Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Turn-Offs

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
Imagine you start reading a book after reading a killer synopsis or looking at an amazing cover. Everything might be just dandy in the beginning and then out of nowhere, you're hit by a metaphorical bus. What does that bus hold? A certain bookish turn-off a trope. We all have them so in no particular order, here's mine. 

This will probably be the most famous one among the lists today so I'll get it out of the way. Insta-attraction, I get. But why do authors put insta-love in potentially amazing books? I'm digging the story then WHACK, I'm hit with the unrealistic, stupid notion of love at first sight. Puh-lease. 

Apostrophes as quotes
For example, here is part of the beginning of Anthem for Jackson Dawes by Celia Bryce:

'Well,' Mum said, 'this isn't bad, is it?'
Megan twisted her face. 'It's not good.'

Ironic excerpt, no? Anyways, I know that they did this in the olden literature days, but whether it's school reading or fun reading, I can't stand it when they do this type of dialogue. Maybe it's a visual and psychological thing, but I have a habit of stopping the book once this shows up. 

This is a major duh, but must be said. Authors, make sure your book doesn't have typos. Editors, do your job. Please. One or two, I understand, especially if it's a long book. But when I catch a typo on nearly every page? Too bad. Your book might have been great, but I will never know except for the first however many pages. 

An excerpt from Crank by Ellen Hopkins: 

there is no perfect daughter, 
no gifted high-school junior,
no Kristina Georgia Snow.
There is only Bree.

The spacing is a little closer together than that, but you get the gist of how the formatting works, at least for this particular book in verse. I hated poetry in high school with a passion. I can appreciate some think Dr. Seuss in small quantities, but I've never been able to do or imitate it. And the whole layout messes me up. The synopsis always sounds really good, but I'm extremely disappointed when I open it up and I'm met with that

Cannot compute books in verse.
A boring narrative
This might seem obvious to every human in the world. If a book has a boring narrative, then you will get bored, and if you're bored, you will probably stop reading it. You'd be amazed though at how many books I have picked up and put down because the narrative was so boring I couldn't concentrate and was actually contemplating about reading olden literature with apostrophes as quotes boring. They either try to hard to be dramatic or who knows what the author was aiming for. It just needed to stop. 

Clingy guys
I'm all for the sweet, protective boyfriend. They're cute. BUT I do not like the possessive, clingy ones who are the poster children for a Dear Abby segment in which the girl is writing and all the readers are like, "GET OUT! He's a future emotional abuser waiting to happen!" Those kinds are annoying. And they also make the girl annoying to me since the girl doesn't see it. Slappage for all ya'll.

Needy girls
With the above said, now I glare at the girls. Sometimes they do so well on their own until they meet the guy and then it's as if all the air goes out of them. They can't do one simple thing without them afterwards! Or the neediness is ingrained in them from the start. Get some girl power!

A catchphrase or repeating words that act like nails on a chalkboard
You know what I'm talking about I hope. There's that one character who says something so weird that no one will ever say in real life and they keep repeating it. If any of you have seen that new Disney Channel show, Liv and Maddie, you know what I'm talking about since Maddie constantly says, "BAM! WUT!" I can't remember the exact title, but I had to stop a book once because the constant best friend was talking like a valley girl with these really annoying phrases.
Bonus: This also includes acronyms. Do not have your characters actually say, "LOL or WTF" please. That's just stupid.

Oh, you love each other? How sweet. Oh, one of you are in a marriage or relationship? GET OUT OF MY BOOK. Don't act like what you're doing is impossible to stop or acceptable just because you have "love." Either get out of your present relationship first or actually make that one work instead of philandering around.
Bonus: I also hate when authors put in that mean girl who is usually the girlfriend of the love interest. She's probably just misunderstood. If not, then boy, why are you dating her anyways?

Sigh. I get that you need to just vent sometimes and that people do whine in real life. However, we do not whine a 24/7 basis and then not do anything. If you have a problem, do something about it. Don't act as if you have no control over your whole life when I know for a fact that your problem is doable to fix. You're just pathetic.

What are some of your turn-offs or deal breakers?


  1. It always feels good to get book turn-offs off your chest! I'm a fan of verse novels, but yes if the formatting is bad, it is a total turn-off. Typos, whiners and boring narratives would be high on my list too.

    1. I know quite a few who love verse novels and I wish I could be like you guys! I think I would feel sophisticated reading them.

  2. Your list is SO good! And you hit on a few pet peeves I haven't seen on other lists either, including the apostrophes as quotation marks, typos, overuse of dumb catchprases (add nicknames to that list, too), whiners, and clingers. Bleh!

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

    1. Thank you! I'm glad I was a bit original :) Yes, nicknames!

  3. I rarely see apostrophes used, and when I do it's for older books or books from other countries (some use apostrophes and have different spellings for words). Overusage of words/actions/etc. drives me BONKERS. Great list, and thanks for stopping by!

    Rachel @ Beauty and the Bookshelf

  4. YES to everything on your list! I haven't come across apostrophes as quotes before, but it sounds annoying (and I just read a book that didn't use any quote marks for dialogue--ugh). I especially get annoyed at clingy guys and needy girls, I just don't see what what's attractive about them, and they're easily a start for bad relationships.

    Alice @ Alice in Readerland

  5. Creative list. Totally agree about verse novels. There might be some great ones but they are totally NOT my thing. Yay for girl power!

  6. Yes to clingy guys/needy girls!!! I mean NO. Definitely NO! Can't stand them. The clingy obsessive guys in book trend really scares me because I see all these reviews from girls just swooning over them. *cough* Travis Maddox *cough*. I can't stand to see abuse being shown as sexy and clinginess being shown as some kind of intense love. Bc it's not healthy... at all! Anyway enough about that... I also don't like whiners, but I do like Ellen Hopkins books (although after a few they all start seeming the same). It took me a while to catch on, but once I got into Crank, it really felt like I was reading a regular book and not verse. But I can see how it's definitely not for everyone.

    Thanks for stopping by My TTT

  7. I love verse novels, so I guess we don't have that in common. :) I hate love-triangles, but I don't see that on your list. I also hate whiners and cheaters! Great list, Sunny! :)

  8. I kind of love that we both used the wonder expressions of Steve Carrel-- LOL. And I totally hate apostrophe's as quote marks as well! They're TERRIBLE. I actually really love Ellen Hopkins, I don't know why. But I've read that one, LOL! CLINGY GUYS. YES. <3 this one. I actually have a friend that talks like that "LOL" and "WTF" and it's actually really annoying, but it's her thing. O.O

    Awesome list, girly! (:

  9. Single quotes are frustrating, unless they're for a quote within a quote. Sigh. They do this to be different I think, but ugh. Let your content be different, not your grammar laws.

    Verse: I was ranting about this the other day on Twitter. I can live with this. I think the layout stuff can be cool, actually. My issue with verse is when the lines are arbitrary. If you put a certain thing on a line, I'm going to pause at the end of the line

    so if
    it is like
    then i will read
    part of a
    phrase and stop to do
    and it all
    sounds wrong
    and not at all poetic.

    If I'm meant to read it like a prose sentence, then WHY THE HECK IS IT NOT A PROSE SENTENCE?

    Clingy folks are annoying. I need my space. I am reading. BACK OFF.

    Hmm, the catchphrase is either annoying or awesome. Lydia's catchphrases in LBD are awesome!

  10. Whiners, needy girls and insta-love would definitely make it to my list too Sunny, I think that insta-love would definitely be at the top of my list, it's so overdone these days! Thanks for sharing another great top ten with us! :)

  11. Ugh, insta-love! I can get past it sometimes if the book is amazing otherwise, but it's still a turn-off! Typos bug me too.I will say that I like books in verse once in awhile, just to have something different. But it's not my favorite. Yes! I hate clingy guys in books! And needy girls annoy me too! I agree with pretty much all of your list!

  12. Apostrophes for quotes! If I remember correctly, I once read a book in which the author didn't even use those and the dialogue was horribly disorienting. I'm all for unconventional writing styles, but find another way to be quirky, please. Preferably one that enhances the narrative rather than confuses the reader.

    Weird catchphrases are annoying in real life, and they are even worse in books. The author may have been trying to add to the character development, and I don't want to criticize that, but I am not a fan either.

    You've read books with typos on almost every page? That sounds terrible, and putting it down is understandable. Even ARCs shouldn't have that many errors.

    And for everything else (aside from novels in verse) I simply offer a nod of overarching agreement. You listed so many great turn-offs, and authors should read this post!

  13. I've seen that apostrophes as quotes recently, and I think it was in an Aussie book, so I thought at the time that maybe that's just how they do things there. :P I hate the catchphrase thing, too. And weird nicknames. Your list is so full of win, Sunny! And unique, too...it's so fun to find out what grinds everyone else's gears when they're reading. :)