Dear books, please don't do these things.


Hi guys, this is Mishma.

One thing that I've forgotten to mention about me, is that I am kinda a hard person to please, when it comes to books. Whether it's because my A/L Lit class is rubbing off on me, I am not sure, but it's really rare that I rate a book with 5 stars. 

Most of the time, some books' inability to please me occurs because they contain a concept, which I normally hate or avoid. Even though I am an open minded person, these concepts and tropes often make me dislike a book, or change my overall opinion, and here are my list of bookish turnoffs.

 Info Dump


I do appreciate an author trying to explain the world building and background in detail to the readers. But when it is too much, it's annoying. I hate to read pages and pages of explanation, which will most probably put me to sleep.

 Lack of research

Whether it's a contemporary or culture based fantasy, it's inevitable that an author does their research before trying to base their book on that concept. It annoys me a lot when you can clearly see that the author hasn't done their research. I personally think it's terribly insulting and offending to fictionalise a concept or culture without knowing all the details yourself.


 Unfair love triangles

I do appreciate a well written love triangle. One where no feelings are played with and no hearts are broken. But I hate those triangles, where the girl constantly juggles with two guys' (or some times, more guys than that) feelings and end up making the readers' lose their minds over her own inability to make a decision and choose a guy.


Really? No, it's not at all okay!

Dragging middle parts

Now this is the thing. In most YA books - especially in paranormal ones - there'll probably be a journey or quest of some sort which dominates the middle part of the book. Either this middle part can be extremely fast paced and full of action, or it can be terribly slow and dragging that it puts me to sleep. Unfortunately, most books tend to fall in the latter category, and sometimes I don't really need all those dragging pages which describe how they crossed a mountain or found a shelter.


 Characters with no depth

I am a huge character snob. To me, they are so important, sometimes it's the characters that make me decide my whole opinion on the book. I want my characters to have a lot of depth, character growth and development, especially when it comes to MCs, If they're going to be as interesting as bland puddings, then I am sorry, I really can't be invested in your story.


Same goes to the villain as well! You guys know how much I love villains - so if he ends up being a cliche, typical and boring villain, my opinion of the book has already gone down a notch.

 Cheating

This is a huge pet peeve of mine, and I'll never tolerate a relationship which forgets and doesn't mind the cheating of a partner. I firmly believe that cheating is not a mistake, rather it's a choice, so no way am I going to accept a MC who cheats in any way.


Insensitive handling of sensitive concepts.

I'll try to keep this as short as possible, because if I don't, I'll end up ranting about this. When books deal with sensitive concepts such as mental illnesses, sexual violence, abuse, sexuality, etc. they are bound to bring back memories to people who have experience of it, and awareness to those who don't. So the author has the responsibility to handle it carefully. Get something wrong, you'll probably offend and insult people and bring the wrong message across. Plus, one of the worst things books can do is use these concepts as a plot device or to prove a point. It's disgusting, vile and as a person who personally have experience with one of the concepts mentioned above, it makes me boil in anger.



 Romanticising unhealthy relationships.


If a guy is too possessive, it's not romantic, it's controlling. And it's super creepy if he's stalking you or most of all, watches you in your sleep! Please, please don't romaticise these kind of relationships and love interests. It's sick, repulsive and most of all, promotes a really wrong message, which is evident in the fact that a lot of teenage girls are now idolising Christian Grey.

Those are my life of bookish turnoffs. What are yours?
What concepts and tropes do you hate or dislike in books?

Mishma is a 16 year old teenager from Sri Lanka who's always loved books and talking about them. She often comes off as a loud, outgoing, funny, hyperactive and happy go lucky girl! Her addictions include books, Twitter and Buzzfeed and she has an unapologetic love for classic old movies with uncensored violence and villains with a vulnerable side.

You can find her at her own blogTwitterInstagram. She loves making friends, so stop by to say a hi!

43 comments:

  1. Yes! I thought I was the only one who thought YA books consistently had very draggy middle bit. I thought it was just little old me being impatient.

    Cheating featured heavily in book really turns me off. I still remember my experience with Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin and that series still makes my blood boil.

    There's way too many romanticising of creepy as love interest or situations in books, both YA or otherwise. But I am glad there are so many smart reviewers quick to point them out, every single time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're certainly not the only one! Draggy middle parts make me go to sleep!
      Haha, true! We reviewers can't tolerate the "OMG, he's so possessive, it's so romantic" crap:)

      Delete
  2. Ugh yes, all these are such frustrating elements of books. If I encounter any of them they'll always inevitably getting a lower rating no matter how amazing everything else is -__-

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same here. These elements are most of the time the reason to make a "great" book, just a "good" one.

      Delete
  3. Okay but this list; ALL OF IT. I agree with frigging all of it, because someone needed to write this down and I am going bow down your power *showers you in confetti* XD

    I hate authors who don't do their research because, YES, great you're putting some diversity in your book. That's wonderful, and everyone should that that. But when you don't properly research said minority, or put them under stereotypes that's when things start going wrong. For me, I hate love triangles which aren't properly well written in the first place. It's super obvious which guy she's going to end up with, so I find it a little bit unfair that she keeps on playing with the feelings of the othewr guy. Not. Cool. Or the Good Guy/Bad Boy trope.

    Freaking fantastic post, Rachel!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Achhh, sorry - I meant Mishma xD Forgive my mistake.

      Delete
    2. *basks in the confetti* Thanks girl!:)

      Stereotypes are the worst! I hate it when all the Asian are super smart and all Spanish guys are bad boys. It's frustrating!

      Haha, it's okay!:)

      Delete
  4. Yup you pretty much hit all the things I could think of!! Slow middles are the death of me. I will keep putting down a book when that happens and it takes me forever to read. Also really hate love triangles where they are constantly juggled and especially when I like both guys. I don't mind cheating in books as much as others. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes I even DNF a book when it goes through a draggy middle part. They put me to sleep!
      True. Love triangles are sometimes really unfair to both the guys!

      Delete
  5. Info dump. Info dump. Info dump.
    There is LITERALLY nothing more annoying than that one. Seriously though. I hate when it's like, the main character looks in the mirror and describes their entire appearance. I mean, who does that? I'm not gonna look in the mirror and think to myself "oh how I love my brown hair and brown eyes and fair skin..." no. Show, not tell.

    Anyway - great list! I followed you on GFC :)

    Ivana | Block of Beauty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! It's a tiring plot device used in almost all books, where the character describes the appearance in front of the mirror. It's stupid!

      Thanks Ivana!:)

      Delete
  6. I completely agree with this list! Although I hate ALL love triangles, so I wouldn't put a caveat in there haha. Cheating is another big one for me, and too much miscommunication.

    Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just don't mind some love triangles, but some are horrible! They even make me develop mixed feelings for a book I'd probably love otherwise *cough* TOG *cough*

      Delete
  7. I agree. Cheating is one of my number one turnoffs. Amusingly I wrote a similar discussion post a couple days ago and have is scheduled to post in a few weeks. And it was inspired by me reading a book that had the MC cheating. Are we all reading things we hate?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hate cheating. Especially when it's forgiven or treated as if it's not a big deal.

      Delete
  8. I totally agree with this whole list! I'm still working on becoming a harsher reader/book rater, but all these things you mentioned still get on my nerves. I absolutely hate love triangles where the main character acts like the love interests' feelings don't matter at all and thinks it is all about her all the time and she can just take her sweet time and choose whenever she feels like it. And I hate that the love interests let her treat them that way. (It's kind of not realistic, in my opinion.) Then in terms of dragging middle parts, I am not usually too harsh if it does not drag too long, but there is one book in particular where the characters are wandering around for a good 100 or so pages (if I'm remembering correctly) and literally nothing happens (except for the characters maybe going slightly mental)… I ended up DNFing it because of how long it was taking to get to the action. It was definitely unsatisfying to turn the page and think, "Surely there's going to be action right here, right now" and then groan as you realize the events on the page are pretty much exactly the same as the previous page, and the one before that, and the one before before that, etc. I could go on and on about my opinions toward the other things you mentioned, but I'll stop here for now. Awesome post, Mishma!!!! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True! In real life, if a girl keeps juggling with two guys' feelings like that, they'll both probably dump her and go focus their attention on another girl! No guy will wait that long patiently!:)
      IKR? I don't want to know how they washed their face in the river or crossed a mountain and all that crap! GIVE ME SOME ACTION!
      Thanks AJ!:)

      Delete
    2. Hahahahaha "I don't want to know how they washed their face in the river" I'm legitimately no joke laughing so hard I might start crying at any moment. But I totally know what you mean. Sometimes the stupidest scenes or actions are drawn out for so long it's ridiculous

      Delete
  9. OMG This is totally I don't drop everything and write a book of my own. A) Because I know I couldn't do it and B) I want to write something about medicine and I'm scared I won't get enough research for it. Oh dear you've made some great points!

    Alex @ The Book's Buzz

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't worry! I am sure your book will come out great!
      And it's super interesting that you want to write a book about medicine! That's so unique! Good luck girl!:)

      Delete
  10. THIS LIST IS GOLDEN. Yes! I agree with everything here. When a book drags out the middle that totally causes me to put it down and move on because I don't need this! Also, something you didn't mention was insta-love. I mean it is totally unrealistic and just a lazy way to develop their relationship. AND OH! Cheating is something I very much despise. I shame characters who cheat because it is just so disrespectful. Great list! :)

    ~Kaitlin @ Next Page Please!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, thanks love!:)
      Ah, good old insta love! It just gets on all our nerves, huh?:)

      Delete
  11. CHEATING IS WRONG. I feel very strongly about that and I personally will not support any fictional romantic relationship where cheating happens. I also hate when a lack of research is evident in writing. I usually end up with a disgusted look on my face, especially if its a topic I know a considerable amount on and I can see errors in the authors explanations. Great post!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's even worse when the cheating is dealt as something that's not a huge deal. Cheating is something that should never be tolerated, and it makes me sick when it is!

      Delete
  12. What every author should avoid in every book.every single thing i agree with especially the cheating and romanticising unhealthy relationships, it's happening constantly and it's not ok, It's basically saying that as young women we should accept the guy no matter what he does. No, i'm sorry but if a person cheats, they are done, same thing with a guy being possessive, Guys do not own us, we own ourselves and our bodies, therefore we have the right to choose what we want.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! It's also pretty horrible that such books and tropes gives teenage girls a really wrong message and idea!

      Delete
  13. Info dump is one of the ones that will make me turn away from books! And I've recently dealt with a book where the middle just dragged. I almost didn't want to finish. But I'm glad that I did because I loved the ending. Why can't all of the book be fast-paced?!! Also there was a series where I thought it was one of the good love triangles. But the way the author decided to resolve it just got on my nerves. She made the guy that didn't end up with the girl seem like a jackass. So out of character -_-

    ~Karina @ A Reader Under The Sea

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It sucks when good books have draggy middles! I have to endure all those pages of boring stuff just to get to the great ending!
      It frustrates me when authors do that! It's like they want to justify the MC's choice, and decides to shade the poor guy's character.

      Delete
  14. Info-dumping is such a tricky territory to navigate. As a fantasy writer I'm always terrified I'm doing it, but it's so hard not to! You know a fantasy is really good when you've just finished book three and you realise you can list off the past five generations of kings and every detail of religion and typical food for each region and funereal customs and slang words and currency and superstitions and the whole shebang and you just have that moment of "whoa ... where did I /learn/ all that?? The author did a good job!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. But that doesn't mean that the author has to dump all the details on the readers consecutively, right? I personally love when the book gives us a view of the world building here and there - a perfect example is Victoria Schwab's books! She excels in describing the world building clearly without info dumping.

      Delete
  15. This post pretty much sums up just about everything I dislike in books. Especially when there's some serious and obvious lack of research. I find that, sometimes, this can go hand in hand with the insensitive handling of sensitive topics which makes it all even worse. Oh, and don't even get me started on characters that have no depth to them whatsoever! Such a turn-off!

    Awesome post, Mishma!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Fantastic post, and I really like the gifs you used. Quite appropriate! I need to use gifs more often. Anyway, back to your post! I think it's definitely important to deal your research when dealing with sensitive topics. It's not going to reflect everyone's personal situation, but it should be done with care and it should never be used to just shock or disgust. That's not cool.

    -Lauren

    Keep in touch - I always comment back!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lauren! That makes me so happy, because I work on my gifs so hard!:)
      True. Sensitive concepts should be handled sensitively. Enough said:)

      Delete
  17. Ah, info dump. I can relate to that because my current read is so full of this. *sigh*

    Also, annoying and unneccesary love triangles. Like, Make up your mind already, girl!

    And insta-love! Gah, I hate that! I really don't believe in love at first sight. I'm okay with Wow, he's cute. I think I'm crushing on him. But He's so perfect yada yada, I'm in love already, fuck everything is just way too overboard.

    I'm a character snob, too, so sometimes my overall opinion of the book depends heavily on the MCs. :D

    Julie @ Books and Insomnia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sucks! What's the book anyway?

      Insta love! I didn't include it in here because it's like a common concept, and not my own view, but I gotta agree with that! The love at first thing business is nonsense!

      Delete
  18. I agree with all of these! I think we have far too many of them in some cases. I hate when the middle of a book is slow moving and draggy because it just lowers the whole book in general. I don't mind some love triangles because sometimes they can be handled well and in a way that is realistic and makes sense. But please, no cheating. And also, don't infodump. It;s so boring...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Draggy middles put me to sleep! I even end up DNF-ing books because of that!

      Delete
  19. ALL OF THIS. Possessive guys are NOT attractive. ):

    And info dumps, omg kill them all! I just want to bang my head repeatedly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. THEY ARE NOT! I really don't get their appeal, tbh!

      Delete
  20. Lack of research is SO annoying and disappointing, especially when the author tries to brush it off like "the main character doesn't know how it works either." NO, do your job and find a solid reason.

    Cheating and bad romance are a no no no no.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! If you don't want to try something new, then fine. Don't. But don't try to create something with so many plot holes and no stable backstory and say that you tried!

      Delete
  21. A lack of research really gets on my nerves, especially if it's a topic that I'm very familiar with! These are all so true!
    -Olivia, http://brewingupbooks.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete

I read, value, and cherish each and every comment. Although I don't have time to respond to most of them, I make every effort to comment back on your blog! :)