Hey there, everybody! Nominations are closed and voting is open! But before we get to the poll, let’s talk about which books didn’t make the cut despite receiving a high number of nominations. I disqualified three of the nominations for reasons I hope everyone understands. Those books were Faleena Hopkins’s Cocky Roomie, Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck, and Save The Pearls by Victoria Foyt.
Though a large number of you had hoped I would tackle Cocky Roomie for its sheer badness and the fuckery perpetrated by its author, I decided that whatever attention she’s seeking, she won’t get more of it from Trout Nation. If Cocky Roomie had become our 2019 selection, she could have easily spun that into her victim narrative, driving herself back into the spotlight and furthering her sales and support from the “Be Nice” crowd. Since I don’t care to feed her pockets or give her more publicity for her undoubtedly horrible indie movie she’s been working on, I had to take a hard pass.
When I looked into the issues present in Save The Pearls and Tiger’s Curse, I simply didn’t feel like I, a white person, am the right person for the job of recapping them and pointing out their problematic elements. Save The Pearls is apparently like if the Proud Boys decided to try their hand at YA, and Tiger’s Curse is rife with orientalism and poor representation of a variety of Asian cultures. While many of the racist themes in these books are totally obvious, there are probably a lot of subtle issues I would miss as a white reader. I don’t want to swerve out of my lane, speak on behalf of black people or Asian people, or create a situation in which glossing past issues I don’t understand would make the books seem less horrible than they are.
I know that those of you who nominated these books are probably disappointed, but I hope you can understand where I’m coming from on these titles.
Now, onto the books that made the cut.