This is such an unpopular opinion but I’m not really that disappointed with stories I read that doesn’t closely mirror real life, even for contemporary stories. For someone who views reading as a form of escape, I’d rather not see too much similarities. I don’t know, I always have thick line between what’s real life and what’s fiction. So no, I don’t believe in everything I read but I know which ones to enjoy, regardless.
It does not mean I don’t need some doses of realism on the stories I read. Sometimes I crave those kinds because those elements make it more relatable to me, especially when human emotions are portrayed. But somehow my brain process certain ways that make fictional aspects a little more acceptable compare to real life scenarios. I don’t think I like to end up with a bad boy as much as I liked reading about them. I don’t think it’s my subconscious telling me that I do but liking about it in an imaginary context and implementing the idea in my life is way too different.
But reading is always a personal thing, at least on most cases. We mostly critique the stories we read based on what we think; which is made of our prejudices, ideals, morals, etc. It is why I get people who favor books that are more realistic. For example, those who occasionally wants stories that do not always end in happily ever after; because life can bit be a harsh on us. But at the same time, I like unrealistic, fairytale type of ending. I think it also mirrors real life. People sometimes think the rawer, edgier are better. But people do get their happy ever after. And sometimes it nice to be reminded of good things even though it could sound far-fetched.
But it all boils down to how much it weighs on what readers’ want and how the person accepts it. Do you take everything you read by face value? How much does it influence you? If you like a character, do you seek a person that similar to it? The real question here is: how much do you want on the stories you read to be reflection of real life?
ETA: Another question for y’all: what things do you deem unrealistic?