Emotionally abusive books*

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*I have stolen this phrase from my good friend Kim. She’s writing a book which I’m hoping won’t smack me around too much.

I have several books that I am afraid to open. I’m not afraid of bad writing. I’m not worried that I will get sucked into a new world and not get anything done- my family is used to that. I am afraid of getting into an emotionally abusive relationship with the book.

I’m worried about getting sucked into an amazing world and not being able to leave, even though I am pissed, scared, or crying my eyes out.

Photographer Ale Paiva


Good writing is like a tight pair of jeans and a black leather jacket on a fine body.

Unless I dislike the book, I can’t/won’t put it down. I will continue to read and even read the sequels. I don’t know why I pick up the next one; maybe it’s the vain and pathetic hope that this time the author won’t rip my heart out and stomp all over it.

I will rant and rave, driving my husband nuts, until he bans me from reading more just so I will regain some semblance of “emotionally sane.”

“No,” I cry out at the very thought of not reading more, even knowing it’s going to hurt and leave me feeling shaky.
So instead, I try to not begin reading them. I try to not even buy them, but eventually someone will give me one. Game of Thrones, which is currently taunting me, I got free at Comic Con. I know I’ll love it, let it take me over, and it will beat me up, leaving me black and blue and turning the page with trembling fingers.

So far I have resisted, but I know I won’t last much longer.

Do you read emotionally abusive books? Do you hide from them or jump right into them with tissues and bruise cream in hand?

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8 responses »

  1. You mentioned me in your blog! 🙂 I read emotionally abusive books all the time. I love the Song of Ice and Fire books so far. I have the 4th one on reserve at the library and can’t wait for it to come in. Yes, they are rough reads, but he’s also an incredible writer. If you had a hard time with The Hunger Games, I don’t know if you’d make it through the Game of Thrones books. The second book was brutal! I can’t tell you how many times I put down the book and said, “I can’t believe he just did that…he’s an evil, evil writer.” Evil, but brilliant.

    I was just wondering last week why I read the medieval historical fiction because it’s almost always tragic. I guess I just gravitate towards the dark.

    • Hey you say some pretty awesome things of course you’ll wind up in my blog 🙂 I can’t wait until I’m promoting your book here! See I did have a hard time with Hunger Games, I want to read Game of Thrones but I’m afraid I just spend days obsessing and crying over what evil things he’s done.
      Sometimes I wonder if I would be able to read those types of books if I did a different job- I don;t remember shying away from them as a teenager.

  2. Alica, I don’t like that deep-dark-sick feeling that I get when I read an emotionally abusive book, so I generally avoid them and read happy, fun books. But every once in awhile, I can’t resist and I go for it and am glad I did. But then I won’t touch one for another very long time. I figure there’s enough pain in the world without bringing it into the books I read. 🙂

    I’m picturing your husband trying to pull a book out of your grip while you’re ranting and raving. LOL!

    • That’s pretty accurate Shelia! I’ve learned to set my book down then go find Rod and rant LOL!
      I agree, there is a lot of pain in the world I have troubling adding more, but the temptation of a great book sometimes is too much to resist.

  3. Hi Alica, I guess I’m a bit different here. Once I start the book I am most likely to finish it, but I won’t buy the second. If an author wants to beat me up emotionally, fine, but he/she had better give me something hopeful in there and especially at the end. I’ve started a lot of series over the years and tossed them. Terry Brooks is an example of a writer who keeps me coming back for more. I gave up on JK Rowling at about book three of Harry Potter.

  4. Oh, I’ll quit a book in a second. It doesn’t take much. In fact, often I’ll stop reading a book I like, because it prompted some idea that was wholly unrelated to the book, which I have to run and write. I suppose most books find me to be emotionally abusive.

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