At first I wasn’t planning on touching on this subject, but as the days progress and I find out more information about this subject, I just cannot not say something about it. Because it really bothers me that this happened and right now I am disgusted with Book Twitter.
So I am going to talk about the stuff which happened around the book Blood Heir and I am going to trying to stay as objective as I can. I am not really good at articulating the problems with this but there are people who did that amazingly and I recommend you check them out, I will link them after this paragraph. And I would also like to state that English isn’t my first language, so my vocabulary is limited. I will also link all the sites and articles and people’s tweets/video/goodreads I have used for this blog post at the end. I also would like to make clear, that I am not writing this blog to attack anyone, I am writing this to get this of my chest and to educate people on the whole situation. Here are three people who have the situation stated very clearly, so I suggest you check them out. I also would like to say that I haven’t read this novel and I haven’t been able to form an opinion on the content of the novel, so I have been going from what other people have said and formed my opinion on that.
This blog post will have four sections, one for the information on what happened, this will be based on the information I was able to gather and the other section will be my opinion. Next will be the links to the articles I have used for this blog post and lastly the Let’s Discuss section.
From what I have gathered this all started because it was stated that the author of Blood Heir was taking screenshots of the negative reviews which were published on her novel. It was never said that these screenshots were used against the book bloggers or reviewers who the reviews belonged to. As far as I have seen the articles and tweets, it was only stated that she takes screenshots and there wasn’t evidence that the author really did it, it was just a statement.
As far as I can tell, it all blew up after this. There have been published authors who were vocal about their negative opinion about the author of Blood Heir and the negative reviews started coming. In these reviews it was said that the reviewers weren’t on board with the author’s depiction of slavery in her novel. She responded to this with saying that it was based on her own experience and that the slavery which is described in her novel is based on the slavery in Asia and not America. The slavery in Asia is a big problem and something I wasn’t aware of before this controversy. For more information about this I recommend reading this, but here are some quotes of this site about the slavery in Asia.
“On any given day in 2016, an estimated 24.9 million men, women, and children were living in modern slavery in Asia and the Pacific. The region had the second highest prevalence of modern slavery in the world with 6.1 per 1,000 people.”
“India, China, and Pakistan had the highest absolute number of people living in modern slavery and accounted for 60 percent of the victims in the region.”
Again to be fully informed on this topic I would recommend visiting the site of Global Slavery Index and doing your own research. And lastly I have read that it was said that this novel has some racist aspects. But when I researched this matter it was said by multiple people that with the character in question it was assumed that she (I believe it was a she) had a black skin color, though the skin color was subscribed as ‘bronze’ or ‘tawny’.
I think the Book Community on Twitter went too far, both authors and reviewers. In my believes it is fine to have your opinion, it is great if you can have an opinion on something, either negative or positive. But I do believe if you have an opinion, you should also inform yourself on the topic before you place it on the internet. And to go at a debut author like that or a published author for that matter, I find that sickening. The authors who were involved in this, were attack her and not helping her seeing her faults and improve from there. She has sent out a tweet about this as well, you can call in instead of call out someone when you think they are doing something that isn’t right. She probably didn’t even know that it was wrong to do certain things she was accused of. And the whole screenshotting thing, as far as the information goes, she didn’t do anything with those screenshots, she just took them (or did she?).
And then the stuff about the slavery, which was misinterpreted by some people to be based on slavery which happened in America, but it was based on what happens in her own country, where she grew up, China. By saying that her depiction of slavery was questionable, you made her own experience with something she might have experienced firsthand, her own believes and knowledge of the problem invalid. The only good outcome of this is that the awareness for the modern slavery in Asia will be raised.
I think it all comes down to this. If you have an opinion about something you own it to your followers that you research the topic, before you post it online where your followers can see them. Because if you research something or maybe just ask the author by a DM, you might find that the opinion you have formed might be based on things you have assumed wrongly or have been informed on wrongly. Just get the bigger picture, because your followers will believe everything you say, they follow you for a reason.
I really feel for the author and I can only imagine how devastating this all must be for her. I have read in an article that her publisher stands behind her choice and I hope that her novel will be published. I know for sure that I will be reading Blood Heir and form my own opinion on the content of the novel.
To be honest I am quit nervous on how this blog post will be received, and if my words will be misinterpreted. If I am missing some information, I would also love to hear that and please sent the link to the information, so I can incorporate it in my blog, because I don’t want to misinform anyone. I have done my research as thorough as I could, but it is always possible that I have missed something. So I would love to discuss this with you in the comments. I would love to hear your opinion, if you agree with me or disagree. All I ask is to be respectful to me and other people in the comments and to not mention any names of people involved, otherwise I will delete your comment. This because I want to comments to be a safe place to express our opinions, so anyone can voice theirs without being attacked for having it.