We all have things that make us want to not pick up someone’s book.
You see a pretty cover, you click on it, you glance over the cover…and you find yourself cringing and pretending you never saw that book in the first place because it has that one thing you just cannot stand. Last week, I talked about the things that make me want to pick up your book, and this time, I’ll be talking about the things make me want to run far, far away from your book.
1. “An infuriatingly attractive boy.” No, no, no. I could read the most awesome premise in the whole world, and if it mentions that the main character has to team up with some boy who’s attractive or some mysterious boy or some boy that she hates (but, obviously, totally won’t), then I’m immediately out.
2. Anything to do with kings and queens and courts. I love fantasy, but, personally, this is the most boring type of fantasy to me. Anything to do with royalty has just been so overdone that I’ve gotten tired of it. And ten times out of ten, the lost princess is the main female character. Nobody is shocked.
3. Anything that takes place in the Regency era. This era has been SO overdone. I get it, there were petticoats and stiff language and sexism and Victorian London and pretty dresses and balls. Literally every PNR book that takes place in a different era ALWAYS takes place in the Regency era. I’m so tired of it.
4. Journey-type books. I immediately get bored if I find out that the entire book is some sort of a road trip or a a straight-up journey from one place to another. There are only so many times a group of people can be attacked, defeat the enemy, things go back to normal, and at the end, SOMEONE betrays them or things aren’t what they seem before I’ve read them all.
5. Books about finding yourself. Unless there’s some sort of unique concept going along with it (like Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall), these just bore me. I just don’t feel like someone’s character development can stand on its own as a plot.
6. Pirates. I’m going to blame Treasure Island for being SO TERRIBLE that I can’t stand pirates anymore. They’re just not interesting? At all? But, I still have Black Sails on my to-watch list, so I guess I’m not getting rid of them everywhere.
7. Anything that takes place over the period of one day. Pretty much all of these books are romances or end up developing into some sort of romance, so I’m going to give a hard pass on these types of books. And I’ll just end up ranting in my head about how unrealistic it is. There have definitely been a couple of stand-outs, but usually because the author is terrific.
8. Being ship-wrecked. I’m pretty sure I’ve only read one book where the characters are ship-wrecked and I enjoyed it. The rest are just super boring to me or end up being really limiting with what can happen, especially if they’re in the contemporary genre.
9. “Laugh-out-loud” contemporary. I guess this is because I rarely ever laugh out loud when I read a book. And a humorous contemporary just sounds really boring to me. I like my contemporary novels tragic, thank you very much.
10. Survival stories. I don’t mind if I read about survival stories in a dystopian or PNR setting or something like that, but when it’s just purely trying to survive, again, really boring. There are only so many times someone can complain about the fact that they can’t find anything to eat before I’m done.
11. Any mention of pure romance. I rarely like romance as an aside in fantasy, horror, thrillers, PNR, etc., so any mention of it being an erotica or just a plain contemporary romance, I’m out of there. Unless it’s M/M. Then I’ll read it. But otherwise, no.
12. Sports. I don’t like nor care about sports in real life, so an entire book surrounding the concept of sports is a big nope. Also, this brings up awful flashbacks of straight sports romances. Ugh.
13. “Seeing the other side.” I guess this could tie in with finding yourself, but I just don’t like romances where one character is on one side, and another character is on another side and realize that they’ve been conditioned to hate each other for no reason. It’s probably the most boring romance trope, in my opinion.
14. Love triangles. Nope, nope, no, never, no. I actually haven’t read too many books with love triangles in them (I thought the peak of them was back when every book was trying to be the next Twilight), but I have no interest. And nine times out of ten, by the end of the first book, I know who the main character will choose anyway, so there’s zero suspense.
15. The synopsis is way too pretentious. If I’m intrigued by a title and good reviews, but when I read the synopsis on Goodreads and I’m left confused because it uses the biggest words and the longest sentences to explain a simple premise, I’m out of there. I don’t need to sit through that for 300+ pages.
16. Anything remotely marketed as “the next The Fault In Our Stars.” This was a trend in contemporary for a while, and though I love The Fault in Our Stars (it’s one of my favorite contemporaries of all time), I’m not in the mood to read its thousands of read-alikes that are basically just trying to make me cry and are overly cheesy and pretentious. Pass.
17. Any classic retelling that is super boring. If I found out that a book is supposed to be the modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice or something like that, I’m out. No need to read those types of retellings when there are thousands of less boring stories to retell.
What makes you run away from a book? Do we share any of the same ones?