Really. I hate crying. I don’t do it very often, and I want to do it even less.
I am generally a happy person. Not that my life is great or anything, I just choose to be happy. If anything, my life is slightly shittier than the normal person’s life. But still, I wake up happy and go to sleep happy most days, and I laugh a lot. Not because I am beautiful, or exceptionally smart, or well liked, or lucky, but in spite of the fact that I am none of those things. I know things could always be worse. I’ve had some very educational bad experiences, and I survived, and I’m still happy. So, my point is this: why do people want to make me cry?
I look for new books to read all the time. I love to read. And just like everyone else, I choose my future reads by previewing other people’s reviews. And so often, looking at these reviews, I see “It was so good, it made me cry!” and I think: what the fuck? How is that good? If I want to cry, I will watch the news, or ponder the reality of the sad and unfair world we live in, or look in a full length mirror while I’m wearing a bikini. I certainly don’t need to pay for the privilege. Now I know a lot of people won’t agree with me. I know people will say they like to cry at a book because it is a manageable sort of sadness, way better than when you cry at the real world, because in a book there is a happily-ever-after coming, and the cry is just part of the ride that makes the ending better. Fuck that. I read “made me cry” in a review, and guess what- I’m not buying that book. The same way I won’t watch Schindler’s List or dwell too long on any painting by Edvard Munch. Sad. And you know what? I’m all stocked up on ‘sad’, thank you! Got plenty on hand.
I know, for an author, reading that your book made someone cry (if it was meant to) is probably great praise. Your reader was feeling you, really understanding your characters, invested in the story. I get it. But I’m still not going there. Call me weak if you must.
Now, “this book made me laugh out loud,” that’s my kind of review!