If I read one more case of Instalove I might just lose my mind.
Any book lover can tell you that there are just certain ‘book things’ that immediately get under their skin and make them toss a book to the side. Whether plot-related, character-related, or even dealing with the actual look and feel of the book itself – there are some definite no-nos.
I’m the same way. So –
Here are 8 book pet peeves that really grind my gears:
Since I’ve already touched on it above, we might as well start off with Instalove. There’s nothing more annoying than when two characters – who know absolutely nothing about each other – become weirdly obsessed with each other after one look. They’ve never had an in-depth conversation – maybe they don’t even know each other’s names – but they just know that the person they brushed hands with once while reaching for a straw at the coffee shop is the ONE.
It’s even worse when the relationship is never thoroughly developed. They’re together and “in love” but they don’t even know where each other grew up or their biggest fear or like… their middle names.
Unvaried Sentence Structure
Now I don’t know about you, but unvaried sentence structure in a story pulls me out of it real quick. When it’s poorly written with simple sentences over and over and over and over… you get it. The immediate example of this that comes to mind is Fifty Shades of Grey. A few years ago I was curious what all the fuss was about so I tried to read it – I got about 50 pages in and quit.
The writing drove me up a wall. To me it read like:
“Ana went to the kitchen. Ana made a sandwich. Then Ana’s roommate came home.”
And I know I’m probably exaggerating a bit but ohmygahhh – I just couldn’t do it.
Which sort of leads me to my next one…
Overusing first names in dialogue / Unrealistic dialogue
In real life, when people are having a conversation they don’t start every single sentence with the other person’s name. It’s just not realistic. The only time you start a sentence with someone’s name is either when you want to catch their attention or you want to emphasize a point to them (usually). But you don’t just say someone’s name over and over again in a casual interaction.
It gets weird.
Don’t be weird. Moving on.
Lack of character development
Now there are very few things in stories that irk me more than when a character doesn’t learn from their mistakes or experiences. And I understand needing to make a few mistakes to a learn a lesson (been there, done that) but eventually you HAVE to learn something!
The best example of this I can think of is actually from a TV show rather than from books but the point still stands. Pretty Little Liars. I mean these girls were stalked and messed with for 7 years and in the end they still went running through the woods alone at night and split up in creepy deserted buildings.
At some point the stupidity just gets ridiculous.
Changing the design of the book covers before the series is fully finished
Who are the people on the marketing teams who make these decisions. I just want to talk.
It’s really aggravating and unsatisfying to have a series of books on your shelves with mis-matched covers. And when the publishers / marketing teams do this, in order to have matching covers people have to repurchase books they already own! And that’s not happening so we all just end up having clashing books on our shelves.
Also, while we’re on the topic of the physical book itself…
Those really thick, ridged edge pages
And the insanely thin rice paper type pages.
Am I just being too picky? Does this bother anyone else? I just want the standard, normal paper. The ridged edge paper is too heavy and distracting and it just looks bad. And with the thin paper I feel like I have to turn the pages with the same care of someone playing Operation just so the pages don’t rip right out.
I just don’t.
I can’t stand when a book seems to have a well-developed plot and likable characters, and then before you know it you have about 50 pages left and 60 loose ends. I felt this way about the 3rd book in the Delirium trilogy by Lauren Oliver – and I especially felt this way about Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire. (If you want to know more about my issues with Beautiful Disaster you can check that out here.)
I just hate when it feels like the author got tired of writing and simply wanted to be done with it. Like…
Whatever. Last but not least:
When protagonists are made to be God-like
Protagonists should not be invincible! Everything shouldn’t come easily to them like they’re the untouchable “chosen one” or whatever. I mean, even Harry Potter – who was actually the chosen one – had his faults. Struggle is important – especially for strong characters.
No matter how much of a Queen someone is, they still struggle.
The struggle makes them stronger.
Okay, rant over.
Do any of these things bother you? What are your biggest book pet peeves?
Let me know!