June 23, 2021

Bookish Pet Peeves

If you've read a lot of books, you've seen some things. If you've read even more, you've seen some things repeatedly. Sometimes, that's a reason to pick up a book. If you know the two people who originally insult each other and piss each other off are going to end up madly in love, that might be a draw (It is for me.) But if you hate that plot line, it could be a deal breaker.

Here are some things that I have noticed in books that make me nuts:

Excessive typos - I mean, everyone makes mistakes, but when there are so many you begin to wonder if ANYONE besides the author read this before it went to print, that's a problem for me. I can't help noticing them, and they take me out of the story. I can't focus on what's happening in the book, if there are typos and grammatical errors ruining it.

Released a breath - This has gotten so bad that I've started dropping my ratings for books that use this line. "I released a breath I didn't realize I'd been holding." I don't think this has ever happened to me. Ever. Sometimes I hold my breath, but I know I'm doing it. This is dumb and it's everywhere. Gah! I dropped a 4-star book to a 3-star on Goodreads last week simply because this line was in it.

Unplanned Pregnancy - This is a trope I really don't like. It feels like an easy plot. There are really only 3 ways this is going to end: unwanted baby, abortion, or adoption. I'm not really interested in any of those plots. I've seen it too often in real life to be interested in reading about it. It's especially dramatic in YA books, for obvious reasons. Adults have a few more resources to work with, but teens don't. Either way, just no.

Cheating Lovers - I like to relate to the characters I'm reading about. I don't have to like them, but I do have to understand where they're coming from. People who cheat are not just unlikeable, they're horrible. I don't want to read a book that relies on characters who "just can't help themselves" or the "attraction was just too strong." Maybe I haven't run across the right temptation yet, but this is the stuff of nightmares for me.

Incest - Along the same lines as the above is incest. Gross.

Untreated Mental Illness - Books with characters who have mental illness are fine. It's good to read about these things, either so you feel seen and included or so you understand people who have these problems. But I read a book last year where the protagonist decided to leave her bipolar disorder untreated, regardless of how that affected the people around her. I felt like that was a poor choice on the part of the author. It read like this was a perfectly fine thing to do, which it is not.

Tiny Print - I'm getting old. I like a nice print size. I would prefer to have a larger book that one where the margins are tiny and the print is miniscule. I guess I could switch to an ereader and increase the font, but it just isn't the same for me.

Ditzy Dame - There is nothing more insulting to me than a female character who is an idiot. I quit reading chick lit because one of the doyennes of the genre had a series in which the main character did things like go shopping every other day and then argue with the credit card company when her bill came in because there's no way she bought that much stuff. And women were supposed to relate to her? No thank you. I mean, there's doing funny stuff like putting your cup of coffee in the cabinet instead of the table, which is just regular stressed out people stuff. And then there's making such poor decisions on a daily basis that you end up in legal trouble. Hard pass.

Dead Parents - This is mostly in children's and YA books. The parents are conveniently out of the picture, usually because they've died. This is kind of going by the wayside these days. More and more books have awesome parental figures these days which I hope tends to be more like what the average kid experiences. Sure, sometimes a kid loses both parents, but not at the rate which would be suggested by these books.

What things make you crazy about what you find in books? Maybe I'll find some more.