Bookworm Quirks: Deal Breakers, or, How to Make Sure I Don’t Finish Your Book

Deal Breakers

Hey y’all! Today I want to talk about things that make me put books in my DNF pile. We all have them, and for some of us, they’re more important than our keywords.

Unnecessary Love Triangles/Instalove

Don’t we all hate these? No one reads a book and thinks, “Yeah, this plot is fast-paced, great dialogue, believable characters. But you know what would make me love it more? If the main character fell in love at first sight with TWO people, and then had to pick between them over the course of three books/four movies!” I have a lot of bones to pick with Divergent, but at least there wasn’t some dumb third party getting between Tris and Four.

Inappropriate treatment of rape/abuse/assault/harassment/stalking/etc

These are huge problems today, and it drives me up the wall when writers act like it’s either no big deal or romantic (Twilight and 50 Shades, I’m looking at you). Readers are impressionable, especially at the MG/YA stage, and these kinds of books are so so bad for society. Just…ugh. If I was dumb enough to be pro-banning books, I’d be looking at those.

Books that are prejudiced/anti-feminist

This is totally a preference one for me, because I can’t stand a book that doesn’t empower people to be who they are and make wise decisions. In The Infinite Moment of Us bu Lauren Myracle, she romanticizes condomless sex (!!!), there’s the stereotypical crazy ex-girlfriend, and one character tells the main guy that women like men to take charge in the bedroom. While it’s believable for her character to say that, I feel like Myracle should be more aware of her audience of young girls and should at the very least discuss the dangers of condomless sex in her author’s note or provide a list of further reading. I don’t know, it really irked me and I’ve decided to take an indefinite break from her books.

Books written by men that can’t write a convincing woman to save their lives/reduce all female characters to static

I’m looking at you, Andrew Smith. #WingerForWorstBookEver2k15

Building Suspense Out of Lack of Information

I was really excited about Maze Runner, and I (stupidly) bought the whole series when it was on sale on Amazon. DUMB. After the first book, I took the whole set and put them up for sale at my sister’s bookstore. The whole book relies on suspense that is only gained by withholding information for the sake of suspense. Here’s a sample:

Thomas: Who are you?
Everyone else: Not telling.
Thomas: Where are we?
Everyone else: Not telling.
Thomas: What do these words you all keep saying mean?? What’s a greenie?!
Everyone else: Not telling, greenie.

IT’S SO FRUSTRATING. It’s lazy storytelling at its best. It’s one of the few cases of the movie being better than the book, and I fell asleep for about twenty minutes (Not from lack of interest, the theater had those super comfy recliner couch things and I hadn’t had a nap).

Inconsistency/Plot Holes

I hate when authors ignore established facts for the sake of plot. Is it that hard to go back and reread your books before you start the next one?

Those are a few of my reading deal breakers. What are yours? Do we have any in common? Are any of these things that you love to read? Let me know in the comments!

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