Konstanze's Reviews > Briar Rose

Briar Rose by Jane Yolen
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Jul 10, 10

bookshelves: read-in-english
Read in January, 2008

I'm really, really disturbed by the majority of two star reviews here dismissing the book because of its LGBT content. It's been two years since I read it, so I don't exactly remember how graphic it was, but if I had to make an educated guess it wasn't half as graphic as your average heterosexual romance novel.

Let me be clear here: I didn't like this book. At all. I didn't like it because the Holocaust story seemed tacked on and deliberately made to fit the fairy tale for dramatic effect and that just seems tasteless and wrong. Like, HEY I WANT TO WRITE A GRITTY FAIRY-TALE RETELLING OH I KNOW LET'S THROW IN THE HOLOCAUST.

I didn't like it because the author would throw in bits and pieces of German and Polish that were, at least in the case of German, grammatically incorrect. That fucking annoyed me because surely there was an editor involved who was actually paid for eliminating these slips! Editor: do your fucking work. It's not that hard to ask native speakers, either!

So yeah, I did not like this book. But now that I've read the reviews I'm kind of inclined to go up with my rating just to avoid being lumped together with all the people going on about the ~*~dangerous content~*~ of this book. THE DANGEROUS CONTENT THAT WAS ONE GAY CHARACTER DEAR GOD GET YOUR TIN FOIL HATS OUT THE WORLD IS GOING TO END. I mean, remember history class? The Nazi mass murder of millions of people because of their ethnicity, religion, disability, political and, yes, sexual orientation? And all you do is getting worked up over the portrayal of a homosexual character? DUDE THIS IS SO WRONG I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHERE TO BEGIN.

I'm sure such an offense to your delicate sensibilities is really hard to digest. A lot harder than the mass murder of millions of people because of their ethnicity, religion, disability, political and sexual orientation! I completely understand! Also, it's really a disappointment that (SPOILER) it was Briar Rose's prince who was gay! OH NOES! No sappy, neatly heterosexual romance against the background of mass murder which would make this so tragical I'd have to use up a whole box of Kleenex! HOW CAN YOU DEPRIVE ME OF MY SAPPY, NEATLY HETEROSEXUAL ROMANCE AGAINST THE BACKGROUND OF MASS MURDER!

In a nutshell, FACEPALM. There's a lot of reasons why one could dislike this book, what with the bad writing and shallow characterization and gratuitious Polish/German and, oh yes, the problematic use of the Holocaust as a plot device, so I suggest checking the priorities here.
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