Top Ten Tuesday #13: Book Turn-Offs

October 1, 2013 / 19 Comments / Top Ten Tuesday, Uncategorized

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish to highlight a top ten list related to book blogging, and to get to know fellow book bloggers.


This week’s TTT is all about bookish turn-offs, the things that happen when you’re reading and then suddenly, something totally throws you off.

So here we go – not quite ten, and they’re mainly just products of poor writing or editing skills…

1. Suddenly We’re in Love! This is probably my biggest bookish turn-off, when writers just shove characters together without developing their relationship or friendship, so that they can get to the “problem” part of the romance. It’s like, an immediate one-star deduction for me.

2. High-Falutin’ Vocabulary – Don’t you hate it when you’re reading a book and suddenly a five-syllable word that you’ve never heard of pops up out of nowhere and completely doesn’t belong?

3. Repeated Adjectives – This is just bad copyediting, but it really pulls me out of a book when I see the same adjective used five times in the same chapter. Vary your language!

4. Too Much Whine – If a character is whiny on purpose, and it’s done hilariously, it’s usually okay, but sometimes there are characters who don’t mean to be whiny or “woe-is-me” and they just ARE. It’s not that I mind unlikeable characters…but whininess really annoys me.

5. Telling vs. Showing – This is another one that’s just a product of crappy writing. I hate it when I’m told that a character is strong or funny or anything else, and it’s never actually demonstrated. It’s even worse when a character’s actions are in total opposition to that description. Like, I’m just supposed to take your word for it? Prove it to me, writer!

6. Obvious or Lopsided Love Triangles – you know when you have two boys who love a girl, and one of them is obviously a better choice, but the writer (and the fans) keeps pretending like the guys are equal, and they obviously aren’t? Or even worse, they’re equal, but then the writer character assassinates one of them so that there is no choice? *cough*Twilight*cough*

7. Bad Boys – I’ve written about this before, but honestly, it’s a bit iffy. If done well and reasonably, I’m totally okay with a bad boy with a heart of gold. The problem is that these are few and far between, and that’s scary because it fosters a sense in teenage girls that you can really change people, or that people change because they fall in love (See my Good Boy List for more information).

Are there things that irk you totally when you read? What are your book turn-offs? What do you think of mine? Let me know in the comments!


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19 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday #13: Book Turn-Offs

  1. I hate instalove too. Even if that's how a lot of teens think and feel, it doesn't make for very gripping reading. Give us some sexual/romantic tension so we can have something to look forward to!

  2. Sooo basically yes to everything hahahah. Repeated adjectives wasn't on my list, but it really jolts me out of a book when it happens (or a song for that matter. There's a Jack Johnson song I LOVE…except that it repeats the same word twice in a line. And I would tell you what it is except I can't remember it and now I'm going to spend the next 20 minutes trying to remember damn it!)

  3. Insta love is very frustrating. Also, yes, to everything else…! The showing vs telling is another big kicker for me. I've read SO many books where I was told the character was "smart" or "funny" and honestly, after finishing, I didn't think they were.

  4. Totally agree with all of these!! Instalove is probably my biggest turn off – it's. just. so. irritating. Something else that annoys me is when characters are really naive, especially when it comes to love, or when they're really self-deprecating when they've just saved the world or something.
    Great post!

    Laura @ What's Hot?

  5. Yep, I loathe telling rather than showing but it's the technique that just won't die. That and repetition are easily fixed so I'm baffled as to why they keep showing up. Here's my TTT.

  6. I like the way you created this TTT list with the cool formatting. Also, I agree with your vocab section. YA authors should include some interesting wording, but it cannot be an obscure word dug out of an ancient dictionary or readers (like me) will skip over it.
    Check out my TTT list: http://booksavvyblog.blogspot.com/

  7. I do love me some bad boys, but sometimes, they make him a bad boy just for the sake of it and it's just not done well so I really see your point. And I absolutely agree with your last sentence about making girls think two absolute UNTRUTHS. *applauds on whole post*

    My TTT

  8. I agree!!! Especially with "Too Much Whine"! Hate it when the lead characters are portrayed as so whiny and pathetic just so that the author can have them "grow". Ugh.

  9. I totally agree! Especially with the insta-love and too much whine. Its better to have the relationship build up along the way and see why and how they fell in love (so much more romantic imo)

  10. Very true- You would think editing would fix some of these mistakes. But apparently insta love doesn't bother other people. There are very few times that it is acceptable. And there is nothng worse than a word that isn't a word.

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