Good morning!!! Jumping right in, today is Tuesday which means Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. The topic for today is Top Ten Book Turn-Offs, so something that happens when you’re reading a book that just irks you. So for me, this is a list of the things that make me DNF (did not finish) a book, because really book turn-offs will probably lead to me giving up on a book. And this seems particularly relevant to me at the moment, considering how lousy my reading was in September.
I probably won’t be able to come up with 10, because honestly anything can be enjoyable if it’s well-written. But there are some things that are almost always going to ruin a book for me.
1. Boredom – This is the #1 reason for me not finishing books. Maybe it’s that the characters aren’t interesting, or that there’s very little plot, or no action. But if I’m not hooked within the first 50 to 100 pages, chances are I’m not going to bother continuing to read. I used to feel bad about this, but now I don’t really. I don’t want to waste my time on something that’s not holding my interest.
-(I wanted to or did DNF the following: Joyland by Stephen King, The Doomsday Vault by Steven Harper, The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling, and a ton more…)
2. Cheating – I can’t stand cheating in books. It’s a good way to completely erase any fondness I had for the guilty character. And there are books that I’ve started before realizing that infidelity was going to be the main point of the story, and I just quit.
-(I can’t remember the title, but one was some Emily Giffin book. Never tried another one of hers after that.)
3. Whiny, overly emotional characters – I prefer my characters strong, funny, tough, maybe even mean. But if the main character is whiny and constantly going through some sort of dramatic inner turmoil – YAWN. I think this is one of the reasons I don’t connect with YA books very often. Teenagers are so full of angst and I just can’t put up with it. Been there, done that, thanks.
-(Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami, An Abundance of Katherines by John Green, The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides, and more that I’ve blocked out.)
4. Too much religion – I’ve definitely gone into books not knowing that there would be a lot of religious overtones and preaching. I can eye-roll for a while before it gets to be too much and I have to just walk away.
-(A good example is The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright, which amazingly I finished just so I could review it for how bad it was.)
5. Love triangles – Yet another turn-off that’s rampant in YA, which is extra frustrating because it’s so darn unrealistic. It’s always some “plain but beautiful in an unconventional way” girl who just happens to be the love interest of two different guys and somehow she just can’t choose until eventually she does… give me a break.
-(Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, The Hunger Games trilogy. I loved THG, but I hated the Katniss-Gale-Peeta romance. Ugh.)
6. Pretentious writing – Some authors just try too freaking hard to be witty, edgy, deep, or shocking and it always annoys me. I can only stomach so much hipster-ness and author vanity before I’m just out.
-(*waves to Jennifer Egan, John Green, Robert Goolrick, etc.*)
7. Switching characters mid-book – This is actually something I’ve noticed only recently, but it bugs me when I’m pretty far into a book and all of the sudden the story switches to a completely new set of characters. I just invested all that time in connecting to the first set, and maybe even liked them, and now you’re just switching on me? Lame.
-(This happened with The Map of Time, and more recently with The Passage. It’s so frustrating. I MIGHT keep trying with The Passage since it’s for Katie’s book club, but the switch in characters really made me lose interest. And it’s so LONG.)
Do any of these things bug you guys? What makes you quit a book before finishing it?