Top Ten Tuesday – Top 10 Book Turn-Offs

October 1, 2013 General, Top Ten Tuesday 14


Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by the blog THE BROKE AND THE BOOKISH.  Every Tuesday, I love seeing these lists around my favorite blogs so I decided to jump into the fun and participate, too.  Please click the graphic above to see what other blogs are posting their top ten today!   


This week we’re listing the top ten turn-offs we encounter while reading!  


1.  Bad Fashion

I hate it when a character’s outfit is described and I cringe.  Sometimes, cringing is the point. Other times, I’m supposed to think the character looks sexy but instead I think, Fashion Emergency!  I remember one book where the male characters were wearing cutoff jean shorts.  I was meant to think it was hot but…it wasn’t.


2.  Love Triangles (that are more like two equal sides and one small dotted line)

There are some good love triangles but there are also those that are just inauthentic plot devices or conflict creators.  I can’t stand it when there’s a fake love triangle, when there really is only one choice but a third possibility is thrown in for good measure.  It rings false and is just annoying.  


3.  Word Echoes

Is that the correct term?  Words that are repeated throughout but not used in a stylistic way.  I remember reading The God of Small Things (a long time ago) and I vaguely remember words and phrases being repeated throughout as part of the style of the writing.  It created a cadence that was beautiful and evocative.  However, now I’m speaking about repeatedly using a word or words just because there was seemingly no other choice.  I recently read a book where a main character “smirked” in almost every scene.  Bothersome.


4.  Uninterested Parents

This happens.  Some people have horrible parents who are never around and don’t give a rat’s ass about what happens to their kid, or are just too busy to notice anything unusual.  But this can’t be the accepted premise of every YA book.  Some kids must have parents who care, who notice when their kid is hanging around a vampire, becoming a witch, or howling at the moon.  I mean, come on, adding a caring, observant parent into the mix would actually make the story more interesting.


5.  Inauthentic Cultural References

Nothing takes me out of a story more than the sense that the author is writing about a culture he or she really knows nothing about, or is relying on cliches or stereotypes to build their characters.  


6.  Slow Pace with No Reward

I can read a slowly paced book with no issue but there has got to be a reward in there somewhere, either in finely drawn characters, beautiful prose, fascinating wordbuilding, smart dialogue, or eventual knock-your-socks-off climax.


7.  Series that should have ended three books ago

Don’t drag it out.  Take the story where it needs to go and then end it.  Fans will be sad but if you go out on top, they won’t be disappointed.  I feel this way about episodic television, too.


8.  Unnecessarily Large Word Count

Sometimes the success of a first book in a series leads to increasingly larger page counts in follow-up books.  And sometimes this is no big deal.  It works and you don’t feel the length.  Other times it seems the tightly edited first book has been let down by its successors.   I feel this about franchise films, too.


9.  Bad Cover

In all honesty, this is usually a turnoff before even reading a book.  If the cover is bad but the book is brilliant, I have a sad face because I know the story deserved better.


10.  Stupid Names



I’d love to know some of your bookish turn-offs.  Leave me a comment and tell me some of your book pet peeves!



14 Responses to “Top Ten Tuesday – Top 10 Book Turn-Offs”

  1. Felicia The Geeky Blogger

    1) Love Triangles (can’t stand them)
    2) Bad Editing (I am not a grammar fiend so it has to be super bad for me to notice)
    3) Non-Existent Parents/Authority Figures (if reading YA)
    4) Snotty Leads (Mean Girl/Guy)
    5) Undeveloped Side Characters (those are usually where I fall in love with a story)
    Felicia The Geeky Blogger recently posted..Top Off Tuesday: Fierce by Sabrina YorkMy Profile

    • shewolfreads

      Great list, Felicia. The side characters comment is a good one. I agree. Some of the side characters have been reasons why I’ve continued reading an author’s series. And snotty girls without commentary (i.e. we are meant to see them a good characters) is disappointing.
      shewolfreads recently posted..Top Ten Tuesday – Top 10 Book Turn-OffsMy Profile

    • shewolfreads

      I always feel bad saying that but a bad cover is the first impression a reader gets of a book. It really should be as eye catching as possible.

  2. Annie Slasher

    1. Virgins. OK Yes I know that 20 something year old virgins exist. I am pretty sure most of us were not one. Add a billionaire bad boy and my erk level skyrockets.
    2. Bad Editing. I agree with Felicia. I am not a grammar nazi so if I take notice it must be terrible.
    3. Word repetition. *facepalm* This annoys me to no end. I read a book the other day and the other word for rooster (you know the one) was used SIXTY TIMES. There is no excuse for this and it completely distracts from the story.
    4. Overly Independent Female Leads – What I mean is simple. Being a strong and independent women does not mean you can’t be in a relationship or want one. The exception to this is if it fits the story and the character – it is explained why the character is like this. I hate the thought that what is being portraying is that wanting a man makes you less independent. No. It does not.
    I also agree with your #7 strongly. LOL
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