Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
Today’s theme is Pet Peeves!
I love reading and I admire authors. Truly I do. I’ve never wrote a book with my sweat and blood so I try not to judge. I always try to be positive and find readers who could be interested in the books.
As a reader I have pet peeves. Things I can’t stand in books and would morph me into a real she-devil. Proceed with caution when I’m in such mood because SPOILING MY READ IS CRIMINAL!
It’s the worst offense in my reader’s bible.
So I HATE when:
1)The heroine is a doormat.
You know that kind of woman without any backbone. She is used and abused by others her boyfriend being one of them and she always excuses him because “he had a good reason”. Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease, just grow a pair would you! I always want to slap her myself and I’m not a violent person (well, not all the time).
2)The hero (or heroine) is a cheater.
Sorry but I’m invested in my read. I BECOME the main characters. So cheating is a personal betrayal. As I hate dishonesty and duplicity as a whole I can’t stand cheating either. There have been very, very few exceptions to my no cheating rule. I need gallons of Ben and Jerry to recover from the treason. And what happens when a girl eats tons of comfort food? It gets on her hips and behind! So a big fat no no!!!
3)The main character is killed gratuitously
I don’t speak of these books when you know upfront the hero is terminally ill. You expect he/she will die even if you pray for some miracle. We are prepared all along (I’ll still cry like a baby by the end). No I speak about books when nothing justifies the main character’s death. Two well- known dystopian/sci fi books embody such appalling thread (no, it’s not Game of Thrones). I’ve seen these characters grow, take blow after blow. I’ve walked in their shoes, nurtured my love for them. They’re my friends. When the author kills them whereas another outcome could have been chosen I’m destroyed! WHAT JUST HAPPENED????? Nooooooooooo. I can’t live with the ending and I make my own ending in my head plain and simple.
4)You use sex to sell a book with no meat (pun intended)
Sorry but if I want only sex with no plot and shallow characters I read porn. I don’t speak about erotic stories, sometimes dark erotic stories because the good ones have plenty of sex BUT the author also took the time to build a plot and flesh out (yes, it’s always a matter of flesh with sex) his/her characters. Take the Dark Duet series by CJ Roberts as the perfect example of how you should write a compelling very hot and dark story. But sex with nothing else especially if the blurb promises something more, it’s only a loss of my hard won money!
5)I want him/her but I can’t and still…
Endless back and forth, conflicted feelings and undecided hero/heroine just bore me to death. I don’t ask for insta love or insta lust and I like reading about conflicted feelings or taboo love stories…up to a point. When more than 80% of the book is filled with” I love you but I can’t have you and yet I try but then I reject you”, wash, rinse, repeat… I’m already asleep. The same about endless love triangles. Just make up your mind already for God’s sake!
6)Trilogy becoming “N”logy just to make money
When something is sold as a trilogy I don’t like it when the author writes a fourth, fifth,… book about the same main characters. Sorry but I like to know what I’ll buy. Usually the other books become simple fillers and the author can’t keep the quality. I just feel conned.
Some authors do write long series about the same characters and the quality is upstanding from the beginning to the end but we know it from the start. Take Sarah J Maas, Cassandra Clare and GRR Martin as wonderful examples.
It’s just the same when authors write really small books, each ending on a cliffhanger and relatively pricey. If you put them all together you would just have a book of average length (say between 200 and 300 pages) but really expensive.
When I read a book I want to be surprised. I don’t want to be constantly reminded of just that other book that is so similar… Again it’s a waste of my money.
8)We barely scratch the surface
If I can’t see the character’s world, I can’t connect with them because they are two dimensional or the plot is way too simple with many missed opportunities I won’t be a happy camper …errrmmm reader!
You have usually 200 pages or more so fill them in with something meaningful please! You don’t write a handbook or how to use the new washing machine (when the old one is crashing down in a family of four it’s a disaster! But I digress…).
9) Unnecessary drama!
Honestly when the two main characters don’t speak to each others about some situations and you get all the drama while a good conversation could have avoided everything I see red!
10)Swearing every three words to make the character look like a bad boy/girl
Some authors just overdo it to make their character seem bad like mobsters. And they use swear words every four words! That drives me mad. And put me off my read. And make me roll my eyes! You can have very bad boys speaking like lords! Or mobsters educated. Or inspire fear all while seeming polite.
11)Smoking in a romance novel…just before kissing
That one is a freebie but I HATE when the hero or heroine is smoking when in a romance novel. Because who says romance means kissing and sex. And I find disgusting the idea of kissing someone with a smoker breath. Just BLERG!!!
Thanks for reading!
I don’t want a doormat heroine, but I also like innocent/ naive heroines. It depends on the mood. I can’t normally stand manwhores or cheating. I also don’t like when writers write rape scenes or when best friend suddenly notices heroine because someone else does.
I never thought about the smoking thing. Kind of gross. The doormat heroine would bug me, but usually they grow by the end of the story. Then I am ok with it
Yes if there is indeed a character growth then I am more or less ok with it too Sam…
Lol, tell it like it is, Sophie! I agree with all of these and would add repetitious thoughts. If a character has a sore toenail, for example, I don’t need to be reminded of it every ten pages! I get the point, just cut the sucker, already!
Ugh I really hate the cheating.
Me too! That’s a hard line!
Great list, Sophie! Are you talking about The Hunger Games with number 3?
Ha not particularly but if the shoe fits 🙂
That’s a hard agree to all these!
Big yes to the constant back and forth of “I want you, but I can’t have you, but I want you… ” Ugh! I love tension in a romantic pairing but when it’s drawn out unnecessarily and no one will make a move or make up their minds… so frustrating!
I just wabt to climb the walls when that happens!
Agreed on the whole list, but particularly with points 5 and 6!
(6 in particular…)
Great list! “You don’t scratch the surface” is one of my major major major issues when reading … or, it’s evil twin: “Why are you taking 700 pages to describe something that needs 50?!”
It’s a fine balance. And it’s where actual storytelling skills come out.
I totally agree with you!
Great list, especially the unnecessary drama. That’s one reason I’m not reading a lot of YA these days, there’s too much
Luckily not in all YA Tammy otherwise iId quit 🙂
I don’t want a doormat heroine, but I also think there are all types of strengths in heroines where she doesn’t have to be a “kickass” heroine to be strong. Like the one from Dark Song from Christine Feehan? She was one of my favorite heroines, so strong, but it was an inner strength. I HATE smoking in romance especially. Its NOT sexy.
I know what you mean. Strong or “not a doormat” doesn’t mean that you have to talk loud or be a warrior, it only means that you don’t get manipulated by others all the time 😉
I agree with all of these, especially the one about the heroine being a doormat. So annoying!