Monday, September 30, 2013

TTT: Book Turn-Offs

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.
1. Insta-Love
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.

6. Language
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.

7. Amnesia
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.


  1. I biggest book turn off is cheating!
    Heres mine

  2. I'm so pleased to see Insta-love on so many lists. It's just not believable.

  3. I agree on the cursing! It doesn't bug me to have a few sprinkled in throughout the book, but every other sentence is just vulgar and unnecessary. I just read Alice in Zombieland and Through the Zombie Glass by Gena Showalter-- not a single curse used and she had no trouble portraying deep emotion! LOVED IT.

  4. Agreed on the insta-love. Also 3 - 5, it's maddening when a plot can resolved easily if someone just spoke up or took action.

    My TTT

  5. I agree whole-heartedly on 1, 2, 3, 4, 9 & 10.

    My TTT.

  6. Although I can't say that instalove is a favorite, sometimes I don't mind it. If two characters fall for each other really quickly, but then there is a lot of the story about them spending time together, and learning about each other, then it doesn't bother me.

  7. "Aimless Wandering"!! That's a good one! This is also why I don't like contemporary/realistic fiction because they go on and on and on..About their lives and I find it all so darn whiny LOL
    Giselle @ Book Nerd Canada
    Top Ten Tuesday

  8. Wow, your language one is interesting. I feel the same way. Authors have so many words to choose from to describe what is going on, and there is no need to taint their writing with cuss words unless completely necessary to prove the brutality and rawness of a situation.
    Great list! Check out mine:

  9. I don't mind cursing in most books, but I do hate it when it's used unnecessarily and excessively. I also can't stand it when the MC keeps a big secret for no real reason, especially if people are going to get hurt just because he/she didn't speak up. Nice list & happy reading!

  10. Yes on insta-love and forbidden love! They are both usually just an excuse for lazy, sloppy writing and I hate it! :) Language doesn't usually bother me unless it's every other word (I may speak that way sometimes, but it doesn't mean I want to read it on repeat!) and feels forced. We don't swear because it's "cool", as people we do it times of high emotion or out of habit. Great list!

    My TTT:

  11. Huh, I really really like forbidden love when it's well done. It just makes me jaded old heart happy ;) - and I feel like this insta-love thing... maybe I haven't read enough books where it's done badly, because whenever I see lists I haven't read a single one, but a lot of the time especially in YA and historic/fantasy it might just be the character THINKING they are in love because they really have no idea what love is and think this sudden feeling of OMG this person is AMAZING is it. I have no issue with that kind of insta-love.

    But omh, pointless secret-keeping, indecision and all the rest I'm so with you there.