Recent release of Feversong by Karen Marie Moning — a complicated conclusion to my ultimate favourite book series — got me actively thinking about the series as a whole. Particularly how it began. Because you see, while I swear by those books and scream about my love for them in literally every TTT post, I also admit that they are… problematic, to say the least. (And here, by problematic, I do not mean that it has issues with diversity or representation. That is a topic for another day.) Especially the first books. A lot of things in those books boil down to sex, the narrator starts off downright annoying, and the use of acronyms borders on ridiculous. Plus, there is the whole male-female dynamic that some might consider being not-good. That said, they’re still my faves.

So what do I do when my mind is flashing #no but my heart is bursting with love and other scary emotions? How do I rate?! And how do I go on with my life? How do you?

When your fave is definitely problematic.

The fact is this: some of my most beloved books are what I consider problematic. (Again, completely unrelated to issues with diversity and representation, just to be clear.) Take All For The Game series by Nora Sakavic, for example. Half of the things that happen in those books are absolutely unrealistic and bordering on crazy. No adult would ever allow those things to happen, not even an insane one. Do I realise that? Yes, yes I do. Do I still love it? Abso-freaking-lutely. Do I book an appointment with a therapist? Yes, I probably should do that.

Then, of course, there is the issue with Bad Boys and Problematic Alpha Behaviour. Do I even need to elaborate? We’ve all seen it, we all probably have at least one favourite who is toying the line between Ssarcastic human being and Total jerk. This particular cliche has lost its appeal to me personally with age, which probably makes me sounds like a grandma but… It’s happened. Happens still, on occasion or two. Especially when the lines get so blurred in some genres.

But how do you rate?!

Here’s another example: the entire Black Dagger Brotherhood series, in which only maybe two or three books have gotten a five-star rating from me. The rest ten or so books are solid threes. Because of the drama, because of the female characters, because of so many other things. Yet, I frequently cry about how much I love the series. How much I adore the characters. (Despite their infuriating Alpha behaviour.) In another world, I would give the series 99 stars for enjoyment and then rate each of them objectively. (Ha, objectively! We bookworms do like to kid ourselves, don’t we?) This is not that world. And unless I plan to launch myself into another galaxy in hopes of finding the perfect rating place… That therapist appointment sounds mighty appealing.

How do you deal with your problematic children? Do you keep on loving them even when the rest of the world is clearly upset with their behaviour? Is it enough that you acknowledge the flaws?

What’s your strategy to rating and reviewing Those Difficult Cases when the flaws are glaring but your love is eternal? Do you cry? Do you eat a cake or two? Or do you drown your sorrows in whatever hot beverage you prefer?

Share your tips and tricks and opinions in the comments! And don’t forget to mentions your flawed faves!



  1. I don’t have any one set way that I deal with these types of books. Sometimes the problematic parts of a book just make me dislike, so this isn’t a problem in those cases lol. But when I know a book is problematic and still love it anyway… I might deduct half a star or a star from the rating? And I’ll mention the problematic thing in my review. But I’ll still love the book because I can’t help what I feel toward books, and the fact of the matter is that, unfortunately, there are some problematic books out there that still have amazing characters and stories.

    • My thoughts exactly! It’s easy enough (or as easy as rating books is in general) when you dislike the problematic thing and the book along with it. But then there are guilty pleasure reads or just simply great stories with great characters and you can’t help loving them. Good point about mentioning the problematic aspect in a review, though! That’s the beauty of reviews, I guess, Star ratings just never tell the full tale.

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