POV: You’re reading a great book. The plot is wonderful, you’re completely absorbed, you are convinced this will be your next 5-star read… until it happens.
The author uses THAT trope. That irritating, cliche, hackneyed trope that you cannot stand. Suddenly all the fervor is gone from your reading, and you sigh when you realize that here is yet another book to go on that 3-4 star pile.
I’m not picky when it comes to books, but there are a few things I just really, really don’t like reading. Here are my biggest reading pet peeves:
- Wholly unnecessary romance– aka THE PLAGUE OF YA. I hate when I’m reading a book with an exciting plot, intriguing characters and great themes- but then suddenly, inevitably, the main characters fall in love and we get this whole pointless romance with zero necessity apart from, apparently, “appeasing the target audience”. Air quotes because I AM the target audience. If a book doesn’t need romance, please don’t add the fluffy filler. Like the love triangle in The Hunger Games– seriously Katniss, why are you so worried about Peeta and Gale when the government is actively trying to kill you? Maybe this trope wouldn’t be so irritating if I could remember the last time I read a romance-free YA book.
- In romance: cringe-worthiness and smut– If a book makes me facepalm, close the book, and/or roll my eyes, it’s a bad sign. I’m fairly skeptical about sappy romance books (ROMEO & JULIET IS DEFINITELY SATIRE, CHANGE MY MIND), so maybe I’m not the best person to decide what’s cringe-worthy, but…. I rest my case. I also much prefer clean books; especially since ~scandalous~ scenes often lead to cringe territory anyway.
- Instalove and over-attachment– going off of the Romeo & Juliet thing, I am not a fan of instalove. Maybe “love at first sight” is a real phenomenon, I don’t know, but even so, don’t expect me to believe that our main characters are inseparable just a DAY after meeting… and they already know they’re in LOVE… please. Again, instalove itself isn’t the worst trope in the world, but it is so prevalent that encountering it now always grates on me. And then there’s the trope where the main character is so over-attached to her boyfriend that he’s all she thinks about. I have never read Twilight, and for this reason I don’t think I ever will.
- Overly aggressive political opinions– I recently read a book that shall remain nameless, in which the antagonist was the antagonist solely because he was a politician belonging to a certain party. This character was described as evil and terrible almost every time he was mentioned, but he never really did anything to support this characterization. Instead of actual evidence condemning this character, we were treated to the main character’s rants about how deeply she disagreed with his “evil policies”. Of course, authors are allowed to write whatever they want and give voice to their opinions, but in the vast majority of cases, someone having a different opinion does not made said person evil. And even if I agree with the author, I wanted to read a good story, not a political tirade! This particular example crossed a line, at least in my opinion, but it’s not the first time I’ve seen this in books.
- No suspense– I usually don’t like books without any tension… there has to be SOMETHING exciting happening, or some interesting theme to explore. If the only plot is “will the two MCs get together?” it better be well-written and funny. And if it’s not contemporary, wherein I’m expecting that type of plot alongside fluff, drama and humor, it should have at least some intrigue and action.
Thanks for attending my rant session. Do you agree with this list? What are some of your bookish greivances?
*Disclaimer- these are just things that I personally don’t enjoy reading, but everyone has different preferences; I wrote this article for fun. Even some of my favorite books contain at least one of these*