There is obviously a specific genre of book that I don’t love, a kind of “chick lit with spousal abuse” thing that many people on the internet do go crazy for. As a result of their love, books get 4 and 5 star reviews that just really aren’t very good books. Then I get sucked into reading them. Then I get annoyed and don't care if my notes contain all the spoilers.
I’d like to propose a moratorium on allowing the word “twist” to be used to describe the revelation that a man is beating his wife, particularly in the thriller, chick-lit, or pulp novel genres. I’d like to propose an outright ban on allowing abuse and child murder/ torture in the same book. And I’d like to impose some kind of sanctions on having abuse + child harm + animal abuse all bundled into one package. It’s a cheap ploy, and I won't fall for it.
If I want to feel awful, I will read literature so I can feel awful for a good reason at the hands of a master writer. I am fine with that. Or horror, in which the author’s agreed-upon responsibility is to scare and/or freak my pants off. Or I will read non-fiction about important social or historical issues. Some of those books make me feel awful, too, and I am more than fine with that.
But when I pick up something that is supposed to be entertainment, I don’t want to spend 50% of my time reading vivid descriptions of physical and sexual abuse. I don’t want child murder to be thrown in when the abuse gets dull.
I’m annoyed that this is like the 4th time it’s happened in the last year. I think it’s weird that people read this stuff for fun. And I think female readers - to whom these books seemed to be aimed - deserve more intelligent plots and characters, even in light pulpy novels. So there. Moving on.