This… doesn’t really feel worth putting in the Reading section, but I thought it was funny, so I figured I’d make you guys suffer with me.
Soooo I’ve been looking for LGBTQ+ books to read in both English and Japanese- especially free books, because I’m thrifty and there aren’t many options at my libraries. Naturally- and even though I damn well know better- I ended up in the free section of the BL kindle books on Amazon and downloaded some random book that sounded vaguely interesting. I think I read all of the first sentence of the summary and thought “good enough.” Stupidly, because I missed some major details- like it being a sci-fi novel.
The book in question is あなたが涙を見せない理由。The Reason You Don’t Show Tears. Appropriately melodramatic title for a BL novel. I’m currently 30% through this book (and likely won’t pick it up again), so major spoilers for the first third of the novel. The author’s note on Amazon assures us that it has a happy ending, so make of that what you will.
Kiiind of NSFW? I tried very hard to keep this PG
Immediately it opened with just, a weird and uncomfortable kiss scene. It’s first person POV, this main character wakes up with amnesia with two people talking about him and he just refuses to open his eyes, then someone kisses him WAY too descriptively, and then I guess it turns out the main character is paralyzed? Or at least so weak that he can barely move? We don’t get to see either of the other characters yet, but we learn from their conversation that they’re both foreigners and their names are… Chaser and Rock. Lock? Eh, I’m going to call him Rock.
Nothing else happens for what felt like 40 pages, and then ALL AT ONCE, over the span of maybe 3 pages, you find out:
- The world has ended and all life on the planet has been wiped out
- The main character, Mugi (麦… wheat??) is the last human alive, because he cryogenically frozen
- Chaser, the one who nonconsensually kissed Mugi, is actually an android and he’s supposed to revive the world somehow
- The other person, Rock, is not a person at all but a GIANT TALKING BIRD. With… a PHD?
Then there was some bizarre stuff with a marriage proposal, some kind of death pact that isn’t even discussed, and the most horrific dubious-consent sex scene that I’ve ever had the misfortune of reading, in any language. It did not sound like it would be pleasant for either party, unless I missed some critical details- but I suspect the author just, uh, didn’t understand how things work. Then afterwards Mugi is lamenting and Chaser looks over and says "これは、精液ではないですね。” And I thought, “Oh hey, I just learned 液 on WK.” And then I realized what it meant and laughed so hard I cried. The end, that’s as far as I got. I don’t want to think about this book anymore.
TL;DR: very BL-esque in all the worst ways (like, uh, consent as a concept). Telling myself it’s translator error, because Japanese negatives are so dang confusing. Regardless, do not recommend.
So what about you guys? What was the last book you read that was just so bad you had to stop? And does anyone know any LGBTQ+ books that don’t suck?
Update: I kept reading and it got a lot better and tackled some of the issues I had with it fairly directly. I’m about halfway through now, we’ll see how I feel at the end.