Book Pet Peeves

Nov 2, 2014 by

books

Do you have pet peeves that will cause you not to read a book? The more I talk to readers, the more I realize that this is the case for many of them. We have to come with ways to rule out books, after all. It would be nice if we could read them all, but alas! So it got me thinking, do I have pet peeves? And if so, what are they? Well, it didn’t take me long to come up with a list.

By the way, this also gave the idea of starting a book review vlog focusing on common pet peeves. You should check it out :)

Turn-ons

Yummy prose
Just this past week I opened a book I’d been eager to get my hands on for a while. I read the first chapter and, after that . . . I had to stop. I just couldn’t keep on reading. The story line wasn’t terrible, but combined with the bland prose, it just fell flat. It doesn’t have to be poetry, but the prose has to be engaging. It needs to have a little something, a cleverness with the words, something that lets me know the author didn’t write the first flat sentence that came to mind, but one that came from a deeper place within their creative brain. If that kind of yummy prose isn’t there, then the plot better get me by the throat—otherwise, I will set the book down.

Humor
This isn’t a requirement either. I can read serious topics, no problem. However, a little effective humor can get me rooting for the characters very quickly.

Non-jerk hero
Is this too much to ask? Maybe it is the feminist in me, but I’ve read enough “bad boy” books. I guess it wouldn’t be so bad if the female protagonists paired up against these guys weren’t so willing to put up with the abuse. I understand the appeal in “taming the badass,” but, personally, I wouldn’t hang out long enough to put up with it. I would say Adios very quickly. Instead, give a hero that knows how to treat a woman, and I’m in!

Original concepts
Vampire, werewolf, dystopia books . . . anyone? I’ve enjoyed a few novels in all of these categories (in dystopia more than any other) but my tolerance for reading the same types of books is low, now. Give me a book with a fresh concept (i.e. a being of the author’s creation—such as Morphids in KEEPER) and I’m hooked. I want to visit worlds no one else has imagined before.

Turn-offs

Protagonist moving to a new town/school
I write YA and, as everyone knows, the concept of the poor protagonist in a new town and school is overused in the genre. Maybe it is due to everyone trying to copy Twilight. Who knows? Whatever the case, it has become a huge turn-off for me.

Dreams
If dreams is an big ploy device in a book, forget it! I’m not reading it. Nope. I’m already in a book so, to me, a dream is like fiction within fiction. I think dreams are an easy way out. I use them sparingly in my writing, if I must—never more than a couple of paragraphs.

Flimsy plot logic
The plot HAS to make sense. I won’t lose interest in a book any quicker than if a flimsy explanation is offered to support big plot points. No, just no!

Cocky characters – much talk, no action
You know those characters that just talk about how mean they are and all they are going to do to kick butt, yet they don’t do much of anything? Yeah, those guys. I can’t stand them.

[Image attribution: Photo by Brenda Clarke, used under CC/No changes]

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5 Comments

  1. Turn off:
    Meaningless scenes or characters. Or loose ends. Mix them together and the book just makes me mad.
    Don’t waste my time with a large chunk of writing that tells me nothing. And don’t make me think of a character who won’t show up again.
    And I like you list of turn ons.

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