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!