Hey guys, it’s that time of the week again!
As always, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted over at The Broke and The Bookish, and this week’s theme is:
April 25: Top Ten Things That Will Make Me Instantly NOT Want To Read A Book
This week’s theme seems like it can be interpreted in two ways: as fun and light-hearted or a serious issue. So in true indecisive form, I’m going to include a little of both.
1. Girl hate
I am always here for female friendships and romance. But you know what I’m not here for? Girls mistreating other girls. Just, please no. Characters usually have enough to deal with while trying to defeat their arch-nemesis/save the universe/master some magic powers/figure out their feelings/just be a teenager, without having to verbally K/O other girls too. And women in real life sexism rears its ugly head way too much without women having to combat other women. Let’s just forget girl hate and have a huge girl love-in.
2. Love triangles
I feel like love triangles have become so cliched that we should just put them aside and move on. *side eyes The Hunger Games Twilight and The Selection*
Occasionally they can be fun and unique, but for the most part they’re just predictable, boring, and don’t add anything to the book.
Be it racist, sexist, ableist, or anti-LGBTQIA+, any kind of microagression against a marginalised group is an immediate turn-off for me. I want to read diversely inclusive books, not books that exclude people or make unkind remarks about them just for being part of a minority group.
4. Hundred of guys with only a only a token girl (or two)
This trope frustrates me a lot because the one woman or girl is often fetishised as the object of everyone’s attraction. She’s something different and new and is therefore often treated as though she has no agency or independence. No thanks.
5. “Book one of forty-seven”
Don’t get me wrong, I love a long series. I love Game of Thrones and Harry Potter where you get so much character development that you feel like you really know the characters by the final books. You can live alongside them as they’re growing and changing and feel intensely connected to them in ways you might not have been able to if the series were just one book. But when a series is so long that I know it’s going to take me half a decade to finish, it can be a bit of a daunting task.
5. Next generation characters
This definitely isn’t an instant turn-off for me. I’ve read some series, like the Mortal Engines, where the characters grew old and the later books were about their children and they worked really well. But if I become used to thinking of a character as a certain age – often teenage or twenties – and then a new series comes out about their children I have to re-formulate how I conceptualise them. And that can be surprisingly difficult *cough* Harry Potter epilogue *cough*. Sometimes we get so used to characters being ‘our own age’ that we don’t want them to grow old. We want them to be ageless and timeless in ways we can’t. And sometimes, their children or the next generation don’t live up to their predecessors. So, for me, that’s one of the main reasons I’m wary of next-gen books.
You probably knew this one was coming, no surprise there. I’m not a fan of the insta-love trope, I just find it overused and unbelievable. I know it can be hard to strike a balance between slow-burn and insta-love but I would prefer authors to err on the side of the former, rather than the latter.
7. The male MC is a bad-boy douche-bro but the girl likes him anyway
I just don’t understand this trope. He’s mean and arrogant, treats others badly, and yet the girl still likes him?! How? Why? In real life relationships, this basically never happens. Women quickly realise that the person they’re interested in or dating isn’t the person they’d thought/hoped.
8. When the blurb doesn’t match the plot
It’s such a shame when this happens, because I use the blurb to see if the plot intrigues me when I don’t know much about the book. If I’m interested, I’ll pick it up, but if the story is then totally different to what’s on the back it feels as though I signed up for one story and got a different one. Almost like going into a store and buying bananas only to realise the cashier put apples in your bag. I love both and will happily eat the apples, but I wanted bananas.
Slurs in books (no matter what the type) make me really uncomfortable. If the slur is there as part of a social commentary on the flaws in the way our society treats marginalised groups and the character using the slur is immediately challenged then I feel slightly less uncomfortable. But if the slur goes unchallenged, it makes me consider DNFing the book.
10. Poor cover designs
Sometimes designers and publishing companies get the cover spot on. Sadly, other times they get it completely wrong, and as much as I don’t want to let a cover impair my judgement, if it’s poorly designed I’m less likely to want it on my shelf.
So that’s it for this week’s TTT! What are some of your bookish turn-offs? Are there any on this list that you agree/disagree with? Let me know in the comments!