Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Top Ten Book Turn-Offs

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish

1. Insta-love
Oh, insta-love. How totally unnecessary and unrealistic you are...

2. Bad writing style
There is nothing worse than a book that has been published despite the terrible writing it contains. Seriously guys there are publishing houses and editors out there for a reason!

3. Weak main character
I’m not talking about characters who can’t bench press their own body weight here. I’m talking about characters who are weak-willed and who have no personality – they don’t have to be revolutionaries, but the minimum a character should be is able to make their own decisions.

4. Irritating love interest
One of the reasons I adore YA so much is the way it explores first love and teenage relationships, but if a protagonist falls for someone I can’t stand? No way.

5. Books that preach
I may be part of a minority here, but I believe exploration of faith is an integral part of the teenage experience. Whether that means religion becomes an important part of a character’s life or something that doesn’t even matter is up to the writer – but if a book starts to preach at me, I won’t be able to keep reading for long.

6.  Somebody conveniently saves the day (and absolutely everyone important to the story, and absolutely everything important to them, and all of their family and cousins and pets as well)

This kind of plot resolution is fine in children’s books. But in YA, where teens start to discover the real world, convenient and simplistic endings shouldn’t be the default. Not only does it create unrealistic expectations and waste all the hard work done by the plot (if there is one), it can spoil the kind of novel that could otherwise have real meaning for its readers.

7. Needlessly absent family
Is it just me or do we love disposing of parents and siblings in YA? Honestly, guys, you can keep family members in the book and still create a brilliant story – just look at Huntley Fitzpatrick’s My Life Next Door!

8. Characters who are spoiled for choice
Not everybody’s rich and beautiful in this world – and neither should characters in YA.

9. Lifeless fantasy worlds
Fantasy is one of my favourite genres, but let’s face it – reading about badly constructed fantasy world is about as interesting as watching paint dry!

10. Books that don’t live up to the hype
The modern publishing industry has a habit of relying on hype, not actual high standards, to sell its books. For me, reading a book that doesn’t merit this hype is a total let-down – and a sign that I may not be able to write a positive review afterwards.

Do you have any book turn-offs? A genre you hate, a character trait you loathe? Or do you prefer to go into every book with a blank slate and an open mind? Let us know in the comments!


  1. You've got a great list. So many which I agree with and wish I'd thought of...lol. Books not living up to the hype...oh, yes; lifeless fantasy worlds...another yes!

    Probably my pet peeve are stories which keep hopping around--just as I'm getting into one story the book moves on to another different story.

  2. I agree on the preaching. There are some books where religion is a major focus but the author handles it well, and others where it is hitting me on the head.

  3. Great list. I skipped TTT this week because I couldn't come up with 10 (I had, like, two) but I agree with a lot of these. #7 is a big pet peeve of mine. I love it when the main character has a good family and we get to see their interactions. Not "oh my parents are out of town on business all the time."


I love comments! Please leave me one and I will try to reply as soon as I can. Liza


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