10 June 2014

Top Ten Tuesday #9 - Bookish Turn-offs

Now, I'd really really like to point out that I hardly ever put a book down. Most of the time if I do, I will eventually pick it back up again when the mood takes me. So these aren't things that will incur a DNF penalty, these are just things that will make me lower a rating considerably.

1. Insta-love
In real life, no couple I've ever known has had insta-love and lasted. In fact, hardly anyone actually does get Insta-love. Love is the kind of thing that builds with time and understanding of each-other. Lust is the real name for this fake-love, and I don't buy into it, no matter how fantastical the story.

2. Love Triangles
Nothing makes me cringe more than a love triangle, and though I'll happily read a book with one in, inwardly I am screaming at the characters. Why the hell does he like her? Why doesn't she just do this? She doesn't deserve this ones love. These questions and feelings are constant in love triangle books for me, and I'd rather read the plot. The Hunger Games would have been better if there had never been a Gale. Yep, I did just say that. I'd just like to point out that sometimes love triangles are unavoidable for certain plots, even in dystopia etc. The Selection, for example, would be nothing without the twisty love triangles.. well, something-angles.

3. Revelations That Were Obvious Ten Pages Ago
When you totally figure out the plot, but your character just isn't keeping up. When your author has given you one too many clues. When you get bored waiting for you protagonist to catch on. when you're literally waiting for a twist to happen, because it quite clearly will. Sometimes I wonder to myself if I'm the only one, but it turns out that I'm really not.

4. Whiny Protagonists
This one explains its-self. Who really wants to read about someone who is perfectly well-off complaining about their lives, or boys, or something that most people just deal with. I want strong characters, pathetic beings looking for attention and sympathy.

5. Stupid Protagonists (unless it's done on purpose for effect)
Bella Swan. How long does it take to realise your best friend is a werewolf? Seriously? Point made.

6. Perfection, Personified
Otherwise known as Mary-Sue and Gary-Stu, the characters who are literally too good to be true. I can't stand it when a character isn't properly rounded. Every one of us has flaws and fears, but when a girl is beautiful, fearless and flawless, ugh, it makes me want to desecrate said book (and since I mentioned in last weeks post about my OCDness about not desecrating books, this is pretty dire).

7. Slow plots
Sometimes, quite rarely actually, I wonder how on earth some books get published. Certain books have plots so slow moving it's like you're actually reading it in slow motion. It takes you minutes to get through one page because your eyes are so numb with boredom that you can't keep them open.

8. Too Much Description, Not Enough Action
The Clan of the Cave Bear series has to be the best example I can give of this book sin. There are the most enormous passages of writing, pages of the stuff, entirely dedicated to what plants grew around the land as Ayla travels. First off, we get that she cares about plants and can identify them, but most people don't give a damn about that stuff. I found myself skipping those parts because A; I couldn't imagine it anyway and B; it was the most boring thing I'd ever read. We get that you've done your research, but please, I'd have rather you said that the landscape was dotted with shrubs and left it at that.

9. Too Many Points Of View
Now, I love Game of Thrones, but Christ all those points of view and characters get so confusing! You can never remember where you left a character, and now with the TV series out, I can never remember which parts I've read and which have been made up for the show.

10. Languid Starters and Rushed Endings
Some books literally take me until the middle to find my stride, simply because none of the main action has taken place yet. For example, in Bitter Greens, I expected the story of Rapunzel to be identified pretty much straight away, but it wasn't until I got over half-way that her story really began. Now, in a book where the whole blurb, the whole premise is meant to be a fairy-tale retelling, that's a pretty big sin. The same goes for the endings. I could be happily reading a book and then put it down to find that I'm nearly at the end and all of the good stuff hasn't happened yet. I can't abide sitting through an action-filled ending that's only two pages long. Trust me, it's happened.

Do you agree or disagree? Do you think there's anything that needs adding to the list?