Controversial Books–What Do You Think?

What is the first thing that enters your mind when you learn about a “controversial” book? Or when Banned Books Week arrives and you get a good look at the books on the list? How about schools that suddenly ban books from their libraries?

When I see a book like this, I immediately want to read it. Controversy to me means interesting. In my experience, people get too worked up over certain issues.

It baffles me that people are so adamant about controlling the lives of others. I guess my thoughts are–if you don’t like something, don’t participate in it. I don’t mean serious crimes like rape or murder. But things that don’t actually affect anyone except the person doing them. Things like reading Harry Potter. Or certain practices.My theory is unless it hurts others (and I’m not talking about someone getting offended over something someone else believes because no, that doesn’t hurt you–you’re just making it that way), then let them be. I’m from America and I’m a big advocate for freedom. Within reason, obviously.

I guess my question is what do you think about controversial books? Have you read any? What did you think? Did you think it was controversial? What do you think about censorship or the banning of books? Should books come with warning labels?

I tend to write controversial stuff because it’s interesting and makes you think about things. For example, I have a book called Whispertown that deals with the subjects of abortion, teenage pregnancy, rape, and hypocrisy. I’m not against religion. I believe in God. But you have to admit that some religious people are not doing what they should be. Instead of helping others, they spew hate. This is how Whispertown was born. I took my disgust concerning people in certain churches and channeled it in the book.

You know the type–the “righteous” churchgoers who act like they are perfect and sneer at anyone who isn’t. I was tired of how some of these people see a pregnant, unmarried woman (or teenager) and just assume they are some kind of sinner. That this woman is beneath them. I’m sorry, this doesn’t fly with me. It takes two to make a baby. So why is it that it seems that the woman is always at fault? It’s not like she got pregnant on her own.

And even worse–women are often scorned for keeping the baby. I don’t get how some vehement pro-life people can be so cruel to the women who have their babies just because they aren’t married. Sorry, the woman is already pregnant. There’s no time machine. She can’t go back. Sometimes it seems like unmarried pregnant women can’t win. Have an abortion? You’re a murdering sinner. Keep the kid? You’re a unmarried slut with a kid. The judgment is sickening.

I’m not saying all religious people act this way toward women like this, but some do. It honestly makes me want to cry. I’m not surprised when these women decide they want nothing to do with religion, God, or the church. Honestly, can you blame them? Instead of receiving the love and help that Jesus portrays, these women are judged and ridiculed. There have been children born out of wedlock that feel like dirt.

Sometimes women are pregnant against their will. Some people never stop to consider this. I know it doesn’t happen that much, but admit it: sometimes rape can result in pregnancy. Especially if the woman is too afraid to report it. So an idea formed as my heart broke into little pieces for all these women who are condemned. What if I wrote about this?

I decided to write a story about a teenage Christian girl who discovers she’s pregnant. Only she didn’t have sex willingly. She was raped. By none other than her pastor’s son. All in a small town with judgmental people like the ones I’ve described (and unfortunately encountered).

A part of me feared my story would get a lot of hate, but surprisingly I haven’t gotten much. Instead, my readers were able to sympathize with the main character and agree that some Christians aren’t very Christian-like. No one accused me of being anti-religion, which I’d feared even though I feel my story has strong Christian elements (Cassie’s faith being strong, characters redeeming themselves, etc). I feel if this is ever published, it may get criticism from some. But you know what? I’m okay with that. If it helps people who know what it’s like to be Cassie, then it’s worth every bit of negative criticism that I receive.

Besides Whispertown, I also have a book called Shades of Genesis. It was my first NaNo book and centers around a very sheltered girl with extreme Christian parents. It’s about how she breaks free from some of their hardcore beliefs and discovers what she believes. I have other “controversial” book ideas, too. Well, someone’s got to write them, right?

Sorry if this ended up being a bit of a rant. I’m very passionate on this subject and on the content in my books. 🙂



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