Top Ten Tuesday: Book Turn-Offs

This week we are discussing our top ten turn-offs when it comes to books. 

Top Ten Book Turn-Offs

1. Cheating - I know this probably shouldn't be my number one turn-off but for some reason characters cheating on each other irks me more than anything else.

2. Unrealistic Dialogue - This is one of those biggies as well. I HATE bad dialogue almost as much as cheating. If I hadn't begun reading House of Night early on in my blogging career, I probably would have DNFed it at the first book in the series and never picked up another. However, I enjoyed the world of HoN so I stuck with it. Luckily, the dialogue has gotten significantly better throughout the series, but the beginning dialogue is just horrible. There's a lot of name calling and use of the word "stank". When the whole group agrees with something, it doesn't say ". . . and they all agreed". Instead each one of the characters makes a remark about agreeing such as "yep", "mmhmm", "you got it!", etc. Every single one of them. And every single time. Another example of unrealistic dialogue is Wake by Amanda Hocking. The unrealistic dialogue is a HUGE reason why I only gave it a rating of 2 stars. Here's just one example of the dialogue (shortened of course):
Penn: How are you guys doing? 
Luke: Great. I'm, uh, I'm having a great time. You guys look great. I mean, you look like you're having a great time."
Penn: Why, thank you.
Lexi: You're not so bad yourself.
Gemma: Is there something you want?
Penn: Nope. I just wanted to stop and say hi. We don't know many people here in town yet, and we're always looking to make new friends.
Harper: You already have friends.
Penn: You can always have more, though, right?
Marcy: Wait. Didn't there used to be a fourth one? What did you guys do with her? Did you eat her? And then throw her up afterward, because obviously, you guys are bulimic.
Harper: So have you guys been on the rides yet?
Penn: No, we just got here. We haven't had a chance to check anything out yet.
Lexi: I'd really love to win a teddy bear. What do you think? Could you win me a teddy bear?
Luke: Yeah! I mean, yes. I'd love to win you a bear.
Lexi: Yay!
Penn: Well, I'll leave you to enjoy the rest of the afternoon. I'll see you around.
Alex: Have a fun time.
Harper: That was weird.
Marcy: I do think they killed her. There's just something about those girls I don't trust.
They mention thinking those girls killed the other one on several occasions, I kid you not. And it was always randomly in the midst of a conversation. Like "Didn't there used to be four of them? I bet they killed her." A variation of that was said multiple times by multiple people. It was really really annoying to me. If you're reading over your story and the dialogue doesn't flow well or seem to work as a real conversation, change it. Or don't use it at all.

3. Flip-Floppers - You know what I'm talking about. Those characters who are constantly going back and forth between two (or more) love interests. They can't control their urges no matter what they say to themselves. They always end up making out (or more) with each of them. All the time. A few examples of this would be Calla Tor, Bella Swan (sort of), Zoey Redbird, Lee Townsend.

4. Inconsistency - Do I really need to explain this one? If your character is walking down a street in Los Angeles one second and the next they're walking down a street in NYC, you might have a serious issue and/or quite possibly need a new editor.

5. Unbelievable - If your story isn't believable, then I just can't get into it. I mean, of course there are going to be books that are out there; it's expected. But if your world-building is missing those certain elements that make the world come together and seem real/possible then I'm not going to connect with it.

6. Bad Love Triangles - An example of a great love triangle would be Jem/Tessa/Will from The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare. That is the best, most amazing love triangle I have ever read and I don't think that anyone is ever going to top it. Another example of a great love triangle--er, sort of love triangle--is Jared/Melanie/Wanda/Ian from The Host by Stephenie Meyer. However, this isn't about best love triangles but BAD love triangles. Love triangles in general can either be incredibly annoying or really great for the storyline, depending on how they are done. I think you know what I mean by bad. Such as, when the choice is glaringly obvious but the main character goes on rendezvous with another character anyways and neither you nor the characters in the book have ANY idea as to why. Or when you can tell that the love triangle is only there to amp up the drama or just a filler for the story. That's a definitely turn off for me.

7. Unrelatable Characters - If I can't connect with the main character it makes it very difficult for me to enjoy the book. And sometimes it has nothing to do with the writing of the character--sometimes it's just the character him/herself--sort of like a personality clash, like if that character was a real person you wouldn't get along with them. But then there are those characters whose personalities are inconsistent--who end up doing something completely out of character halfway through the book for no reason at all. For example, they're this incredibly sweet, shy girl who is friendly with everyone and isn't ill-tempered in the least and then all of a sudden they just go on a rampage for absolutely no reason at all, completely unprovoked. Or they were completely badass and full of confidence in one book but the next book in the series they're this whiny little b*tch, insecure and unsure of themselves. This happens a lot actually and I think that's a lot of why most of the time we as readers tend not to enjoy the sequels as much as the first installment. Then there are the times that the voice of the character just gets under your skin and as much as you're enjoying the plot and world-building and such, the narration drives you mad making it hard to connect with the character.

8. Unprofessional Cover - You know that whole saying "don't judge a book by it's cover"? As much as we would all like to say we don't, let's face it: WE DO. If the cover looks like a really bad Photoshop gone wrong, I'm probably not going to read it or even look at the premise. It could be the best book in the entire world, but if I happen across it when searching for a new book to read I'm more likely to pass it up if the cover isn't appealing. I know I shouldn't, but I do. Another turn off for me, and this is mainly with indie books, is all of the books with the same people on the cover. If I've seen those people on a hundred other covers I'm probably not even going to look at the premise. Especially if they are on the cover of a book I've already read before and every time I see them I think of the characters in the book I've already read (Katy and Damon from Lux anyone? I cannot see those models on any other book cover and not think of those two). Another huge turn off for me with book covers, and this one is aimed at the New Adult covers, is the fact that almost EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. has a half naked man, woman, or both, on it. Their arms are entwined, or they're laying down and looking extremely sexual. Those covers turn me away very fast. I think there's only one book I've read that is New Adult and has a topless girl on the cover. These covers just scream romance novel/erotica to me and I don't ever read romances/eroticas.

9. Typos/Grammatical Errors - I understand that a few typos and grammatical errors are going to be in a book. You just can't catch EVERYTHING. But when there are several within a few pages, it's clear that the book wasn't edited or was edited poorly and it screams unprofessional to me. And being a grammar nazi, I'm bound to notice when even the smallest thing is off.

10. Too Much Sex - I know what you're thinking, there's such a thing as too much sex? Um, yes! I want to read a book with substance, people! Ever since I've started reading New Adult books, I've noticed a trend with them: lots and LOTS of sex. All. The. Time. When I feel like I'm reading a 300 or more page book all about sex, I start to lose interest. I don't want the characters to be complete horndogs. I want them to have personality and character. I want them to go through things--life-changing things. Some sex scenes are fine. In fact, I encourage them in those types of novels, but that isn't all I want to read about.

So what are the things that turn you off when it comes to books??


  1. I totally agree with 1, 2 and 6. I'm not a fan of cheating, but more than that, I really hate bad dialogue. Cringe-worthy dialogue is the worst. And your example -- man, I was cringing all the way through that. Especially at the bulimic line. I'm really glad I never read that series.

  2. I agree with these! I actually don't like to read books with detailed sex in them. And I don't pick up books with half-naked guys on the covers or where people are kissing. There's a lot of those around these days. But I don't read that much romance anyway. I hate cheating and crappy dialogues. Great list!

    My Top Ten Tuesday.

  3. Totally agree about too much sex, it is one for the reasons that I do not venture into "adult" literature too often. I also agree about unbelievable, I hate reading and thinking... NO way is that even possible!

    Our TTT

    Ashley @ The Quiet Concert


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