Top Ten Bookish Pet Peeves
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the bloggers over at the Broke and the Bookish. Book bloggers from all around create lists based on the chosen topics, and post links to the host blog to share our love of books. This week is a freebie week, which got me all excited. I jumped on this TTT business a little late in the game, so there are oodles of topics I missed that I always want to do. What did I pick? Well, I’m always talking about things that drive me crazy in books, so I thought I’d do at list of my Top Ten Bookish Pet Peeves so I could make a list and vent my negativity. I’ll also be able to link back to this list in future reviews for terrible books, which makes the topic doubly awesome. Here we go…
Top Ten Bookish Pet Peeves
[or things that will drop a book at least one letter grade]
1.) Unnecessary Length – Listen, folks. I’m a very busy lady. It says so in my domain name. I’m fine with long books when they have lots of stuff going on and the length is necessary. But sometimes the little chunky-monkey books could do to lose a few hundred pages and still keep the integrity of the plot. I don’t have all day. If nothing’s happening or I’m bored by a character’s inner dialogue that goes on for multiple chapters, I’m going to be peeved.
2.) Mary Sues – For those who don’t know, a Mary Sue is when the author inserts him/herself as the main character in a novel. This character serves as wish-fullfillment for the author, and is usually annoyingly flawless. That or the character is flawless in a way that isn’t really flawless. Regular fiction doesn’t usually have characters that are 100% Mary Sue, but if the character has enough of this quality, I get peeved.
3.) Cliffhangers – We all know that YA trilogies, especially of the dystopian variety, are guilty of this. I like a book to follow a general plot pattern, with a proper climax and resolution for the main conflict of the story. I’m okay with series cliffhangers or teasers for the overall arc of the big plot, but I want a novel to have an end. Some books are guilty of having no end at all! It’s like a book was split in half/thirds and sold a separate parts. I find this cheap and manipulative and it peeves me.
4.) Kindle Giving Me a % Instead of a Page – This is not related to plot, but it drives me nuts. I like to know what page I’m on, and how many pages are in the book. It’s completely arbitrary, considering some books cram very little or a whole of text on a single page AND considering that e-readers let me set these choices myself, but I want to know how much I’ve read and how much I have left in real number. This is especially annoying on Kindle books that combine multiple books in one…collections, series, etc. I’m reading the Jessica Darling collection now, and I’m in the second book, but only 19% through the series. How much have I read in book 2? How much do I have left? No clue. Peeving.
5.) When Boys Fall For Girls For No Reason – I think I hate this because it gives readers (especially female readers) unrealistic expectations for relationships. The boy saves the girl, tells her she’s beautiful even when she thinks she’s ugly, understands when she lies, worships her from afar, puts up with her rude behavior, etc. How many times can I watch a female character hot-headedly chew out a guy without listening to his side of the story, make assumptions, and give the silent treatment, only to have the guy come crawling back to win her love? Listen, ladies. We need to love ourselves before someone else can love us. We also need respect in a relationship to go both ways.
6.) Mean Librarians – My peeve here is strictly personal. I know some librarians really are mean, but I like to think we are pretty nice, liberal people. I read of stories with nice librarians, but just as many where the librarian is a jerk. And the librarian is almost always a bit character. What’s that about?
7.) When Characters Meet “The One” At Age Sixteen – Very few people end up marrying the person they are dating at age sixteen. I’m glad I’ve spent the past thirteen years dating all kinds of people! Many YA romance plots end with the beginning of the relationship. The characters finally overcome their obstacles, finally get together and commit to each other. But that’s not the end! You know they all break up with they get to college. Wow, I sound really bitter. But I do count this as a major pet peeve.
8.) The Paranormal – (Please don’t hit me). There are exceptions to this: I loved Harry Potter, and I guess the magic element is paranormal. I think it can be done well, but most of it is not to my taste. I don’t know why, but I think it has something to do with me not liking bad boys. I also like my stories to be realistic. I think I only like paranormal elements when the creatures who are vampires/werewolves/ghosts/etc are not main characters in the story, but elements to be overcome or fought against. I recognize that my anti-paranormal thing is a huge bias, so please feel free to recommend a paranormal book that isn’t obnoxious.
9.) Movie Poster Covers – Dear publishers: this is the quickest way to get me to NOT buy a book. I like to think of books as timeless. A good book can be enjoyed years, decades, or centuries after it was written. Regular book covers may date a book (check out ANY 80′s book cover), but a movie book cover will make a book look dated in just a year. It also reminds me that some people are using the movie to sell the book instead of the other way around. Tsk tsk.
10.) Characters With Weird Names – Just pick a normal name for your character, please. Or if one or two characters have to have quirky names, don’t make them be 1.) your main character or 2.) the love interest. It also drives me nuts when many of the characters all have names that start with the same letter, since I think my eyes only catch a few letters when identifying words in the text.
What are your bookish pet peeves?