Top Ten Book Turn-Offs (52)

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Top Ten Book Turn-Offs

(You know..you are reading and then SOMETHING happens to completely turn you off — cheating, absent parents, multiple POVS etc.)

Here is a list of books I have put down or decided not to read, and the reason they turned me off:

1. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L James promotes rape culture. From the Snark Squad blog Fifty Shades Darker Chapter 15 reading: “So she says, “No, please. I can’t do this, not now. I need some time, please.” His response? “’Oh, Ana, don’t overthink this,’ he whispers as he nips my earlobe.” We have a whole tag on this blog for this. It’s called, “THAT’S RAPE ASSHOLE.”

2. In Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick, heroine Nora continuously pushes away the lead ‘romantic’ hero only to succumb to him because he’s irresistible (he makes me want to stab my eye with a fork). This promotes the ‘no means yes’ or ‘playing hard to get’ mentality found in rape culture:

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3. In City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, romantic couple Clary and Jace think, at some point, that they are brother and sister. This creeps me out in so many ways. I don’t care if it’s true or not, I won’t be reading this.

4. In many self-published books such as Frost Arch by Kate Bloomfield, most notably to me because I tried to read it earlier this year, the author uses the wrong word. For example, ‘Manner House’ instead of ‘Manor House’ or ‘peak’ instead of ‘pique’. If you can’t even use English properly then I’m not wasting my time on your shitty arsed book. Learn the difference between homophones.

5. Head hopping – when the book is supposed to be told from one particular POV and the author keeps dropping us into other characters’ heads. I can’t think of a book that does this off the top of my head, but it happens with both inexperienced and experienced writers. It infuriates me in first person because the author can’t even tell a basic story. It can happen in third person narration as well, but sometimes is allowable when the narrator is omniscient.

6. In audiobooks, something that really annoys the crap out of me is a bland narrator, such as the author who narrated her own The Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M Valente. Put some damn feeling in to your words.

7. Inconsistent story-telling and contradictions: telling one thing and showing another, such as Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes. (I finished this book, but really disliked it: see my review here.)

8. Saying the same thing over and over again in the same paragraph, as seen on the opening page of Undeadly by Michele Vail:

“Rick’s lips ghosted across mine. He angled his mouth against mine and I opened for him. My eyes fluttered closed. Tentative, I met his kiss and felt electrified. I clung to him, completely unsure about what I was doing.”

9. If character names suck. There’s a character in Beguiled: The Sharing Knife #1 by Louis McMaster Bujold whose name is Dag, which is a colloquialism in Australia. I can’t take the book seriously. Sorry, Louise, I still love your books. Just not this one.

 10. General poor storytelling, with no skills, just words. It’s not hard to write a book, it’s difficult to write a book well. Seen in Eragon by Christopher Paolini.

Nemo
Nemo

About Nemo

A lover of kittens and all things sparkly, Nemo has a degree in English Literature and specialises in reviewing contemporary, paranormal, mystery/thriller, historical, sci-fi and fantasy Young Adult fiction. She is especially drawn to novels about princesses, strong female friendships, magical powers, and assassins.

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18 thoughts on “Top Ten Book Turn-Offs (52)

  1. Nina

    For no. 5, even though I liked the book mostly, or at least I liked the concept of the story, The Pledge by Kimberly Derting definitely does this!! I kept thinking why are you switching from first person perspective to third person and showing me other people’s heads? It really irritated me!

  2. Raindrops and Pages

    Thank you for your first two points. Just. Thank you. Head hopping is something that drives me crazy– I don’t like it when it’s intentional, I really dislike it when a POV just can’t be kept. I agree with most of your list, and you’ve got great reasons to back them up.

    My TTT

    1. Nemo

      I’ve heard a lot about various aspects. Perhaps you could read some more reviews, they might give you the answer you are looking for.

    1. Nemo

      From the top of my head I recall every chapter ended with Eragon falling asleep, it’s basically Star Wars with dragons, and it was generally so poorly written I couldn’t finish it. I have high standards that it didn’t crack. Like I said, anyone can write, but it takes talent to write well.

  3. Susan

    Totally with you on most of these. I hadn’t thought of the sucky names but that is spot on. I would add character names that are too similar. The choices are endless, so let’s not pick names that are easily confused.

    1. Nemo

      Oooooh that’s a good one I didn’t think of! Yeah, it’s really hard to keep similar names straight when you’re a speed reader.

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