Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Turn-Offs

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they update their blog with a list of ten things that have to do with a predetermined topic.

This week's topic is: What are your top ten book turn-offs?

1. Insta! Love. I am all for cute, squee-worthy interactions between characters, but I absolutely cannot stand Insta! Love. I like to see relationships develop, rather than watching the characters (or, most oftentimes, the female lead) jump into something so quickly, only to have her heart broken when she is snubbed. Also, back-and-forth tends to occur; meaning that we experience a lot of "I love him, I hate him" and annoying fight and make-out make-up scenes throughout the rest of the story.

2. Editing mistakes and cheesy, clichéd or overused words/phrases. I am particularly sensitive to editing mistakes—perhaps because I am an English major?—so, of course, one of my biggest pet peeves is finding grammar and simple editing mistakes in a published work. Granted, once you read something enough times it becomes difficult to pick certain things out of a group of words—I do this all the time as well—but for some reason, I become really annoyed. Also, overused and clichéd words/phrases are the bane of my existence.

3. When the author/main character lays everything out for you. There is nothing more annoying than being spoken down to. Even worse, when you have to experience 300+ pages of condescension. I HATE that. I liked to be challenged; to figure things out for myself rather than being told what is happening or that something is important and will be relevant later on.

4. Predictability. I am someone who likes suspense, as you probably gathered from my previous turn-off, so I loathe being able to predict the ending of a story before it happens. Sometimes it works, but I will always enjoy the feeling you get after an insane, surprise ending.

5. A weak or whiny hero/heroine who undergoes zero character development. A story without character development is a pretty big no-no to begin with, but when that character is a whiny or weak pain-in-the-ass, it makes the story completely unbearable. They get on my nerves so easily and, oftentimes, I find characters like this completely unrelatable. You would not put up with a friend that continually whines about their love life and the fact that nothing seems to go their way—especially when they make absolutely no attempt to change or correct the problem(s)—would you? A character in a story is no different.

6. Poor execution. You know that feeling you get, when you stumble upon a book that seems perfect; with its amazing cover and interesting summary? But then you take it home and it is all downhill from there. I hate the disappointment you experience after realizing that the actual story is not quite as awesome as you had originally thought.

7. When characters make stupid choices. Meaning, they posses a complete lack of common sense. YOU WERE TOLD NOT TO TRUST HIM. WHY ARE YOU TRUSTING HIM?! /throwsbookacrosstheroom

8. Awful flow/transitions and poor world-building. Sometimes it is hard to follow a story when the flow is off, because transitions are what take us from the beginning of the story to the resolution. It also does not help when there is a lack of proper world-building, because then I have absolutely no idea what is going on and when/where.

9. Unrealistic or over-the-top actions. This one speaks for itself, I think. I enjoy reading about characters that I can relate to, so when their actions are unrealistic, such as making a decision that does not pertain to the problem at hand or having a crazy reaction to something that has happened/is going to happen, it becomes difficult to lose myself within their story; which is one of the best parts of reading.

10. Lack of a theme. I like stories to have depth, so when I find a book that does not posses a strong theme, I am immediately turned off. (I especially dislike the books about teenagers having random sex in an attempt to find "the one," only to realize that they are falling in love with their best friend and/or sex partner; as that seems to happen quite often in Young Adult contemporaries novels, and I am so over it.)

What are your bookish turn-offs? Anything on my list that you can relate to? Let me know!


  1. I totally agree with most of these especially zero character development! It is so annoying!

    I was also an English major but for me if I find an editing mistake here or there it doesn't ruin the book for me. However if it is a huge editing mistake or one mistake after another then it is SO annoying! I will literally just stop reading a book if that is the case and I don't often DNF books!

  2. Editing mistakes! Yes! Isn't there such a thing as grammar-checking software? Why don't writers/editors use it?