend about ‘critique your faves’. If you didn’t know, critique your faves has been a thing going around in the bookish community for some time where people talk about their faves and what’s wrong with them. Kind of to realize that you can love something, but still see it’s flaws.
For example: I love Harry Potter, but I can see that it’s very flawed in means of LGBT+ rep. Also, Lavender Brown was a WoC in the first few movies, but when she started being more important to the story, she was recast as a white woman. Harry Potter definitely has it’s problematic things (the things I named are obviously not the only things), but I can still love it.
This is exactly what I want to do in this post. I want to take some books I like(d), and talk about how they could have been better, diversity-wise.
Also, I know some of you might not like this, but I want to remind you that diversity is a very very important issue, and that it’s totally okay to see flaws in a book.
A lot of the books on my list have the exact same problems (which is why I’m not going to talk about each book individually): they’re heteronormative and almost every single character is white, and able-bodied. This is such a shame, because I would’ve loved an f/f version of The Selection, or maybe a bisexual main character who has to choose between people from all genders? YES, now I kind of want someone to write this. Or maybe a version of the Hunger Games where Katniss is disabled but still kicks ass? Or maybe a version of Percy Jackson where Percy has anxiety??
Okay, now I’m just getting carried away with some great story ideas, let me get back to the point.
A book that I do want to talk individually about is Cinder, or rather, the whole Lunar Chronicles series. This book has been called out multiple times for it’s cultural appropriation . I really wish Marissa Meyer had done more research regarding the Chinese culture, because it’d have made the book so much better.
Another book I want to talk about individually is Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. Rick Riordan has some very great rep in his latest books (The Hidden Oracle has a bi MC, and Magnus Chase has a Muslim heroine and a genderfluid character), but there is hardly any rep in his first few books. I really wish these books would’ve had great rep from the start.
So, tell me, what books do you wish had more diverse characters in them?