Tuesday Top Ten – Book Deal Breakers

So some of you may know, and may have seen on Facebook, but my computer is done. Dead. Its completely dead. I can’t get it to turn on and it sucks! I’m literally only a few weeks away from getting my financial aid for school, when I was going to buy myself a new laptop for school and for, of course, this blog. Now, I’m a little bit in trouble until I get my new computer and its nearly impossible to write a blog post from my phone. Not the way I do it.

Luckily enough, I have a great boyfriend who is helping me out with his computer but his computer isn’t readily available the way mine was. Therefore there may not be as MANY posts as there are until I get my new computer. I’m trying to write a TON of entries and have them scheduled to publish for you guys to enjoy.

I’m also enlisting my awesome contributor, Kat, to help me out with the next couple weeks, and I could use your help too! If you’re interested in writing a Tuesday Top Ten or a Book of the Week, a movie review, anything, please email us and we’ll fit you in and it’ll be awesome! I could REALLY use the help!

For now, this week’s Tuesday Top Ten. I am talking all about those little pet peeves that drive me crazy about a book, those things that make me pause in a book and make it hard to continue. Now, these are subjective and sometimes I continue to read a book even though they have these. Or I’ve read books with these traits and loved them but I got tired of them, etc. But check it out :)

10. Popular Books

Okay, here’s the thing. I read a LOT of popular books. I’m not so much a snob that I’m going to be like, I’m too cool for that popular book, I only read books by people who are unknown. Because that’s just dumb. That’s so hipster, and just immature and snobby. That’s not what I mean. I just…I tend to avoid books that get a ton of hype. Like, I start to wonder, are the books actually good or is it all hype? I hate when you see a book EVERYWHERE. Its like, Oprah’s pick of the month, and they’re reading it on Good Day LA and the Today show, and every single person on the bus is reading it, no matter what age they are. You also known a good hype book if all the middle aged women, who are mostly stay-at-home moms are reading. Hey, no hate, I’m just saying. They’re sitting at home watching Today or Ellen or The Talk (all shows I do like, by the way) and this book keeps cropping up so of course they are going to go buy it and read it. But I hate that kind of thing. Its why I never read A Million Little Pieces or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I barely choked down fifty pages of Fifty Shades of Grey. I’m just not into the hype. If someone I know and trust to give me good book recommendations recommends me a book, that’s when I’ll read it.

9. Too Much Sex

I’m not a romance book reader. I love romance, I love the build up and the moment where they first kiss and all of that. But I loved that kind of thing wrapped up in a bigger story. I’m not fond of that BEING the story. I hate when the two characters spend every other page telling each other how much they love each other and how much they want to be together and how beautiful they are and blah blah blah. It drives me insane. I know that romance novels are SUPPOSED to do that, so I’m glad they accomplish that but its not my cup of tea. I want to throw the book at the wall for being so incredibly boring. I also hate when there is sex every other page, unbelievable and completely unrealistic sex. Like, seriously, if you know a girl out there that can orgasm four times in about twenty minutes, can you please send her my way? Because that’s insanely rare, and I’d like to…interview her or something. Again, I know that’s the point but that kind of writing seriously makes me want to roll my eyes.

8. Weepy or Whiny Female Characters

Don’t get me wrong. I completely understand when female characters get emotional and all that. I do. I was a teenage girl once and between the high school drama, the heightened emotions, the ranging hormones and all that, I get that I cried, whined and threw tantrums a lot. This is the truth. However, if you’re presenting me with a character that is supposed to be a mature teenager, or a strong teen, a teen with leadership, etc. and then two books in, she’s whiny and messy and she won’t stop crying all the time, I just can’t handle it. Take Hunger Games for instance. I love Katniss, and I think she’s a strong character that had to come into her own so much earlier than most girls do. She was twelve when she stepped up to the plate to take care of her mother and her sister. She is hard, and determined and its those sort of emotions that keep her alive in the Games. But in Mockingjay, she just falls apart. And I can understand that. She’s been in the Games twice, and her District is blown to bits, partly because of her, and things are terrible, but she’s constantly crying and whining and I can’t handle that. I don’t like seeing these characters built up and then becoming something else. I also just don’t like those characters that begin as whiny and helpless and they NEED the main guy protagonist to keep them safe and to protect them and all that. Or they like to pretend they want to help, and protect themselves SO bad but get themselves into trouble or listen to the boys telling them to stay out of it.

7. No Diversity

It drives me absolutely bonkers when everyone in the book is white. Or straight or of the same religion or non-religion. I hate that you don’t see the differences that make us who we are in the books. Especially in the books that are supposed to take place in the United States. We are such a hodgepodge place of ethnicity and religions and sexual orientations and cultures and all of that. We are the queen of diversity and yet, a lot of times authors don’t show that at all and it really, really bothers me. Take Sarah Dessen, for instance. I love her and she’s one of my absolute favorite authors ever. But with The Moon and More just released this June, she’s written eleven books and every single one of her characters has been….white. Now, she does a wonderful job and hitting different issues in her books that hit a wide variety of teenagers but they happen to all sorts of races as well and I don’t see that at all in her main characters. Her secondary characters are often of different races and religions but not her main characters. This is something I appreciate about Cassandra Clare. She has different races, different religions, she has gay and lesbian teens in there. I would like more books to reflect the world that we see around us and I don’t think there are a ton of books that do that.

6. Characters That Are Too Beautiful

This drives me insane! I hate it so much. I hate when the main character is super skinny and is always absolutely gorgeous. I love that Tris is not beautiful. I love that Clary is beautiful to Jace but she’s not considered textbook beautiful. I love (sarcastically) when the main character describes herself and she says she’s not beautiful and you’re like, uh, yeah, that sounds like beauty to me. Or I hate when the main characters (mostly in GF or romance novels) are so obviously gorgeous. Every woman in a romance novel is freaking gorgeous. Every boy that comes into a novel is absolutely breathtakingly gorgeous and perfect. Um, no. I love my boyfriend and he is the hottest boy in the world to me, and I’m sure he thinks the same of me, but I don’t think either one of us are going to be Abercrombie or Victoria’s Secret models anytime soon. I wish characters had a more realistic sense of beauty. Meg Cabot is really good at that. She’s really good at finding the true beauty in the average person, not the beauty in these ridiculously gorgeous people. I can’t even handle it, and most times I get really frustrated and annoyed with a character when they’re too pretty.

Oh! And when they’re super skinny too. Most of us are NOT super skinny. We come in all kinds of body types. When are we going to have bigger girls as our role models in our books. I LOOOOOOVE Elisa in The Girl of Fire and Thorns because she starts off as SUPER fat. She’s fat, and she loses weight as the books go on but she remains a bigger girl and I LOVE that about her. More characters should be like that!

 5. Long Book Series

This is not true of every book series out there. I love every single book in the Harry Potter series (7), and the Princess Diaries series (10), The Mortal Instruments (5…so far), and the Alphabet mysteries (23), but I think that book series that are long AND remain good are rare and so when I see a series going on for more than 3-5 books, I automatically am deterred by it. I feel like that there are not many authors that can continue to write great novels about the same people, the same universe and that the later books tend to take on a lower quality than the beginning books. I think Lauren Oliver wrote a decent first book in the Delirium trilogy and then the second and third books were just NOT good. However, I don’t think she’s a bad writer; her standalone, Before I Fall, is brilliant and maybe she’s better at the standalone novels. I also think that series with a lot of books tend to get repetitive and very formula. It reminds me of Baby-Sitter’s Club and Sweet Valley High and Pony Pals. All of those were books that I enjoyed as a kid but they aren’t actually good, and they’re formula novels. So I tend to think that long series aren’t going to be very good.

4. Authors That Put Out Several Books a Year

Look, I’m not a professional yet. I’m not a published author, with book deals and deadlines so I’m not an expert. I won’t claim to be an expert. But when an author puts out more than two books a year, I get suspicious and annoyed as well. Look, most authors will put out one book a year, sometimes one book every COUPLE of years. The Mortal Instruments is six books and the first book came out in 2007 and the last and sixth book will be released in 2014. Six books in seven years. Sounds about right, and that’s with the three Infernal Devices along side it too. Sarah Dessen is about every other year, Rick Riordan is about one book a year, Meg Cabot does one or two a year. But when i see authors putting out multiple books a year, like James Patterson and Danielle Steele, I can’t help but think “ghost writer”. And I can’t stand that. I’m sorry but as an author, how can you have someone else write under your name? Are you that concerned with continuing to make money, that you’ll have someone write it for you? Or for the ghost writer themselves: you do all the actual writing of this novel and get absolutely no credit for it, except for a paycheck? For those of us who struggle to write novels and to get noticed and to get published, I have this to say: you suck. Of course, i want to make money as an author, but with my OWN writing under my OWN name. Note it here: if I ever even consider being or using a ghost writer, slap me in the face because I’ve lost my mind. I just can’t understand that so I am wary of those authors that put out several books in one calendar year.

3. Book Covers/Book Synopsis

Oh yes, I totally judge a book by the cover. I’m sorry but I do! When I see a book cover that I’ve already seen on other covers, or the same models all over the place, it drives me insane. I feel like there are so many artists out there and that unique, or at least original, book covers are possible. I don’t like when a cover is too cheesy or too ridiculous. I don’t like when a cover literally represents NOTHING that is going on in the books at all. Some of my favorite books covers are Harry Potter and Percy Jackson because you see whats going on in those novels so perfectly and I just love it. I hate book covers that look all the same. Like, all the fallen angel novels in the YA section are starting to look way too similar, and all these romance-erotica novels whose covers all seem to be basically identical to 50 Shades of Grey. So frustrating. A cover is the first thing that grabs my attention at a bookstore so if your cover is similar to other books, my eyes are going to barely give it a grand.

I also hate book synopsis that don’t tell you AT all what the book is about. Like, okay, I’m reading the first book in the Mara Dyer trilogy, mostly on recommendation from Megan at Luxen Army but if I had read the back cover of this on my own, I wouldn’t have bought it. Look!

You can click it if you can’t see it but really? This is what is supposed to get me into your book? Its so incredibly vague and so overly dramatic. I hate when its like “an ordinary girl meets a mysterious boy who knows secrets about her”. Okay? Please give me a detailed enough summary of the book so I know if I want to read it. I absolutely hate those super vague and dramatic summaries. They sound like movie trailers, but at least movie trailers have visuals to help with the vague, ridiculous words. I often times avoid buying books because I just can’t tell what its actually about!

2. Terrible Writing/Grammar and Spelling Mistakes

I’m sorry but really? If you are incapable of basic grammar and spelling, then you really shouldn’t be writing a novel and having it published. This is even more true when its published because I know that novels go through several drafts and are viewed by several editors before coming to print. So really, this shouldn’t be happening and I cannot  push myself past that. I can’t take a story that seriously if there are grammar and spelling mistakes because it is absolutely distracting for me. How do you handle that? How do people read books when they are mistakes like that in there? Being a published writer says you are a professional, this is your career, this is something that you are good at and it doesn’t hold true if your writing doesn’t display that.

I also just don’t like when the story is told badly to begin with. If the sentences are like “Joe ran”, or its just a boring story, and the transitions are bad. If the story itself just STINKS. Some people just can’t tell a good story. When I read a book and I just don’t care about the main characters at all in the slightest, then they are obviously not doing a well enough job of telling a captivating story. I also don’t like the opposite either; when the language is so flowery and so descriptive that the author is too busy describing the setting to really give us a great story. There’s a nice medium and plenty of people accomplish but there are a few that are too simple and a few that are just too much.

1. Love Triangles

These are my least favorite and I think its because its starting to get old. This isn’t exactly a new concept but it seems like you can’t read most books without this existing and it gets really, really old. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve read and enjoyed books with love triangles in them. Mortal Instruments AND Infernal Devices. Hunger Games and so on. I didn’t exactly enjoy the love triangle aspects in those novels but it was something that I tolerated for the sake of the good stories that were being told. However, now, whenever I read books and a love triangle starts to spark, I want to throw the book across the room. It is totally possible to write a novel without a love triangle. I swear to you, there are SO many books without them so it drives me crazy that there is an equal amount with them. I also don’t like this idea of showing girls that not only do you not have ONE guy pining after you, you don’t have TWO of them pining after you, and therefore you’re lame. I’ve never been caught in a love triangle in my life, and if I ever did have to make the choice between two different people, I wouldn’t be such a baby about it; I’d make a choice! i hate that these girls get whiny and emotional, “oh god, two amazing, spectacular, completely non-existent boys totally love plain ‘ol me, what shall I do?” Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Its disgusting, unrealistic and gives young girls the wrong ideas about boys. Its bad enough these teen girls feel lonely and unloved anyway; let’s not discourage them more by giving them the idea that two boys should be fighting over them.

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So those are my Top Ten Book Deal Breakers/Pet Peeves. I hope you enjoyed reading them and that you don’t judge me too much for being a bit of a book snob haha.

Don’t forget you can check out previous Top Tens here.

And don’t forget to share! What are some of your own book pet peeves, or deal breakers? Share them in the comments below!

7 thoughts on “Tuesday Top Ten – Book Deal Breakers

  1. Katie Louise says:

    I agree with pretty much all of those!
    I did read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but I think I read it after all the hype had passed, or maybe before. I don’t remember it being ‘popular’ when I read it, and I really enjoyed it!

  2. Chloe says:

    I love that you can stand up and admit your book biases – we’ve all got them! That was a good point about series that are too long – I tend to avoid them too. That’s one of the reasons I avoided the Discworld books for so long but now I LOVE them! But I think the Discworld series, as well as Terry Pratchett himself is a bit of an outlier: there are few authors out there who are as witty, clever and able to write about such different topics within the same series. I mean, you get one book about pyramids and mathematical equations, another about the postal service, another about fairy tales, another about popular musical theatre…he’s just too awesome :) And I agree with your point about all books looking the same these days – so boring! No matter how good a book with a grey and black cover and a shadowy picture of a winged boy and perhaps some feathers scattered artistically around is, I won’t be reading it.

  3. Casey Poma says:

    Good list! I agree with most of it (even though the Dragon Tattoo books were AMAZING, as were the Swedish film adaptations, but I totally get what you mean. I like what you said about love triangles: they’re so darn annoying. Not only do they seem to be in every book, but I just can’t understand how someone could simultaneously be in love with two people and be confused about it. How do you now know who you love? How did it end up happening that you fell in love with two people? All the silly emotional confusion aside, I don’t like love triangles because, not only does it tell young women we have to have TWO boys pine after us, but gives the idea that we need one at all. I’m slowly getting into YA, and I’d love to see a book where the girl DOESN’T like a boy or feels like she doesn’t NEED a boy. Wouldn’t it be great for a YA-protagonist to pick neither of love-triangle participants?

    As for my own pet peeves, I personally hate it when, in fantasy books, there is no map. I understand that some authors feel like they don’t NEED maps, but I can’t stand hearing about this town and that town and this country or that country and having no idea where they are. I could go on, but maybe I’ll save all the others for one of my own blog posts :P

    Oh, and Sans Serif fonts! Get outta here with that noise!

    • Sara says:

      I remember before I read the last installment of The Infernal Devices that I had hoped that she picked neither of the boys. I ended up liking the way it ended but I honestly would have been totally okay with her choosing neither.

      And you are so right about the maps! I haven’t read any epic fantasies lately but I do remember that as a frustration. Its hard to keep this fictional world straight in your head when there isn’t a map to help you out!

      And I’ve never thought of font, but you are so right. Some fonts drive me absolutely nuts.

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