This post is an acknowledgement and an apology. It has come to my attention that last year, I wrote an offensive review.
Offensive reviews have been a big topic in the YA book community recently, with the events surrounding VOYA magazine's review of Run by Kody Keplinger. Because of this, Malinda Lo, YA author and co-founder of Diverstiy in YA, tweeted a link to an article she wrote from last year on DiYA, Perceptions of Diversity in Book Reviews. The article discusses reviews in trade magazines and some of the problems with how they write about diverse books. Despite being about trade magazines, I thought people who write reviews on book blogs could learn from the article, too, so I read it. And I was right.
The third issue in reviews on diverse book Lo covers is about reviews that complain about terminology or phrases from non-white/non-Western cultures that aren't explained or defined, and why this is offensive. I immediately remembered the review I wrote last year for This Is Not a Love Story by Keren David. In my review, I mentioned being jarred by the Jewish terminology used by Kitty and Theo and that I felt lost, and had to look things up - exactly what the article is talking about
The article goes on to say this is rooted in white supremacy and Western imperialism, and... I am disgusted at myself. Of course now, after reading the article, I can see how wrong it is, but at the time it didn't occur to me that it would be offensive. It was my privilege that led me to see the terminology used as jarring. That I did not intend to cause offence is not the point. The point is my review was offensive, and I need to make amends.
I apologise profusely to the author of This Is Not a Love Story, Keren David, and to the Jewish community for my offensive review. I have edited my review to remove the offending text so that it no longer causes offence, but for the purposes of transparency, I took a screen cap of the original wording. I am so sorry, and cannot apologise enough.
I want to thank Malinda Lo for writing Perceptions of Diversity in Book Reviews, and for educating me.
I'm all for talking about and promoting diverse YA books, it's something I'm passionate about. I cannot tell you how sorry I am for being part of the problem. But I can promise to take more care with my reviews in the future. I made a mistake, and I'm sorry. I'm learning, and I'm trying to do better.
Thank you for reading.