Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Book Turn-Offs

This is a weekly meme hosted by the girls over at The Broke and Bookish.

This Week: Top Ten Book Turn-Offs:

1) Bad editing-For example: Fifty Shades of Gray. I don't know how ANYONE can get through that book. Just a few paragraphs of it and I was itching to take out my red marker and correct every mistake that was in it and send it to the publishers with a big note saying that if you're going to charge someone for this junk, you can at least edit the damn thing.

2) Writers who tend to treat the readers like they're idiots-This is a bad habit I've seen in many a YA novel. Writers, just because you may have a young audience does not mean that audience is dumb. They don't need their hand held through out the thing. By that I mean, I don't need you to tell me what I should be thinking about a character or a situation. Let me draw my own conclusions please. If you've done your story right, chances are I'll be able to figure out a character's motivations anyway. Oh and before you think this is just a YA problem, I've seen it in many adult books too. Particularly in overly pretentious literature books written by authors who think their story is so special their audience can't possibly comprehend the special meaning on their own.

3) Books with NO Original Ideas Whatsoever-This is probably one that's often in the eye of the beholder but it's a problem that can pop up from time to time in genre fiction (ALL genre fiction, not just YA). You know these books when they happen. As you read it, you'll think "hmm...this plot feels familiar" a lot. Then you'll see common character tropes. Then you'll see common story tropes. Then it will basically play out exactly how you thought it would because you've read this story a million times in other books. Some of these aren't always so bad. I myself admit to having a weakness for certain kinds of plots (for instance I love the sassy girl sleuth discovers something, gets into shenanigans, along the way snags hot guy who she snarks with a lot, and then helps save the world trope). But the key is to have some sort of thing that makes your non-original at least slightly different from the rest of the pack. If you don't have that thing...then I tend to lose interest.

4) Authors Who Use Their Characters as Mouthpieces-I get that people like to have messages in books. That's fine. But don't put it in where it makes no sense. I can't tell you the number of times I've read a book and a character has voiced an opinion on something that really makes no sense for that character and I can just tell that this is the author speaking, not the character (House of Night series for example). I just find this habit annoying. You want to have a specific message in there, show it by actions in the story. Not by having your character tell me the message I'm supposed to be getting.

5) When Romance Takes Over a Story That Was Not Supposed to be a Romance-Authors, if I want a story that is strictly romance, I will pick up a romance story. Do not promise me a epic dystopian world and then sideline that epic dystopian world for epic romance love triangle instead. The dystopian genre is not supposed to be just a backdrop for your epic love story. It's annoying. Cut it out. Or at least make the romance actually worth it.

6) Shallow Mean Girl Blonde Cheerleader Trope-Stop me if you've read this one before-Hey, I'm the MC. I'm brunette and so smart and so nerdy. But no one likes me you see because of popular mean girl who is of course totally shallow and dumb and not as deep as me. Words do not describe how annoying this trope is for me. It's not only a really tired and overdone trope. It also pushes the "being feminine in any way is bad" ideas that tend to float around and I despise that way of thinking.

7) Slut-Shaming-An awful lot of slut shaming pops up in YA. STOP IT AUTHORS. By the way, going out of your way to point out how the popular mean girl has sex with boys and that's bad, counts as slut-shaming.

8) Stereotyped Characters Who Never Grow Past Their Stereotypes-I have no real issue with stereotypes themselves because honestly, there's only so many types of characters you can do. What I do have an issue with is when you keep that character in the stereotype and never give them depth or make them their own character. Best example of this is any of Zoey's friends in the House of Night series. Granted, I never read past book three so maybe, just maybe, the authors actually grew their characters a bit. But from what I've heard, I doubt it.

9) Over-use of Dictionary Words-Congratulations. You have a love of words. But guess what? Most people don't go around sounding like a walking, talking dictionary. If it makes no sense for your character to say that big fancy word. Do not have them do it. Less is more, people.

10) The Bad-Boy Douchebag Love Interest Who Somehow Gets the Girl Despite Being a Jerk to Her-I hate hate hate this trope. It needs to die a fiery death. Now, you can have a bad boy love interest. Sure. Rob from 1-800-Where-R-U series? That's an example of a GOOD bad boy love interest. He's got an edge to him that's rather hot, but he respects Jess and doesn't treat her like dirt. Patch from Hush Hush? BAD bad boy love interest because the way he treats Nora is horrible. More Robs. Less Patchs.


  1. I agree with the bad-boy comment! Why can't characters realize that they are settling for a bad boy when they could find someone who is actually nice?!
    Check out my TTT list: http://booksavvyblog.blogspot.com/

  2. Yessssss!!! So many of the choices on our lists line up! I couldn't agree more. Particularly with writers who treat their readers as idiots - not on my list, but so true!