Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Kathleen Hale Debacle and My Thoughts

I'm not usually the type of person to comment on the "big issue" conversations happening in the book community. However, I went on No One Else Can Have You's Goodread page because I was curious about the book, and I saw some pretty terrible things. So I've decided to post my thoughts. I hope somebody finds them enlightening. And for those of you who don't know what this post is about, you can visit this link.

I think it's kind of ironic that Ms. Hale chose to share her story with everyone, about how unreasonable people can be when protected by the anonymity of a computer, yet people are still hiding behind their screen names to say hurtful things. Yes, what she did was not right, but she admitted that. She is a human being with feelings and friends and desires and bad days and happy days. She could have chosen to keep this entire debacle a secret, but she didn't. She wanted people to learn from her mistakes, and to simply get something off her chest. Some people will swarm her information, and be harsh, and they don't realize how much words can hurt. Have they never seen what bullying does to a person? There have been countless suicide attempts, successful suicides, gun attacks, and more as a result of inappropriate online behavior. Think before you post. Please. If you were a writer, and your book had just been published, would you like to see something like Kathleen did? And to say that she doesn't have the right to look up her own book on a website is a little ridiculous. What she should have, is the basic human right of respect. She did no irreparable damage. There are worse people out in the world right now. Perhaps they should be the focus of our hate.

Does this mean that you have to read her books? Absolutely not. But I think it should be obvious that coming on to her book's Goodread page just to say how much you "[insert various cuss word here] can't believe an author would do that" is simply feeding the problem.

What are your thoughts in regards to the situation? Please, keep comments civil. We're all human here.

*Note: This post was originally just for Goodreads, however I thought I'd share it with my viewers so that I can get their opinion on things.


  1. Hmmm. Okay. I have many opinions on this subject. First off, I don't think we can say that Hale "did no irreparable damage." Try telling that to Blythe, who was probably scared out of her mind. I stand by her review. I think Blythe is entitled to her own opinion, and Goodreads is a way to voice that opinion and start discussions --I mean, what's a book blogging community for? Also, if we have to censor our thoughts just because we are afraid some psycho is going to stalk us or confront us, that eliminates our voice. I think that’s why so many bloggers support Blythe; because she is us. She was the one who voiced her thoughts without any film, and she had a right to do that, just as I have a right to post my opinions over whatever other book I read.

    Yes, I acknowledge that Hale is a person with feelings. I agree with that, but her first mistake was looking at and responding to bad reviews. All writers are cautioned not to look at the reviews on Amazon or Goodreads. It's kind of a rule. It stunts creativity and bogs the writer down. Not only did Hale do this, but she responded... in a very scary way.

    Yes, she has feelings, but guess what? So does Blythe! Hale STALKED her and shamed her all over the Internet because of her opinions, which should never EVER be something people should be ashamed of.

    As for the comments on Goodreads because of the Hale scandal, I think everyone is, again, entitled to their own opinions. They want to make sure that people who read her books know what they are getting into, and the actions this author took was not only scary and worrisome, but also illegal. I think everyone should be aware of that. I’m not saying that people should decide for everyone what to read, and I don’t think the commenters are saying that either. It’s just another way they are voicing their utter displeasure with her actions.

    Amanda @ Of Spectacles and Books

    1. Thanks so much for commenting. :)

      I guess I'll start out by saying that irreparable wasn't the greatest word choice. And, I'm not endorsing what Hale did. Yes, she did terrible things, I'm just saying that a lot of people are focusing on this issue instead of larger issues like the Bring Our Girls Back campaign (which is somewhat resolved now, but is just an example). And I think its simply not ethical to say that an author can't visit their own Goodreads sites, just because of what they'll find. I think that says more about the people who comment on Goodreads than it does about the books themselves. An author should be allowed to see feedback of his/her book, without feeling personally attacked. Perhaps that's just the girl in me who goes by the saying "if you can't say anything nice then don't say anything at all" mantra. Now, I'm not saying a person can't say a book is bad, good, terrible, etc. I'm saying that they shouldn't take their dislike out on the author. I've heard horror stories about Goodreads and their "This author should be raped" lists. It makes me ashamed to be a member, but at the same time, I love Goodreads because of its ability to show me people's thoughts. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I think people should ask themselves before they post their review, if they would be willing to say what they've written directly to the author's face. If not, then perhaps they shouldn't post it.

      I in no way endorse censorship. I simply endorse acting like human beings towards each other. Neither Hale, or this blogger, managed to do this.

      Again, thanks for sharing your opinions! XD

    2. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Blythe never personally attacked her on Goodreads. She just really didn't like the book. It was Hale who came back at her and chewed her out and stalked her because of the bad review. So I just really don't see any blame laying at Blythe's feet. So I disagree with you. She just stated the fact that she didn’t like her book.

      I get that Goodreads should be a place of discussion and good, solid reviews, but I feel that it can't truly be a 100% honest if people aren't allowed to assert their opinions as crass or curse-filled as they may be.

      And that's another thing, I stand by the idea that authors should not read reviews (especially negative ones) because as I said it stunts creativity, but even further, the story is a part of them (especially their first novels).

      I don't know if you are a writer. Personally, I am. I've written a couple of books (which I plan on publishing), and they are my babies. There have been a few people who have left me negative comments (because I post my stories online), and I've just ignored them, and there was even one that attacked me as a person. Did I do anything about it? No. Because that was their opinion, and they didn't know me in real life. That being said, I was mad for about a day or so and then moved on without confronting them.

      Yes, there are probably a thousand and one things that need more attention than the Kathleen Hale scandal, but that goes from starving kids in Africa to slut-shaming. However, this is specific to our community, which is why I think it is important that people discuss this and truly understand that we are all entitled to our own opinions, but how we act on said opinion is what puts us in the categories of 'the sane' and 'the clinically crazy.'

    3. Oh I also meant to mention that I don't think many of the "these authors should be raped" commenters are book bloggers. Book bloggers just happen to use Goodreads, and I don't think you should confuse the two parties.


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