Since I post every review of every book I read on Goodreads, I will just link that review here. I won’t do that for every book but I will with this particular one because there is a lot of controversy surrounding it, I wanted to put in my two cents and not have this post be huge in length.
As you may or may not know, there are several issues that people have with this book. One is the racist implications. Cyra has dark skin and is, along with her people, the Shotet, considered very savage and brutal. Akos is pale skinned and is considered very kind and generous along with his people, the Thuvesit. I can see why this is upsetting. To have a dark skinned person considered brutal and a pale skinned person considered kind reminds us of a time when that was the norm. There was also mentioning that the Thuvesit people constantly oppressed the Shotet. I don’t think I need to talk about why that is considered an issue.
We have come a long way since then and I think that’s great. I think, if anything, that the racist implications of this book will serve as a reminder to not go back to that time. Especially now, in this tumultuous time, where the president wants to implement a travel ban on a religion and where there is more violence towards people of different ethnicities. We must remember to stay together and love everybody, no matter what.
Another issue that people have with the book is the way chronic pain is handled. I do not suffer from chronic pain the way Cyra does (which reminds me a lot of fibromyalgia). I have chronic back pain but it is not severe. So with this issue, I’m not entirely well informed. What I believe is the issue is that when Veronica Roth was interviewed about chronic pain, she handled the question very poorly. I didn’t see/hear the interview so I don’t know what was said. If you want to read a transcript of the interview, here is the link.
I think what has people upset more than anything is that Veronica Roth or HarperTeen (the publisher) never addressed the issues that people had or stifled the bad ones. There were a ton of reviews that people had that I read on Goodreads, that showed how upset some they were about these issues. Some had ARCs (books you can get before they are released) and they expressed their concerns about this book. Still nothing happened. I think that is what is upsetting people. Their issues weren’t addressed. I get that. I would be upset too if that happened to me.
Regardless of whether or not you liked the book or hated it, I think it’s important to have an opinion. I think it’s wonderful that (for now) we live in a place where we can talk about different books and discuss our feelings about them, positive or negative. If anything, Carve the Mark has brought the conversation of race and chronic pain to the forefront, where it might have otherwise stayed hidden.