Fiction

Being on the Wrong Side of Book Buzz

silence of bonaventure arrowErmagerd, you guys, please could the internet SHUT UP about The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow?

I don’t know if Bonaventure blew up your social media this week, but it sure lit mine on fire. I read an ARC of this sort of faux-spirituality novel about a boy who, in being unable to speak, is able to teach the world a lot about listening (that was in my saccharine tone). The narrative voice is really quite interesting, and if you have a different political stripe to mine you may love the book, but HOLY HELL did I not enjoy it. Without spoiling anything, the way the novel handles abortion-as-defining-plot-point was beyond stomach churning to me. If you want pro-life rhetoric in your fiction, fill your boots, but it was a bit much for me.

Goodreads says I’m STUPID AND WRONG (ok, not really, but it does say 95% of people liked this book) and the only one-star review? Yeah, that’s definitely me.

I was prepared to be alone in my discomfort with the novel, especially being self-aware enough to know that some of my unhappiness is values-motivated. But then my Twitter feed went MENTAL. I think I got stuck between two competing blog-tours/twitter-party extravaganzas. I swear every time I checked any social media there was a new something about the delight of Bonaventure.

And I suddenly realized how book buzz can backfire. Because the more I read about how OMG THIS IS THE BEST BOOK EVA the more I dug in my heels of hatred. Now I wasn’t just not sure the book was for me. I was fully certain that it is the worst book in the history of ever. If this novel had a face, I would punch it.

Ah, internet.  Is there anything you can’t polarize?

This is a new experience for me. Normally I at least kinda dig on the things that people are into. And I don’t normally feel this disconnected and separated from my beloved bookish internet. Like, okay, I didn’t super-love Twilight, but let’s face it, it was totally cool not to super-love Twilight (and on GoodReads, Twilight is only 77% beloved); in fact, hating on Twilight was its own kind of bookish buzz for a while. This is different. I am standing alone on a big rock in the ocean proclaiming that I hate-read a book everyone else seems to have loved. Devotedly loved.

I am on the wrong side of a cultural phenom and I do not like it sir.

Have you ever been on the wrong side of book buzz?


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