Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Book Turnoffs

Top Ten Tuesdays img by Miss Print

I wasn’t actually planning to do this TTT but then I read a book with a huge turn off, so I decided to dive into the fray.

*While you’re here be sure to sign up for the Secret Box Swap I’m hosting with my friend Nicole.*

So here are ten book turn offs:

  1. Completely unexpected plot elements: I just read a book that I though would be a nice light steampunk mystery. Then a time traveler showed up. I was so annoyed I almost didn’t finish.
  2. Middle books with too much or too little recap: This is a hard balance but I hate books that demand a re-read (except Megan Whalen Turner books because she can do no wrong) or books that recap so much you practically read the first book every time (I call this “The Baby Sitters’ Club Problem).
  3. Vague narrators: Don’t spend the whole book alluding to some TERRIBLE THING. Just tell me about it on page five when you first mention it so we can both get on with our lives and more interesting plot points.
  4. Vague plots: One time I read a book where a character had a secret. He said he had it on page one. At the end of the book I still had no idea what that secret was because the story was too subtle and vague.
  5. Unconvincing Romantic Leads: No. Instant love is not allowed. No, I do not believe that you fell in love with that person at first sight.
  6. Unconvincing Love Triangles: There are maybe five books I can think of where a love triangle actually works. Mostly they don’t because they are annoying.
  7. Cliffhanger endings: There is no reason to have zero resolution just because your book is in the middle of a series. Stop that.
  8. Unconvincing premise/elements: I’m a close reader. If I find something unconvincing (character with a missing hand without phantom pain, character from X town with faulty geography of that town) I will not be amused.
  9. Weird character names: Unless you’re writing a very convincing fantasy or otherwise compelling story, I am going to judge you when every character has an outlandish name.
  10. Unconvincing dialog/voice: This is a very individual one and hard to pin down, but if the voice or dialog doesn’t work for me it’s usually a good reason to set a book aside.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

(Image made by me.)

*While you’re here be sure to sign up for the Secret Box Swap I’m hosting with my friend Nicole.*

11 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Book Turnoffs

  1. Cliffhangers are really annoying. I actually emailed an author once as I was convinced the paperback copy I had was missing a chapter or something as it stopped so abruptly. She was very sweet when she replied but no, that was the end of the book. What a let down. Here’s my TTT

  2. Agree with you on recaps… i like little reminders– but i hate it when the character goes off and spends an entire page explaining something that happened in book 1. i mean really– do many people read a book 2 that haven’t already read book 1?

  3. “Unique” names always get me! Especially if the book is contemporary. Yes, I know some parents out there name their kids…different…names, but the amount of books out there that have strange character names irks me. Ugh.

  4. I hate weird character names, too. I wish I had thought to include it on my TTT, because that is a major pet peeve of mine. I don’t mind different names in fantasy books, but at the same time they can’t be dumb. I read a book once, a contemporary, where the main character’s name was Bliss. Talk about ridiculous!

  5. I was betwixt how to write this today, until I actually sat down to convey my own list and realised that I had quite a bit to say afterall! :) What I liked about your list, is that its pretty close to my own! :) Your looking for the same type of stories to be knit together that I am, as we both appreciate the execution of a well-written and believable story! I forgot about the ‘unexpected plot element’ issue as I ran into that recently when I read “The Boxcar Baby”, which you can read about if you desire too. I didn’t reveal what happens, but I hint at it quite well! I was gobsmacked to say the least! Smiles in a knowing way about ‘cliffhangers’… “The Golem and the Jinni” and “The Spirit Keeper” reviews explain my stance on that issue!!

  6. I am still chuckling to myself at “The Baby Sitters’ Club Problem.” I remember being so frustrated as a tween at flipping through those 10 pages describing each person in full detail.

    I hate cliffhanger endings too, especially when the book isn’t clearly marked as one of a series. It feels like the author is trying to con me into buying the next book.

  7. I hate weird names. It was okay in The Hunger Games, but afterwards it just got annoying. I don’t like it when there’s a long recap to start out the second book, but it is nice when there’s a short, to-the-point one, especially if it’s been about a year since I read the first one (mostly if it’s fantasy and there’s a lot of stuff to remember). Happy reading!

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