Top Ten Tuesday April 25, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don’t have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It’s a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

This week our topic is top ten things that will instantly make us not want to read books. I am going to do this list based on books I never picked up and books I did pick up but couldn’t finish.

An Unbelievable Premise.

The most important thing in any book is for it to be grounded in reality. If your book doesn’t have realistic characters with real struggles, even if it’s a high fantasy, then it will not work out.

Weak Writing

You know right away when the writing isn’t strong. The story the author is trying to tell us could be really amazing, but if the writing isn’t there then the story isn’t going to come together in the right way.

When Characters are Juvenile

Yes, this is young adult fiction but that doesn’t mean that this needs to be written for a young comprehension level or with characters who don’t match. I recently read a book that felt like the author was giving her view on teenagers (whiny, emotional, not good enough struggles or ability to comprehend the world around them) instead of writing teenagers as actual human beings. When you are an adult writing about teenagers you should be writing them as if you’re right in the middle of them, not someone who is so far removed from being a young adult that the entire story comes out mutated. Young adults are young, but they are also strong and are going through so many things and should be written strongly and not as if they are being scolded.

When Multiple Narration Doesn’t Work

When there are multiple points of view, but the voices don’t change with the different characters. If you’re going to do multiple narrations, then I should be able to tell each time it shifts and be able to tell distinctly who is speaking to me.

Social Commentary Fails

When it’s too obvious someone is trying to make a social commentary and it fails. You all know these books are going to be terrible and probably offensive just by the description. Someone tries to make a comment on something and they think it’s a great idea and somehow in the string of people who touched this book on its way to getting published no one else noticed this.

When the Point is too Preachy

This one goes with number five, but books that are trying to make a point and it’s really obvious. Your book should make a point and when I’m done reading it I should know what it is, but it shouldn’t be shoved in my face the entire book. There needs to be a point to YOUR point. You need to show me why this thing you want to teach us is important and show how it comes into play in everyday life. Books that teach a lesson are fine, but there should be a good story with it and not just be a scolding the entire book.

Terrible Cover

They tell you not to judge a book by its cover, but I think many of us are guilty. The cover is really the first thing we see of a book. Most of the books I read are ones I’ve heard about from other people, but don’t know much about. I usually purchase books solely on recommendation and good word from bloggers on Twitter or from authors I know I’ve loved in the past. Really with the exception of books I request from Netgalley I do not read any of the description of the books. I want to be completely surprised when I read books so unless it’s something I’m searching for to request then I don’t read anything on the book. Understandably covers have become really important to me. If a cover is really low quality (you know the ones I’m talking about) then I feel like the quality of the book itself would be low. As much effort needs to go into creating these covers as writing the book. The cover should show how amazing the book is.

Bad Plot Points

When a plot point just doesn’t make sense. This one calls back to number one, but there are some books that make sense in every single way except for one. I DNF’d a book last year that started off so well but about 1/3 of the way through the book something really weird happened. I tried to continue on in the story, but I just could not get over what she was trying to get us to believe and had to stop reading it. You can have an amazing book (and that book had favorable reviews) and one thing can ruin it for people. Unfortunately, it’s really hit or miss at that point though because some people are going to love it and think it’s brilliant and some people just aren’t going to get it.

Too Long

When a book is too long. Young adult books over the past few years have been getting progressively longer. For most of the books that’s great! But for some it just means the first 300 or so pages are so slow! I read these books and I get to that 200-300 page mark and wonder why things aren’t happening yet. Yes, I love the fact that you’re spending time setting up your world, but I need more action. I know the climax is going to come in that last 100 pages at some point, but I still need some sort of action in the first 300-400 pages.

When It’s Just Bad.

Sometimes a book has so many things wrong with it you wonder how it was published or why you decided to accept a review request from that self-published author. We live in a publishing world today where self-publishing is so accessible and easy for people. I have read some absolutely fantastic self-published books. Most of those authors spent time and money having it professionally edited and marketed and actually put in the effort the story deserved. Then there are people who wrote a book, decided to ignore the advice of all the beta readers (or maybe those people were liars) and publish their book without putting in the effort to edit it or make sure it made sense. These are the books that turn people off from self-publishing and it’s sad that there are so many of them that they ruin it for the people who actually tried and have talent. This doesn’t only happen in self-publishing though; it happens with traditionally published books. I finished a book recently that I purchased solely on the recommendation of a publisher’s tweet and it was a terrible book.

 

What are some things that drive you guys nuts in books?

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Andon says:

    My pet peeve is when things are overexplained. This affects both people who know what they’re talking about, and people that don’t.

    When someone has a lot of knowledge, it’s great that they know this stuff. But when you spend five pages describing this thing, and how this thing works, how it was made, when it was made, why and how the character has it… It just gets tiresome.

    For the authors that don’t know much about what they’re describing – It’s OK. Nobody knows everything. But we can tell when you’re out of your leage and getting details wrong.

    Linked to this is when people describe things repeatedly. I don’t need to be told what this acronym stands for every time you use it.

    I also dislike when important but minor details are left until far too late. Read a book ages ago that had a lot of counting in twelves. Only to casually mention six fingers on each hand in the last chapter. Counting in twelves makes sense then – so that should have, perhaps, been mentioned in the first chapter.

    • Hannah says:

      I hate it went authors info dump. All that happens is I start skipping things because my brain doesn’t want to read all that. 

  2. I think writing teens realistically is super hard. On the one hand, teen protags have to be brave and mature enough to handle real problems, but on the other hand, they can’t be TOO mature or they don’t feel like teens. As the parent of two teens and one almost-teen, I hate it when YA protags act like world-weary adults. Not realistic in my POV.

    • Hannah says:

      I agree. There’s such a balance that needs to happen. Luckily most YA authors can do it so well, but there are some that are terrible. 

  3. Chrystal says:

    I’m with you on so many of these. Especially bad covers and really long books. Too preachy is a good one to add to a list. You’ve added some I didn’t even think of. 

  4. Jo says: