Top Ten Book Turn-Offs
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they have a different Top Ten list topic that a bunch of bloggers take and make their own list of those things.
I could be wrong, but I don't think I have ever heard of someone who actually likes Insta-love. I always find it sloppy, lazy, and a little cheap. It robs the story of the slow build-up, the tension that makes us all sit on the edge of our seats waiting for the characters to finally open their eyes. My hatred is mostly because I refuse to believe that relationships exist that don't start out at least a little bit awkwardly (unless it slowly turns from a friendship into a relationship, but that's not what insta-love is). If we all voted, do you think we could stop this madness?
2. Half-Hearted World Building
If the author isn't into the construction of the world, then I won't be either. I think if you decide to have your story take place in a different world then you have to devote a sizeable amount of time (at least in the first book) to making your reader understand the world. If you don't then the book with have an overall flat feeling.
3. Characters Keeping Secrets for No Reason
Character: "But...But I can't tell them this huge secret that could ruin all of our lives!"
Me: "Well, why not?"
Character: "Because something is holding me back."
Me: "Okayyyy, what?"
Character: "I don't want to."
Me: *puts book down and walks away*
(Obviously I'm not referring to times when it actually makes sense for the character or they have a good enough reason, like shame, guilt, trying to keep people safe, or things like that. But if it's merely to add drama UGH. Get it out.)
4. When Indecision Makes Up Most of the Plot
I'm a pretty decisive person. So when a character takes a whole book (or even half of it) to make one decision it tends to bug me. I mean, if other things are happening and the decision is only brought up every once in a while before being resolved, that's fine. But if it is just the character thinking about the decision for chapters on end I can't stand it.
5. Aimless Wandering
This is why I don't read a lot of contemporary. Sometimes it works (like with Little Women, which is one of my favorite books). But other times I just need the story to get places and for things to happen.
This is more of a personal one. I know a lot of people disagree with this and that's totally fine. I personally don't cuss and prefer finding other words to describe how I'm feeling. For that reason I don't like reading excessive cussing and bad language. But I also understand its use in contemporary. Teens cuss. Usually a lot. So, as with the other things on this list, there are exceptions. I didn't mind it in Eleanor and Park because it was used for a purpose and to make a point about Eleanor's step-dad. It's when it's used just to be used that I have a problem with it.
I honestly don't know what it is about this storyline, but I CANNOT STAND the "this person woke up with amnesia and now must find themselves" plot line. I have tried over and over and over again to read these kind of books, but I always have the same negative reaction. I've even tried what some people call the best amnesia book they've ever read (Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac) and I still couldn't bring myself to enjoy it.
8. "Dark, Brooding, Handsome" and Boring Love Interest
I don't get this one at all. What is so desirable about a silent, sad, "strong" guy. Give me a genuinely flawed hero with a backstory and a heart over that any day. Heck, give ANY OTHER TYPE OF GUY CHARACTER. Just not the "strong and silent type." It's been done. It's played out. I never liked it and I never will.
9. When the Actions of a Character Don't Fit the Character as has been Described
This isn't referring to character growth or development. For example, I'm talking about when the book tells you that a character isn't rash or action-seeking and then a couple pages (and 100 rash and action-seeking decisions without the slightest hesitation shown) later they are a totally different character than we were just told. If you're going to do that then show the character hesitating or deciding to be brave and rash. (A great example of how to do this right is The Girl of Fire and Thorns).
10. "Forbidden Love"
UGH. Just like the brooding hero, this is a thing that I have never EVER enjoyed. I usually find the love to be superficial (and actually, it usually IS insta-love) and fueled only by adrenaline. I won't even pick up a book if its summary hints at this.