Monday, September 30, 2013

Top Ten Book Turn-Offs






1.  Absent/abusive/neglectful/general bad relationship parents when it serves no purpose in character development or plot and it is left unresolved or is sort of brushed over as if everything is ok.


2.  Insta-love (which is sort of a given, but there you are).


3.  Main character abandons her family, friends, and all common sense for a guy (or girl I suppose, but I've not seen any lead females do this for a girl, so there you are).


4.  Extreme lack of self confidence.  There is a point when the absence of self confidence is so lacking that it just becomes unbelievable, and it rarely serves a purpose in the plot.  I'm not saying my heroine needs to be self-assured like Celaena, in fact heroines like Mia Thermopolis are fantastic.   But then there are others who will not be mentioned who are just plain ridiculous and they piss me off.


5.  The lead doesn't think she is pretty enough to be with the guy she is with, and while she's got no self confidence about any of her abilities, it is particularly focused on being valued for looks.


6.  Hot, rich jerk.  In chick lit it seems to be ok for the guy to be an arrogant prick, but he's almost ALWAYS rich and hot.  He's at least one of them.  Don't get me wrong, I get sucked into it too, but would the lead let the guy treat her like that if he wasn't rich and hot?  Things to think about.


7.  The cardboard cut out best friend.  She serves no purpose other than as a sounding board about MC's love interest.  OR, even worse you're told she is the best friend, but she promptly acts like a backstabbing b*@#& the whole book, so we never understand why they were friends in the first place.


8.  Love interests unreasonably sticking together, even when the other is a danger to their life.  I can't really explain this well, since technically Katniss and Peeta would fulfill that requirement, and I totally love Katniss and Peeta.  It's more like Bella/Edward and I KNOW this will be an unpopular choice...but Mara/Noah.  Ah - that's what it is.  I need some sort of bond that is made before and outside of just romance for it to work for me - the others stink a bit of instalove.


9.  Slut shaming.  There is something particularly about the use of slut that really, really bothers me.  I briefly ventured out into contemporary YA earlier this year and literally every book I read during that brief foray involved some pretty serious name calling and bullying - but not in a way that I think exposes bullying as a problem.  This word more than any other in YA literatue really upsets me, and it bothers me a lot that it is so easily found.  It's not exactly the word itself (although it sort of is), it's that characters can so easily be painted as "sluts" and written off.  It's seriously the easiest was to disregard a character.   And it's just as offensive when the protagonist is the one being outcast as a slut.  It's just a particularly vitriolic word that I feel is hard to articulate exactly how...just lots of bad feeling come quickly to the surface.  To me it's more horrid to use against someone than b*#$@.  And I think part of the reason it really bothers me is that it is definitely a gender thing.  If a guy is called a slut in a book (or in life), it's usually in a joking manner.



10.  Possessiveness or guy acting in a dangerous way (like a vampire almost sucking girl's blood, etc.) being explained away because he didn't mean it.  Ok I'm sorry, but that is the first sign of an abusive relationship.  Sure it's in the paranormal world usually so it's not the guy beating on the girl or screaming at her, but the message is the same, and that's really not ok.  Plus the situation often gets a rapey sort of feel.  Seriously not attractive, guys.

Olivia Benson would not approve.

There are no pictures (I was originally going to post books that fit my list, but then it made me feel really catty so I decided against it) so this is a rather boring post :-/.  In other news, I am doing a giveaway for The Evolution of Mara Dyer to celebrate my 100th post on the blog, so go check it out!
That's it for my TTT this week, what's on yours?  Leave me a link below!  (And as always just a reminder...really leave a link or I won't be able to find your blog haha)

37 comments:

  1. I have the dangerous, possessive love interest on my list, too. And I *hate* slut-shaming. How did I forget insta-love?!

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  2. Probably because it's sort of self explanatory haha!

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  3. I love Olivia! lol heres mine http://caitstruelife.wordpress.com/2013/09/30/top-ten-tuesday-top-ten-book-turn-offs/

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  4. Have you watched the new season yet? It was seriously intense! And it made me miss Stabler :(

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  5. Totally agree with the "hot, rich jerk" one! Those guys in books totally get on my nerves

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  6. Yes! I completely agree with you about Insta-Love. It's just not believable at all. I can understand lust, but certainly not love! Here is my list: http://chrissireads.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/top-ten-book-turn-offs/

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  7. Yes I couldn't wait to see it! It was really intense and I really loved the second half. I miss stabler so much and I yelled out his name watching this episode so many times can't wait to see this weeks episode!

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  8. Insta love is a definite turn-off for me too. The majority of the time the girl is a sensible person, but one badboy comes in and all logic and reason goes out the window. Lack of confidence is something that bothers me as well. I think about the message that sends out to readers. You find a lot of that new adult literature and young adult literature to some extent. I can't believe I totally forgot about possessiveness! Totally agree with you on that one. I don't understand why such behaviour is romanticised in some literature.


    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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  9. Yes, yes and yes! I agree with all of your list. Slut-shaming is really nasty and completely unnecessary. It's even worse because these books are aimed at teens. Here's my TTT

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  10. eeeek.... i hate it when the girl is all... "i'm so plain.... don't have an amazing body... blah blah blah".... yet the guys is all... "hot daaamnnn... look at her 34 Cs.... and that perfect little ass"... i mean, come on. GIVE ME A BREAK, GIRL.

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  11. YES YES YES to the main character abandoning everything for a guy. When they're willing to save the hero rather than themselves or their family after like a week, BIG NOPE. Also, if they were a sarcastic, butt-kicking badass until they met him and now they're a fluffy, cry-at the drop of a hat weakling I'm going to be pissed.


    CARDBOARD CUTOUT BEST FRIEND. YES. This. Also, I'm sick of the best friend's plot lines being unresolved. Like, the friend will get a date, and we don't learn how it goes, because the heroine doesn't give a shit.


    Also, we need to stop valuing heroines and heroes solely for their looks. That.

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  12. Haha, I love the disapproving Olivia Benson. I think you've picked so many good ones. I've been known to seriously consider putting down a book when the characters fall instantly in love. Sigh...

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  13. I've always felt the stereotype was vaguely sexist somehow (sexist against guys) although I'm not sure exactly what about it is. Being valued for looks and money I guess?

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  14. Yeah I always find it really worrisome that these are the things that are glorified in YA Lit. Finding it in older literature doesn't bother me so much. I won't like the book, but I also don't think it's going to change anyone's mind on the subject because older audiences already have pretty set opinions...but teens are still making them.

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  15. Honestly the last two on my list are probably the ones the provoke the most reaction from me - most of the rest of the list I sort of have given up on in books haha

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  16. I know right?!? It makes me so angry! No one feels great most of the time about their body when they are a teenager, but man these girls take it to the next level! And of course the guy thinks they are just PERFECT. *rolls eyes*

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  17. Oh I totally forgot about the 180 personality change that often comes with it! Every time I read one of those stories I'm like...I've been dating my boyfriend 5 years. I am seriously, wonderfully, madly in love with him. If I'm being honest, I don't know if I'd sacrifice my life for him, but probably not, and I'd definitely save my family first, because family is ALWAYS first!


    Our MC's are such horrible friends hahaha! I feel like most books I read it's either the friend who is horrible, or the MC. Generally books with great friendships are automatically given an extra star. They're usually well written as it is, so I just love them! (I'm looking at you Unspoken you fantabulous book you)


    And with looks...seriously?! It's our imaginations! Why can't people look NORMAL? We've already got TV to glorify all the good looking people out there.

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  18. Olivia Benson is probably my favourite TV character ever. She is seriously the best! I pretty much never DNF - I have an extreme stubborn streak about finishing books haha. It's definitely to my detriment, but I just can't do it!

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  19. SO many thing I agree with on this list, particularly #10. Ugh I hate when they "explain" why its "ok" he's an a abusive douche.

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  20. Yeah this episode was pretty terrifying haha! SVU is basically one of my favourite shows of all time

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  21. Yeah...as someone who has watched every episode of SVU I'm always like. NO. JUST NO.

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  22. For me, if I were in your situation, I might go for him over my family, but only with years of love behind and the knowledge that my family is just my parents, who would be approaching 70 at that point. I want to save both, but if I couldn't I'd probably be pragmatic. If it was a new relationship, though, hell no. Also, I think I'd probably always save myself, but I hope never to have that tested.


    There need to be more great friendships, and I say this as a person who got stuck in a lot of unhealthy ones and really relates to a lot of those plots. Even so, I've had plenty of friends who really made life worth living, and I want that in books too.


    Right. On TV, I like my characters hot (so sue me), but in books I want them to be real.

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  23. Nice list! I don't mind possessiveness when it's like protectiveness, but when it's more possessive and psychotic I'm just like NO. Thanks for stopping by!

    Rachel @ Beauty and the Bookshelf

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  24. AWESOME list!! I totally agree with everything you wrote. The Slut Shaming gets really old, really fast. Especially when the MC is the one doing it to her cardboard best friend! Here is mine: http://www.rexrobotreviews.com/2013/10/top-ten-tuesday-book-turn-offs.html

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  25. Exactly! No psychotic boys for me, thank you very much!

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  26. Nice tie in haha! I may have had some toxic relationships with some best friends, but I never slut shamed them. Come on MC, be a person I would like to be friends with, not someone who I'd like to hit with a locker door!

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  27. Nice list! It's funny that quite a few people talk about love triangle related pet peeves. I wonder if writers and editors will think more deeply about these issues one day ...

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  28. Eww the cardboard cut out BFF is terrible! I wish I would've remembered it for my list this week! And I HATE when ppl become obsessed with their relationship and let all their other friendships and family bonds fall away bc of it... IRL and in print! Cool list.

    Thanks for stopping by My TTT

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  29. PS Stumbled across your blog and MY NICKNAME IS FISH WHICH MAKES MY FINDING OF YOUR BLOG SUPER IRONIC

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  30. Katie @ Book SavvyOctober 1, 2013 at 7:29 PM

    I like how you included extreme lack of confidence on your list. Some characters do have a lack of confidence, which makes them more realistic, but when characters have too much doubt, they are not fun to read about. Those characters just make me feel worse about myself.

    Check out my TTT list: http://booksavvyblog.blogspot.com/

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  31. Here's hoping it dies out! I never like love triangles really, but sometimes they are well done and serve a purpose in the story. A real purpose. Not a the author needs to figure out some tension for this book purpose haha.

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  32. It's the worst! Although...as you pointed out people ignoring friends/families for boys is something that happens in real life...so I guess that's technically sort of real, so I can't give 0 points on that? Doesn't mean I have to like it though!

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  33. It's so annoying! I read a book that was particularly awful on that point and #5 were inspired by said book. I read Throne of Glass right after it and I was like YES! Why can't we have cocky leads? I totally related to Celaena in that, and also because she was such a contrast to the previous leading lady haha

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  34. Hahahha! Fish is an odd nickname I have to say - does it have to do with your last name?

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  35. I definitely second you on insta-love! Hate it. Also, if the best friend's just going to be a cardboard cutout why bother? To show us the MC is likeable? Usually in books with that problem, they're usually NOT likeable! And yes to the dangerous relationships/bordering on abuse - so not cool (best picture ever BTWs). Great list and thanks for stopping by my TTT! :)

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  36. Haha I'm glad so many people are Olivia Benson fans

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