We all have our own reasons for picking up a book – from a secretive murderous family to clockwork-like dragons to children with glittering skin! We’re all faint hearted when it comes to pretty covers. Oh, you know what I’m talking about. But we can’t ALWAYS splurge on books lest we make our poor mothers cry, so says the vixen.
So, in the process, we go against our bookish nature, learn to become picky, learn to sniff out the disdainful in books. In short, we create our own reading characteristics. Even when it comes to books, we have our own tastes. There are certain we like and dislike, and others that simply send us running for the hills. Today I decided to share my own pet peeves when it comes to reading. Below I answer what keeps me from picking up a book, and what makes me stop reading a book.
My biggest pet peeve is to see SOMEONE, especially a male, shirtless on the book cover.
These are the books that I don’t even glance at the blurb for. Hey, listen, I’m not afraid of smut but having some dude’s abs on the cover with a title like “MAGIC REVIVED” or “EARTH’S BODYGUARD” makes no sense to me.
How is Earth going to be defended by a six pack? Unless those six packs are six broken pieces of a jewel that can magically create a protective force-field around our planet. Unless that person is participating in Mr. Universe or is an Incubus, please give him a shirt.
2. The very mention of a brooding, “sexy” SOMEONE *eyeroll*
Let me guess, SOMEONE has trust issues, so remains mysterious to our protagonist yet antagonizes them with their “bad behavior” and reckless abandonment for life. But said protagonist believes there is a heart of gold beneath all that darkness and, in the end, rejoices because SOMEONE does in spite of all the mean things SOMEONE did to them.
Which leads me to my next point.
3. The bad boy isn’t a bad boy; he’s actually an abusive jerk.*
Please don’t tell me I’m the only who sees that. It’s not romance with flaws if the love interest dismisses the other’s emotions, behaves recklessly in spite of hurting the other, stalks and sexually harasses said protagonist, then goes on to blame them.
No, man, that isn’t romance. It’s borderline abusive behavior.
*The same goes for female characters.
4. Anything related to a Werewolf clan versus a Vampire clan
It’s not that don’t enjoy reading about werewolves or vampires but that trope has become so common and the plots are all very repetitive. How about we include some vampiric fairies? Or winged Gnomes? Or Cerberus? I’d love to read a story on Cerberus.
6. Romance for the sake of it.
Unless this is a romance novel, I don’t want to find myself puzzling over two characters who until said moment had no “spark”. There’s nothing wrong with romantic subplots or romance, in general, but when there’s a character whining over two love interests – I’m already taking my hat off the hook and walking out the door. What I’m looking for is well-developed relationships that actually put me in an urgency to see these two characters together.
Otherwise, platonic relationships are just as emotional.
7. You have a magic system but why aren’t you telling me about the society’s religion (or lack of)? And what about food?
It’s blasphemy to even forget about that. Want to create a believable and livable society? Show us readers what keeps that civilization together. What rituals do they perform? Do they celebrate any particular festival? What is their cultural food like????
8. The villain is not “human” enough.
Wait, all they want is power? But why? Some writers tend to think that if they write a villain cruel enough with dark forces under their power that that’s good enough. But it’s not! Why is the antagonist after said magic? Why immortality and not reincarnation? What are they willing to risk for the sake of this “power”? Make villains just as complex as the main character.
9. Death for the sake of pushing a plot
Unless this is a murder/mystery book, killing off characters for the sake of shock value is lazy. The idea, in general, is not completely bad but if the book dies a meaningless then what was the point of getting readers invested into said character. Sometimes it does up the drama, and shows readers that it was characters had certain choices which if they had made would have allowed dead character to live.
Thus I end my post on my bookish pet peeves – but, wait! I only did nine. Shouldn’t it be ten? Of course it should and that is why the comments are there! I want you to finish up this list by telling me
what are your absolute peeves when it comes to books?
What makes your introverted nature slip on claws? What trope do you absolutely avoid? What name in books do you think is overused? What is the worst magic system?
Go ahead & take over the comments section, readers.
[Background images for header taken from Angie Makes]