Discussion: Should I accept an ARC which I find offensive?

Discussion offensive

There is nothing quite like getting an email from a publisher asking me to review a new book when I haven’t requested it. The excitement! The joy! The flattery! Especially when it is from one of my favorite publishers which pumps out books that I read like candy. Usually the books are just what I want, some don’t quite hit the mark. But today, I feel like I’ve entered a whole new realm and don’t really know what to do about it. And so I’m reaching out to the amazing community to seek advice.

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Okay, so here’s my dilemma: I was offered to review a book that when I read the description, it really upset me. It is a “comical parody” on some serious issues which I have very strong opinions regarding. After reading the sparse reviews out there, many people rated it highly, yet they express the opposing viewpoint from which I hold.

My question: Should I read it? Should I review it?!

Pros to reading: I think it is important to express an opinion or call out sexist and classist works, especially when they express viewpoints that are detrimental to society, progress, and human rights. I personally do not like condemning a work or arguing against something unless I have read the material first hand. I believe it is important to provide that voice to say that these things and ideas are wrong and should not be acceptable and the butt of jokes in any social circle.

Cons to reading: I would have to read through a book making light of sexual assault, the struggles university students face, and so much more.


I have a lot of conflicted feelings about this one. The book also takes place in the University system, which is essentially my life. So theses are issues I encounter and worry about on a daily basis. Ughhh I just feel so gross about this book.

So, what do I do????

What would you do???? 




  1. This is such a dilemma! I’m that person who always says yes and then regrets it later… so I almost thing you should just pass. Life is too short to read things that upset you. At the same time, it’s our gift as book bloggers to spread info about books—and that’s almost more important when they’re harmful. Still, it might not be worth the blow to your mental health.


  2. This is SUCH a tough question! I think it comes down to whether you feel up to putting yourself through that. Of course it’s important to call out problematic things in books, but if you think that reading it is going to be bad for you in any way, I’d steer clear.


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