Welcome to my fifth Friday Nope!
Why a Friday Nope ? I decided to create this new weekly meme because even though I have neither the strength nor the time to write a full review for every book I hate, I‘d hate to see people hurt by books I could have warned them against. As explained in my first post, Friday Nope will give me the opportunity to introduce one or two books I didn’t like at all, and briefly explain why.
If you would like to join me in this meme, feel free to do so! Just link back to this post, so I can easily see it and share it here!
For clarity purpose, I’ll use “Santino Hassell” in this post to refer to the author of MM romance novels who wrote books under this pen name, and will use he/him.
Exceptionally today I’m going to talk about why I won’t promote Santino Hassell’s novels on this blog in the future, and why I’ve decided to delete every mention of them.
I’ve said it before, but I genuinely cannot separate authors from their works. I’ve heard people arguing that “but but but the books are good!!”, and I have to admit that I fail to understand this argument. Indeed I believe that ignoring an author’s awful behavior and buying his books is very much supporting him : if I’m buying his books, I’m giving him money. If I’m promoting his books, I’m convincing other people to give him money. So, no.
I’d say that I respect other people’s opinions on this, but honestly? It would be a lie. Of course I won’t come at you and insult you because you keep buying a well-known abuser, catfisher, liar’s books, but I won’t respect you, either. Even in the US whose laws consider hate speech as free speech (Y I K E S), free speech doesn’t mean “everyone must respect you for being a selfish human being who doesn’t care about other’s pains”, right? Well, in this situation, I sure won’t force you to stop reading Santino Hassell’s books. I have no wish to do that, I don’t have the capacity nor the time for that, and really, at this point I don’t think anything I could say would change your mind. However, don’t ask for my respect or my understanding, because you won’t have it.
There are already a lot of places where you can get information about the situation, so I won’t reiterate everything here.
In a nutshell :
- Santino Hassell is accused of gaslighting and abuse towards readers and fellow authors ;
- He’s also accused of having lied about his health condition (and about who “he” is, period – which adds the issue of falsely using the #ownvoices label) and getting money from his readers under false pretense in his Patreon account ;
- Moreover, testimonies attested that he used personal information given by his readers to craft his stories, without asking permission, and god, no, that’s not the same as “being inspired by real life”. Seriously?! When someone is emotionally manipulated into talking about private issues with a person who poses as a friend, and when this so-called friend uses whole pans of these chats in his books later without asking for permission, it’s inexcusable.
Three of his publishers terminated his contract.
You can find further info here :
- GR thread
- The Salt Miners recap on Tumblr
- Riptide statement
- Dreamspinner statement on Twitter
- Berkley Romance statement on Twitter
- Bianca’s video on Youtube
No book is good enough to condone this. None.
First I won’t give him money, secondly just thinking about where his stories come from gives me the creeps : I have no wish to read personal info about readers who weren’t asked if using them is okay.
To the victims : I am sorry for having supported him in the past. I didn’t know, but it doesn’t erase the hurt caused. For that, I’m really sorry, and I wanted to thank you for your courage.