The Literary Salon

The Literary Salon || Unhealty relationships in books and their problematic

Before starting the actual post, you will all need this brief note. The post was originally written for a blogger-chain that I’m doing with fellow italian bloggers. So, the theme is first of all, analyzed under an Italian point of view. Yet, I find interesting to see how this theme and problematic is perceived in other countries. And that’s.


When you open the door to a “libro trash”, as we italians say ( it means: trash book), you can be quite sure that a mass of other similar novel will invade the bookshops. Everyone is the “editorial case of the year” or “the masterpiece of our century”. Of course, it’s not.

Looking at this dynamic with an Italian’s eye, I can say that my fellow country readers are doomed. Italian publishing is… messy. A lot. And the market is little. Every time a “trash book” is published we lose a perfect and cultured novel. Really, I’m not kidding. Italian publishers aren’t the same as the UK or US ones. So, if a lot of readers read problematic books that promote unhealthy relationships, be sure that will be drowned with them.

But we really need them? No!  Someone might say yes. We need something stupid to relax ourself. Fine, but when this relaxing and stupid book promotes a sick love and then it became a series, other series start to come, and more, and more, and more….


As I already stated, every time a book with unhealthy romantic relationships get published, we lose a perfect beautiful book. But why we got this kind of books? Because people read them. And why they read them?
Yes, everyone is free and should be free to spend his/her/their money the way they prefer. But this doesn’t resolve the question.

Someone might read this kind of book because want to critically review it and maybe even destroying it – know your enemy – or because finds such books incredibly satisfying. Tastes are tastes.
But – the big BUT – I fight for something in my life. And that something is usually destroyed by these novels.

Let me say that I consider myself okay as long as people are able to discern fiction and reality. Yet, fictions can have consequences in real life.
For example. Trash book 1 has success. It becomes a series. Then people start to write every kind of fan ficiction about it, without taking into consideration its harmful content. It spreads.
Young people start to read Trash book 1. Only that book. No other novels in their lives.
Should I write a pamphlet about how books influence our life and how young people use books and other media to analyze, understand and relate to our world? No, I think your perfectly able to understand it. And to get the consequences.
I would love to say: they’re young. They will understand.
No. Some of them don’t.


The first time I met this concept, I had the classic and bad reaction to reject it. But now I know that it’s profoundly true.
So, I suppose readers are able to divide fiction and reality. But every time we read about an abusive relationship, are we really focused on it, reading critically or just doing for the pleasure of reading?
One thing shouldn’t exclude the other one.

Romanticizing rapes or any other form of physical violence, as much as a mental and verbal ones, is dark place where I don’t want to set a foot. Yet, there are plenty of books that even justify such problematic content. From YA to NA and so does dark romances.
Yes, I’m not expecting roses and rainbows with dark romances, but I need to ask:
Why reading about it?
Why writing about it?

I have to consider that people have kinks, fantasies, love some sexual taboos. And that’s. It’s not something impossibile that never exsited on the face of the Earth. I even studied it during my university degree and saying that’s an easy subject… LIES.

Yet, this makes writing sick relationship something right? NO, MY DEARS. While some people enjoy this kind of “subject”, others don’t. And that others cringe. Don’t you ever try to public romanticize or fetishize such things , trying to make pass abusive relatinonship as something with romance angst, something full of passion and entertaining.

I like to think that writes, readers and reviewers are really conscious how what a book can do.
So, every time you post a review of a book that promote abusive relationship, using millions of stars for your rating, without touching any of the problematic issue… remember that you don’t know all your readers. People might have suffered from abusive relationship and promoting books that glorifies such things isn’t good. And I shouldn’t even explain that.
It happens to miss a problematic aspect. We aren’t perfect. We can miss something because we make mistake. But refusing to acknowledge the problem, well, that’s the problem.

I had to hear that answer: is just a book. Yeah, let’s destroy the whole concept of being writers, readers and reviews. Yes, it’s a book but never “just a book”.

Books get applied in real life too. Their morals, their lessons, everything. And they go to fuel the big mess that is our society. Read consciously is essential.
Recently, me and my fellow italians ace have been promised to be burned on a stick and take back the Inquisition  to corrective rape us.
I can stand two *insert definition here*, I can survive them. But if I ever gonna find a book that contains certain arguments and a review dismiss that… No force in hell and heaven is going to hold me back.

Never and ever stick just to “the book wasn’t so bad”. Never forget that it can be really problematic. Is not a subject to discharge like nothing.


The conclusion is never one.

We can read and enjoy some aspect of a book even if is problematic. We aren’t all the same. We don’t work the same. But we can still point out the bad aspect.

We can make a personal introspection of ourself and what we read.

We can put lights on problematics, romanticized abuse and relationship, without forgetting that everything we read is never only for us, closed in our personal space, but it’s part of dynamics that work in our society and time period – one that was supposed to be great and free, while it isn’t.


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And don’t have any specific question for you, I only want to know how you feel about this topic. Is long and complex, so feel free to say everything you want.

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